Thomas Valkenet, J.D. ’87, of Young & Valkenet in Baltimore, was the guest speaker at the Royal Graham Shannonhouse III Honor Society awards ceremony on Feb. 2. (Photo by April Thiess)
Twenty-one students were inducted into the law school’s Royal Graham Shannonhouse III Honor Society on Tuesday, Feb. 2. All were evening students who had completed three semesters of coursework. (See students’ names on program below.)
Shannonhouse awards ceremonies are held in the fall and spring semesters.
The honor society was created in 2014 to recognize students who have distinguished themselves academically. The minimum GPA requirement for induction is 3.15. Students who have achieved a GPA of 3.7 or higher are inducted as distinguished scholars. Four of the 21 students inducted Tuesday were distinguished scholars.
Dean Ronald Weich, greeting the inductees and their family and friends in the moot courtroom, discussed the honor society’s namesake, a former UB law professor known to his students as “The House.” Weich emphasized that the Shannonhouse name on a resume would attract favorable attention.
“People will notice it,” Weich said, adding that many local legal employers – including law firm partners and judges – had studied with Shannonhouse.
Shannonhouse retired from the law school in 1993, according to his 2010 obituary in The Baltimore Sun, which added that he continued to work at his law practice until 2009.
Guest speaker Thomas Valkenet, J.D. ’87, a founding partner of Young & Valkenet in Baltimore, studied with Professor Shannonhouse. He also recalled litigating against him in a Harford County land dispute.
“I won,” Valkenet said. “But I will tell you it was grueling.”
Valkenet said Shannonhouse’s “deep Carolinian drawl” was as “deceptive as it was delightful.” A stickler for etiquette — “there was never a cross word from him in court,” Valkenet said — Shannonhouse inspired profound respect, if not terror.
“I always needed to be on my ‘A’ game because it was The House,” Valkenet said.