Law School Bids Farewell to Dean Michael Kanne
Every seat at every table was filled as friends, faculty and staff gathered on April 20 for a farewell retirement luncheon in honor of Michael R. Kanne, associate dean for administration and finance for the Columbus School of Law.
After 21 years in the position, Kanne is stepping down. He has agreed to continue part time until a successor is hired.
Speakers at the luncheon included Dean Veryl Miles, Professor and former dean Ralph Rohner, who hired Kanne, as well as members of Kanne’s staff. Dean Miles was generous in her praise of Kanne’s careful management of law school resources over the years, noting his financial role in the construction of the law school building, the growth of the computer services office and other professional accomplishments.
Kanne took the quips, anecdotes, coffee mug, clock and other assorted retirement gifts in good humor. His wife of 49 years, Diane, was in attendance, as were his three children and one of his six grandchildren.
Dean Kanne spoke eloquently of his time at the law school, and moved many to tears with a heartfelt tribute and surprise gift presented to his wife.
He joined the law school staff in 1989, not long after concluding a 29-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he left at the rank of lieutenant colonel. Kanne recalled that many of his friends warned him at the time of the vast difference in culture between the military and academia and that adjusting would be difficult.
Was it so? “You have no idea!” he said to laughter.
But there are also similarities, he noticed, between the armed forces and the Columbus School of Law. For one, both institutional missions “are honorable and necessary,” for another, both places are committed to excellence while taking care of their own.
“Don’t ever lose sight of how important that is and how unique that makes us as an organization,” said Kanne.
He thanked all six deans he has served under, praising them as terrific bosses and leaders.
“It’s been a great ride, I’ve enjoyed it,” he said.