Professor Richard W. Bourne, who died last year, was remembered by colleagues and family members at an Oct. 21 ceremony to mark the renaming of the Law Forum office in his honor.
Bourne died July 12, 2014, at the Pylesville, Md., farm he shared with his wife, Anne Crook. He was 71 and had been ill with pancreatic cancer.
The faculty adviser to the Law Forum for several years, Bourne taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law for 34 years.
Speaking to a group that included Crook and Bourne’s daughter, Rosemary Bourne, Dean Ronald Weich recalled Bourne’s “Southern gentleman drawl” and recounted how a “son of Danville, Virginia” went to Washington, D.C., to fight for civil rights.
After earning an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from the University of Virginia, Bourne spent five years as a trial attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Professor Jack Lynch spoke next.
“Dick singularly understood why we are here,” he said, eyeing his colleagues from the podium. “We are here for the students, not the reverse.”
Lynch said Bourne’s idea of “law school heaven” was to spend long hours in his office with the door open, talking with students “and perhaps driving his colleagues a little nuts.”
Crook took the podium to recount how she met her future husband when she was in law school: She needed to take Bourne’s ethics class to graduate, but it was full. She went to his office to plead her case and found the door open.
“He was very cordial – ‘Oh yes my dear, have a seat,’” she recalled.
Crook laughed. “I wanted to say, ‘Where, professor?’” – a reference to the calamitous condition of Bourne’s office that was not lost on his colleagues.
Crook got into the class and graduated on time.
The fifth-floor journal office is now called The Law Forum Office in Memory of Professor Richard W. Bourne.