An anonymous donor bequest to the UW School of Law will establish the Endowed Chair in Honor of Professor William Rodgers and Professor Ralph Johnson. The purpose of the endowment is to pay tribute to Professor Rodgers' and the late Professor Johnson's pioneering work in environmental law.
"Their teaching and humanity have shaped the lives and enhanced the environmental awareness of the students privileged to sit in their classrooms," said Interim Dean Greg Hicks. "By establishing this chair, the donor is supporting the research and teaching of environmental law here at the law school."
"This gift is a wonderful way to honor Ralph Johnson," said Professor Rodgers. "It is a testament to the impression he had on his students that an alumnus would honor him in this way."
Johnson joined the UW law school faculty in 1963 and passed away in 1999. He is renowned for his work in environmental and Native American law.
Rodgers is currently the Stimson Bullitt Professor of Law and began teaching at the law school in 1967. He specializes in natural resource law and is recognized by many as the founder of environmental law.
"At the time environmental law was getting started, Bill was clearly one of the pioneers," said Bud Walsh '70, LL.M. '71, an environmental law attorney in Davis Wright Tremaine's San Francisco office and a former student of Rodgers. "There is no question that Bill is a unique person in the movement."
The late Professor Ralph Johnson (l) and Stimson Bullitt Professor of Law Bill Rodgers (r)