Professor Ray Marcin (center) is flanked by former CUA law dean Ralph Rohner and current dean Veryl V. Miles.
The Law School Hosts an Affectionate Farewell for Professor Ray Marcin
His retirement from the faculty was official on Aug. 31, 2009, but the many friends, colleagues and admirers that Professor Ray Marcin made over his long career at the Columbus School of Law urged him to come back one more time for a luncheon in his honor.
He obliged, and on Nov. 23, dozens of faculty members gathered in the law school’s atrium to celebrate their longtime colleague, sharing stories of a man who was unfailingly generous when it came to legal education.
Marcin joined CUA Law in 1971 as a supervising attorney in the school’s Center for National Policy Review. He became a faculty member in 1972, his 37 years in the classroom making him one of the most senior professors on the faculty.
Those who came on board after him reminisced about the kindness and support that Marcin showed his newer colleagues. Professors Marshall Breger, Kathryn Kelly and William Wagner all approached Marcin early in their professorships, asking for a little help with organizing their new courses. They were each rewarded with voluminous background materials such as lecture notes and lesson plans.
“They were exquisite,” said Professor Kelly. “I could see his plan for teaching every concept of civil procedure.”
“I think of Ray as someone with absolute intellectual honesty,” commented Professor Breger, who said that Marcin’s politics transcended easy labels and were guided only by a search for truth.
The same note was sounded from Professor Wagner, who called Marcin “a significant thinker” who never wavered from his support for unborn human life. “His was a voice that courageously stood out for that position, and I thank him for that,” said Wagner.
Professor George Smith also spoke and addressed Marcin’s life work in advancing the pro life cause, as well as the conferral by the National Lawyers Association of the Wilberforce Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 in recognition of that work.
The Marcin Family
His wife, children and grandchildren watched from nearly tables as Professor Marcin was presented with a number of gifts, including golf balls. He then delivered remarks that were typically self-effacing. Marcin was an attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Hartford, CT early in his career, and wryly noted that he was considered an arch-liberal back in the 1960s. More than 40 years later, “without having changed my views at all,” he noted that changing times and political mores have now stamped him as a political conservative.
Marcin had the opportunity to make the same point once when he met Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at a social occasion. Thomas’ response: “Tell me about it!”
Professor Marcin was elected to the American Law Institute in 1981. He is the author of six books. The most recent, from 2006, was the critically well-received “In Search of Schopenhauer’s Cat: Arthur Schopenhauer’s Quantum-Mystical Theory of Justice.”