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In what would become a remarkable career as a Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law professor, Jonathan Rose began teaching in September 1968, the second year of the new College of Law. Although he looked forwarded to teaching, his assignment to teach contracts troubled him.
“When Ped (late Professor Willard ‘Ped’ H. Pedrick, founding dean of ASU Law) told me I would be teaching contracts, I was not very happy about this,” Rose said. “I had little affinity for contracts and my law school contracts course was not great. But teaching first-year contracts turned out to be the most rewarding, enjoyable and probably successful aspect of my 47 years of teaching.”
Adding a 2L antitrust course and other courses throughout his career, English legal history ultimately became Rose’s primary academic field. Honored with several awards for outstanding teaching, Rose is the Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar Emeritus, and ASU Law is now naming a professorship for him and his wife, Wendy.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School in St. Paul, where his family had lived for more than 100 years, Rose and Wendy married soon after he earned his Juris Doctor and before he accepted his first job in the early 1960s for the U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program in the Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C. That is where Pedrick, who heard of Rose from then-University of Minnesota Law Dean William Lockhart, would eventually entice him to come to Arizona.
“I liked practicing law although a government practice is very different than one in a firm,” Rose said. “I had gotten some trial experience and liked it and did well. But after almost five years in the Department of Justice, I was at a decision point. I needed to decide whether to stay longer in the Department of Justice, join a firm in D.C., St. Paul or elsewhere, or become a law professor.”
Rose remembers the moment in the fall of 1967 when Pedrick walked into his D.C. office to talk about joining the faculty at ASU Law, one of 10 law schools recommended by Lockhart.
“I was very surprised as I had not yet been contacted by ASU and did not recognize him," Rose said. "He introduced himself, said he’d gotten my name from Dean Lockhart.
“Since there were two other lawyers sharing the office, I was fortunately able to use the assistant attorney general’s conference room. Dean Pedrick, in his own inimitable way, extolled the virtues of the ASU’s new law school and Arizona and invited me to come out and interview. I accepted,” Rose said.
And that began his storied career of teaching and his firm belief in its critical importance.
“I really enjoyed teaching and found it professionally rewarding,” Rose said. “ASU gave me the opportunity to be employed doing work that I really liked to do. Not everyone has the good luck to end up in a job and employment activity that they like and enjoy as much as I did.”
Rose added that the faculty and students are the lifeblood of ASU Law. “I have been supporting scholarships for students for the last decade and will continue to do so. Now it is time to also support the faculty and thus, my endowment of the Jonathan and Wendy Rose Professor of Law.”
Zachary Kramer, ASU Law executive associate dean, has been named the first Jonathan and Wendy Rose Professor of Law.
“I am humbled by this appointment. Jon and I were colleagues for many years, and I know how much ASU Law means to Jon and Wendy. It is an honor to hold a position in their names,” said Kramer, who was previously recognized with the Mary Sigler Fellowship. He teaches and writes in the areas of property law and civil rights law. He is the author of "Outsiders: Why Difference is the Future of Civil Rights" (Oxford 2019).
Karen Bradshaw, professor of law and Williard H. Pedrick Scholar, succeeds Kramer as the Mary Sigler Fellow.
“Mary was a beloved mentor and friend to me. We shared a deep interest in the welfare and treatment of animals. I am humbled to hold a fellowship honoring a remarkable person and scholar,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw is concurrently a faculty affiliate scholar with the Classical Liberal Institute at New York University School of Law and senior sustainability scientist at the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. She is the author of "Wildlife as Property Owners: A New Conception of Animal Rights," forthcoming from University of Chicago Press. She also has published more than 20 articles in law and peer-reviewed journals at the intersection of property, administrative, natural resources, animal, and environmental law.
The Mary Sigler Fellowship was created in 2019 to recognize Sigler as a tremendous scholar, teacher and citizen. A lifelong academic, Sigler earned her bachelor’s degree and doctorate from ASU and juris doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. She joined ASU Law faculty in 2003 and was later appointed as an ASU Law associate dean in 2012. A leading expert in criminal law and jurisprudence, she was a frequent contributor to leading law journals, with dozens of publications, and was a sought-after panelist at international conferences. Sigler was part of the ASU Law faculty until her death in 2018 after a nearly three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.