UO School of Law mourns Eugene Scoles, former dean

Scoles was instrumental in transforming Oregon into a modern law school.
Scoles was instrumental in transforming Oregon into a modern law school.

Eugene Scoles, former dean of the University of Oregon School of Law and distinguished professor emeritus, died Oct. 11 in Eugene. He was 92.

Scoles was born on June 12, 1921, in Shelby, Iowa, to Samuel Sherman and Nola Elizabeth Leslie Scoles. He was married in St. Louis on Sept. 6, 1942, to Ruby Helen Glawson; after 56 years of marriage, Glawson died on Dec. 26, 1998.

Scoles was instrumental in transforming Oregon into a modern law school during his deanship from 1968 through 1974. He oversaw the school's move from Fenton Hall to the law center at McKenzie Hall, as well as the school's transition to the semester system and its first commencement separate from the undergraduate ceremony. He also hired the first woman professor at the law school.

"For decades, his perspective, his voice and his values have served as our institutional anchors," said law school Dean Michael Moffitt. "During his deanship, the law school made a bold transition into a modern law school, a transition we have continued in the decades since then.”

Always involved in activities to improve the law and legal education, Scoles was a frequent visitor to other law schools including Texas, Michigan and Stanford. He became president of the Association of American Law Schools in 1978 and also was active in the American Bar Association's Section on Probate and Trust Laws and Legal Education, including a brief stint in the House of Delegates.

Scoles retired as a distinguished professor of law at the UO in 1982. He was a cook, gardener, hunter, fisherman and a long-time fancier of German Shorthair Pointer hunting dogs. Survivors include his daughters, Kathleen Elizabeth Scoles Sohlman and Janene Helen Scoles Bradfeldt, both of Pleasant Hill, Ore.; and five grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Eugene F. Scoles Excellence in Teaching Fund at the University of Oregon School of Law or the University of Illinois College of Law.

Funeral services for Scoles were held on Sunday, Oct. 20, at Musgrove's Springfield Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home, 7305 Main St., Springfield.

- from a story by the UO School of Law