Dean Rusk Hall Dedication


Dean Rusk Hall Dedication

Saturday, September 21, 1996

The University of Georgia campus, Athens, Georgia, 2-4 p.m.


Good afternoon. I'm Ned Spurgeon, Dean of the University of Georgia School of Law; and I'm very pleased and proud to welcome you to this important occasion in the life of our law school, the formal dedication of Dean Rusk Hall. The magnificent facility behind me has been more than a decade in the making. But, as you will see, it has been well worth the wait.

The addition provides permanent homes for the Dean Rusk Center for International and Comparative Law and the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, as well as a library to house an extraordinary collection of monographs donated by Woodruff Professor Emeritus Louis B. Sohn. It also contains a multipurpose classroom and a state-of-the-art electronic courtroom, faculty offices, a boardroom, and a fourth floor reception area. The addition is the first built here on north campus since our own new library addition was completed in 1981, and it will further enhance the quality of education and service we provide to our students and to the State of Georgia. It is a fitting tribute to the distinguished statesman for whom it is named, Dean Rusk, who served as Secretary of State during the administration of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and who was a faculty member here for almost a quarter century.

In addition to today's speakers, who will be introduced to you later, I am joined on the platform by a number of distinguished guests here to commemorate this special event; and I would ask each of them, as I call their names, to raise their hands and be recognized: Former Dean and J. Alton Hosch Professor C. Ronald Ellington; Dean Emeritus J. Ralph Beaird; Emmett Bondurant, President of the Law School Association; Stephen Portsch, Chancellor of the Georgia Higher Education System; Sonny Perdue, Majority Leader of the Georgia State Senate; Cliff Adams of Alston and Bird; Randy Nuckolls, Washington D.C. Counsel for the University of Georgia and a member of the Law School Association Council; In the back row, State Senator Paul Broun; State Representative Louise McBee, who is also a member of the Law School Board of Visitors; State Representative Keith Heard; State Representative Frank Stancil; and State Representative John Scoggins.

We are also honored to have several members of Mr. Rusk's family with us today: son, David, and his wife, Delcia; and son, Rich, and his wife, Janice. Also two of Mr. Rusk's grandchildren are here, Sarah and Andy Rusk with their mother, Fran. We are pleased to also have Mr. Rusk's sister-in-law, Ruth Rusk, in attendance; as well as niece, Jane, and her husband, Reverend Ray Robinson; nephew, Bobby Rusk, and his wife, Joyce, and their daughter, Sarah. And now that we've clapped once, I'd like to ask the family to stand so we can give them another rousing round of applause.

We would also like to acknowledge the architects of Dean Rusk Hall who are in our audience, David Hauseman, Mitch Deutsch, and project architect, Rod Lee, of the Hauseman Group of Atlanta. And the members of the University's Campus Planning Office who worked closely with the Hauseman Group and with us on this project: Director David Lunde, Danny Sniff, Brenda Elrod, and Charles Porter, who, although he is no longer with Campus Planning, was the original campus architect for the project. I see some of those people standing already. The others of you who are here, would you join them in standing so we can give you a round of applause?

As you have the opportunity to tour our new building, you will see four marvelous works of art provided by people who are with us today: Jill Leite, whose watercolor of Rusk Hall graces the front center of your program and is displayed in the executive boardroom; Don Smith, who created the acrylic painting of Mr. Rusk in the lobby of the Rusk Center for International and Comparative Law; Robert Howell, who drew the architectural rendering of Dean Rusk Hall which is part of a series that hangs in the foyer on the second floor; and Cliff Pannell, who donated the bronze bust of Mr. Rusk that his wife Laurie DeBuys Pannell completed before her death. The sculpture sits across from the second floor boardroom. I'd like those four who are here to please stand and be recognized. We thank you, both for your talent and your generosity.

We also are honored to have a number of other distinguished guests, including members of the Board of Regents, the judiciary, a representative from the Magistrate's Courts Council, state and federal legislators, Athens-Clarke County commissioners, past and present members of the Law School's Board of Visitors and Law School Association Council, members of the Dean Rusk Hall Steering Committee, University of Georgia Foundation Trustees, and officers of the UGA National Alumni Association. I'm also pleased to note how many of our faculty and staff have joined us today. It's my pleasure to welcome you all here to participate in these important and historic proceedings.

The past decade has been an era of accomplishment at the University of Georgia and at the School of Law. The President of the University of Georgia during this decade has been Charles B. Knapp. The School of Law is particularly grateful for President Knapp's recognition of the value of Dean Rusk Hall. When initial construction bids for the building substantially exceeded the anticipated cost, Dr. Knapp stepped forward to provide the extra funding from the University's budget. He recognized and appreciated both the importance of this facility and the contributions of Dean Rusk, and we are grateful for his leadership. It is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Knapp.


Thank you very much, Ned; and it's my great pleasure to be here this afternoon and take part in this important ceremony. Before I begin my remarks, I have one duty that falls to me today that is not pleasant, and that is to inform those of you that do not know it yet that last night Lamar Dodd died in his sleep here in Athens. And I'd ask that you all join me in a moment of silence in memory of another great faculty member of the University of Georgia that has meant so much to us over the years. Thank you.

To the words of Dean Spurgeon, I want to add my sincere thanks to all of the private donors who contributed to the building campaign for Rusk Hall. And I also want to express my gratitude to the members of the General Assembly and to Governor Miller for the state appropriation which matched the private gifts and made this extraordinary facility possible.

It's always dangerous to single out one individual when so many friends of the University are involved in an effort such as this. But I personally cannot let this moment pass without extending my sincere appreciation to Representative Larry Walker, who's here on the podium this morning. A loyal and active law school alumnus, Larry was deeply involved in this important initiative, and his help was instrumental in bringing the project to a successful conclusion. Larry stepped forward when this project was hanging by a thread, and we would not be here today were it not for his efforts. Thank you Larry.

Dean Rusk's decision to join the Law School faculty at the University of Georgia in 1970 was an extremely important event in the history of this University. Indeed, in my estimation, over the quarter century that Dean was in Athens, no other single individual had such a profound and positive impact on the life of this University. He was an active participant in the life of the campus, and the confidence he demonstrated in the future of the University by coming here to Athens helped attract world-renowned scholars to our faculty and recruit superior students to the University. His service here was, as you might expect, as outstanding his service was to his country. He was a unique source of inspiration and encouragement for students and a trusted and respected counsellor to his many friends and colleagues.

We all have our favorite memories of our time with Dean, and I have mine. It was my privilege to have been President at the University when he served as host of the conference of former Secretaries of State held on this campus in October of 1990. The panel discussion focused on national security interests in the post-Cold War era. It was attended by a capacity audience. Although the Secretary's health was failing, those present for this event, I don't believe, will ever forget his powerful opening remarks, in which he demonstrated once again his extraordinary intellectual range and commanding grasp of worldwide political and diplomatic issues. I saw most clearly that day both the power and the humanity of this man.

The University of Georgia will be forever grateful for the contributions that Dean Rusk made during his time here; and he will always be remembered for the special degree of affection that I know he held for the University. It's entirely fitting and appropriate that this new facility will bear his name, and, I hope, will stand as a lasting tribute to the years of service that he gave to the University of Georgia. Thank you very much.


Educators in Georgia have a true friend in Governor Zell Miller. He has made the improvement of education in the State of Georgia his top priority, resulting in one of the most ambitious agendas to improve public education in this century. His innovative Hope Scholarship Program, which pays the tuition of all Georgia high school students who graduate with a B average or better and maintain that average in college, is now the model for a proposed national program. The college tuition of 97 percent of the incoming freshmen at the University of Georgia alone is being covered by that program. So far, 200,000 college and university students in Georgia have been recipients of Hope Scholarship funds. Governor Miller's pre-kindergarten program is the only one in the nation available to all four-year-olds. Under his leadership, new computers and satellite dishes have been placed in every public school; and he has committed more than one billion dollars for construction, repair, and renovations within the University System of Georgia.

In particular, we, at the School of Law, have benefitted from Governor Miller's leadership. Dean Rusk Hall is the latest building on campus to be constructed through the increasingly important public-private partnership where state and federal funds combine with donations of private donors to achieve a new margin of excellence. When the public-private partnership funding proposal was suggested for Dean Rusk Hall, Zell Miller, then the Lieutenant Governor under Governor Joe Frank Harris, supported the proposal and helped secure its passage in the Georgia General Assembly. We are most grateful for his leadership and for his presence here today to speak to us. Governor Miller.


Thank you very much, Dean Spurgeon. Thank you.

President Knapp, Representative Larry Walker and other members of the General Assembly, Chancellor Stephen Portsch, special guests, and ladies and gentlemen: I am also honored to be here today and to join with all of you in dedicating this beautiful building to the memory of a remarkable American, a man who could have finished his career at any prestigious place in the world, but chose to come back home to his state of Georgia and to this campus. As President Knapp noted, Dean Rusk considered himself first and foremost an educator; but on his way here to the Law School, he left his mark on this nation and on the world. President Lyndon Johnson, whom he served as Secretary of State, once described this gracious gentle man that so many of us knew as -- and Lyndon Johnson knew about such things -- tough as a Georgia pine knot. And Cyrus Vance, another former Secretary of State, characterized him as a man of complete integrity and unstinting loyalty.

Born on a modest farm in Cherokee County, Dean Rusk put himself through Davidson College by working at a bank and waiting tables at the boarding house where he stayed. But he still found time to play basketball and serve his ROTC commander and graduate magna cum laude -- an exceptional college career that earned him a Rhodes Scholarship. At Oxford University he studied international relations, and history, and law, and politics, and philosophy. And he spent his vacations studying in Germany. He was there in Berlin when Hitler seized power in 1933. After graduating from Oxford he joined the faculty of Mills College in California, intent on an academic career until December of 1940, when he received a telegram from the United States government. It read: "Greetings. Report for active service." Those five words not only began a thirty-year interruption in Dean Rusk's career as an educator, but they also changed the United States and changed the world.

In Europe, as a student, and then in the Army, during World War II, Dean Rusk wrote that he was appalled at what he described as, and I quote, "the passivity of democracies in refusing to face up to aggression." As a result, he volunteered for the controversial job of Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs in 1950. He played a key role in the U.S. decision to intervene in Korea, and then helped to set the 38th parallel that still divides North and South Korea today. During the 1960s, he served as Secretary of State under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, as you know, helping to steer this nation through one of its most turbulent eras at home and abroad. Personal experience formed the basis for his firm diplomatic hand in dealing with the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Six-Day War, and the Vietnam War. Amid the tensions of the Cold War, Dean Rusk's personal negotiations led to a series of nuclear treaties between the United States and the Soviet Union. He was also the architect of programs to improve the quality of life in developing African nations and of U.S. sanctions against South Africa for apartheid. At home, he testified in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We should not forget that. He knew first hand the negative attention America's racial problems were generating around the world, and he was acutely embarrassed when ambassadors and other dignitaries from African nations were denied haircuts or refused service at lunch with their international colleagues.

Today, a quarter century after he left Washington, the nation and the world still bear the shape of his hand. But perhaps the most powerful legacy Dean Rusk left us was his example of courage in grappling with difficult issues and strength of character, not only to do what he perceived to be right, but also to assume responsibility for it. But naming this building for him is especially appropriate for another reason: it was not among the powerbrokers of the world, but here, among his students, where Dean Rusk was happiest and most at home.


Before the funding for Dean Rusk Hall reached then-Lieutenant Governor Miller in the Georgia Senate, it first had to win the approval of the Georgia House of Representatives. As Dr. Knapp has already indicated, Majority Leader Larry Walker, a 1965 graduate of the School of Law, enthusiastically stepped forward and assisted with the securing of the necessary funds by its appropriation through the House. Representative Walker is a native and life-long resident of Perry, where he has practiced law since earning his law degree in 1965. He has served six years as Municipal Court Judge and eight years as City Attorney. His law firm continues to serve as City Attorney in Perry. In 1972, Mr. Walker was elected to the Georgia General Assembly, taking the place of fellow Perry resident, U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. He has served continuously since taking office. In 1983, he assumed the duties of Administration Floor Leader for Governor Joe Frank Harris, and in 1986, was elected Majority Leader.

He has also served the Law School and the University of Georgia loyally and effectively for many, many years. Among other things, here at the Law School he currently serves as a member of the Law School's Board of Visitors. We are most grateful for his instrumental leadership throughout the years, and particularly for his role in helping secure this marvelous building. It's my pleasure to introduce Larry Walker.


Bridges to the past or bridges to the future? The national debate rages between our presidential candidates with, in my opinion, neither being right nor neither being wrong. Certainly, the future is important, but the past on which the future is based is equally important, and no event better exemplifies this than what we are about today.

Two weeks ago this past Friday, I visited the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. What a wonderful memorial to our 35th President, who, incidentally, would be 79 years old, were he living today. And what a great reminder of past challenges and past triumphs, with no one, other than President Kennedy and his family members, being more prominent in that library than the man for whom this building is dedicated, Dean Rusk.

Dean Rusk, a North Georgia country boy who rose to the heights of power, but who returned home, allowing the use of his good name in acquiring funds for the construction of this building. And out of the past, others, including Hughes Spalding; Harrison Jones, on behalf of the Coca-Cola Company; John A. Sibley; and Governor Carl Sanders -- all responsible, in part, for the buildings used by this law school since 1919. And faculty members, touching so many lives in preparing so many for service and livelihood, too numerous to mention, excepting Dean Ron Ellington, who, with the help of President Charles Knapp, played such a vital role in the acquisition of this building. And alumni, including Cliff Adams, who was vital to the success we celebrate today.

Our past, this state's past, largely based on limited resources and from a people at the bottom end of the economic scale in this country, but nonetheless, a past rich in accomplishment and contribution -- a past in which we Georgians and which we University of Georgia Law School graduates can take, with justification, great pride. And now, to the future, from a people, because of the efforts of Governor Zell Miller and others, that no longer have to always look up, but people living in a prosperous, growing, and dynamic state; a people that can say with truthfulness, "Georgia is one of the great states in this country;" and to the future of the Law School, with its excellent faculty and outstanding students, and unsurpassed facilities: a law school with a good name, but a school better than its reputation; a law school now prepared to meet Governor Sanders' challenge, as inscribed on the plaque on the library wall -- and I read:

"The people of Georgia want and deserve nothing short of the best. The University of Georgia School of Law is, therefore, to be one of such excellence that no citizen of Georgia need ever leave this state because a superior legal education is available elsewhere."

And they will come, out of the hills of Habersham and down the valleys of Hall, and from Macon, and Waycross, and Rome, and Virginia, and New York, and Florida. And because of past sacrifices and present commitments, we Georgians will proudly give to them nothing short of the best."


Thank you, Larry. Following Dean Rusk's death in 1994, the Law School faculty unanimously recommended that the Board of Regents allow the University to name the School of Law's new edition Dean Rusk Hall instead of Law Center South, as had been originally planned. Through this building, the legacy of Mr. Rusk's work will continue, and lasting benefits will accrue to the University of Georgia.

As Governor Miller said, Mr. Rusk was, first and foremost, a teacher. And for that reason, I believe he would be very pleased with the building which bears his name. It is a teaching facility. On the first floor are three centers of instructional excellence that will serve our law students and practicing members of the bar and judiciary in Georgia. The electronic courtroom utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to provide students with the most current technological teaching aids, and a video visualizer which can be used to project documents and exhibits onto a screen or to project graphic reconstructions of crime and accident scenes. Local and internet computer access is provided so attorneys and judges may conduct legal research. The thirty seats in the gallery have flip-top desks to permit note-taking during demonstrations. The Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, which provides thousands of hours of mandated education programs for the states judges and court personnel, will use the electronic courtroom as a primary setting for its training programs. Also on the first floor is a multi-purpose classroom which seats 80 students and supports the use of multi-media instructional aids. This provides another venue for first-year course sections and for our larger upper-class courses, enabling us to offer greater diversity in our curriculum offerings.

The Dean Rusk Center for International and Comparative Law, which is one of Mr. Rusk's living memorials, is located on the second floor. Since its creation in 1977 by Governor George Busbee, the Rusk Center has been at the forefront of international legal scholarship, combining expertise from several disciplines to provide guidance for state, federal, and international policy makers on matters as diverse as international trade, environmental law, admiralty, and disarmament. First directed by Professor Rick Huszagh, the Rusk Center is now directed by noted scholar and teacher Thomas Schoenbaum, who is the Dean and Virginia Rusk Professor and was Mr. Rusk's biographer. Dorinda Dallmeyer, also a well-respected international law scholar, serves as the Rusk Center's Research Director. The building's second floor also contains an elegant conference room, called the boardroom, and an international law library that will house the extraordinary collection of monographs donated by former Woodruff Professor Emeritus Louis B. Sohn. The library collection will be an invaluable resource for public international law scholars and for students. By reading selections from this intriguing collection gathered over Mr. Sohn's lifetime, students will cultivate their own personal understanding of international issues and jurisprudence. I'd like to ask both Professor Sohn and Professor Schoenbaum, if they're with us, to please stand and be recognized.

Moving to the third floor: The third floor of the building, as you will see, has fifteen faculty offices and a faculty reading room.

The fourth floor contains a large conference room/reception area that can accommodate the growing number of educational programs, lectures, and social functions offered to our students, alumni, and other members of the state bar and judiciary.

The addition of the new space in Rusk Hall and the move to Rusk Hall of the Rusk Center, the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education, and some faculty has allowed us to reassign and reconfigure some of the space in our existing facilities. As Dean Rusk would have desired, we have reconfigured that space with students in mind, expanding the offices of student organizations; creating a larger office for the international and graduate studies program, headed by Professor Gabriel Wilner, who is the Kirbo Professor of Law; by creating a student conference room; and by providing a new computer lab and study lounge in the Law Library. Dean Rusk Hall symbolizes the forward-looking pursuit of further excellence at the University of Georgia School of Law. Through this building, Dean Rusk's legacy of public service and teaching will continue.

Now it gives me great pride to invite you to the front steps of the building, where the members of the platform party will cut the ribbon to the building.