I want to pass along the sad news that one of my mentors, Richard Coulson, passed away last week. Richard, whose scholarship was centered around international law and legal history, was an emeritus faculty member at Oklahoma City University, where he had taught for decades. Richard was a beloved figure among the students and faculty and taught me a great deal about law and teaching when I was on the OCU faculty in the 1990s.
We also had a lot of fun together. I remember in particular a trip we took back in 1996 to the American Society for Legal History, when it was meeting in Richmond. We flew into the Baltimore airport (mostly we could get really cheap flights because of Southwest). But we thought I'd make a virtue out of this, so we stopped in Fredericksburg and I think did a little driving around the Richmond battlefields. Fun times for two people who were deeply interested in history and its relation to law and how history is presented to the public.
I have a lot more I want to say about Richard's role building the OCU law school and as an educator and colleague, but I wanted to pass this news along now. And on a personal note, I know Richard was very, very proud of his son Doug's work on law, history, and rhetoric, which includes a terrific article in the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities in 2010, "Distorted Records in "Benito Cereno" and the Slave Rebellion Tradition." Doug is starting this fall as an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy, which I know Richard was delighted about. Here is Richard's obituary from the Edmund Sun.
Update as of June 5: There is a link to the video of Richard's memorial service on June 1 at OCU's chapel here. These are really lovely tributes that recall well many of Richard's great qualities.