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Dean Harmon Leaves the Law School a Different Place  

Lee Kolber ‘06
Law Weekly News Editor

Students will have to get their fill of Tootsie Rolls and big smiles this spring semester. Beverly Harmon will be leaving the Law School after nine years as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, and unfortunately her trademark candies and warm ways will be departing with her. A favorite among students, faculty, and staff, Dean Harmon’s presence will be missed by the Law School community.

Dean John Jeffries, Jr. ’73, described Dean Harmon’s departure as losing an “integral part of the spirit of this institution.” He said that “she has provided thoughtful, informed, and compassionate counsel to hundreds of our students, and she has earned not only their respect, but also their affection.”

Dean Harmon’s husband, Bill Harmon, a former senior administrator at the University, accepted the position of President of Central College, located in Houston, Texas, and started the new position in February. Dean Harmon chose to remain in Charlottesville to complete the school year — a decision Dean Jeffries said the Law School appreciates.

Houston is a new city for the Harmons, who have traveled and lived across the East Coast. Dean Harmon said she plans to take some time off to acclimate herself to the new community. She will have some help in learning her way around. Her daughter and son-in-law, both attorneys, reside in Houston. Eventually, Dean Harmon plans to get back in another position in student services.

SBA President Adam Greene ’05 said that Dean Harmon has always been “truly devoted to our school and specifically to the students.” He noted that in recent years, “Dean Harmon has had the greatest influence in creating the UVA Law culture which we love so much.”

Dean Harmon says her time at the Law School has been an “extraordinary opportunity” to interact with students she described as “highly capable, compassionate, and multitalented,” and that “remaining in touch with alums has been an added pleasure.” She says she is “grateful for the support of students and colleagues throughout the Law School community” and describes Lisa Napier, with whom she worked closely in the office of Student Affairs, as a “treasure.”

Dean Harmon’s contributions to the Law School are numerous and have been recognized by students throughout her tenure. The Class of 1998 gave as a class gift a scholarship named in her honor, and the Black Law Student Association named its service award the “Beverly Harmon Service to BLSA Award” in honor of her many contributions to the organization.

Thurgood Marshall Research Professor Kim Forde-Mazrui said that “the value of Beverly Harmon’s support for faculty, students, and staff cannot be exaggerated.” Associate Dean and William L. Matheson & Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor Jim Ryan ’92 believes Dean Harmon “personifies this Law School and what makes it special, namely that it is a humane and compassionate place.” John V. Ray Research Professor Elizabeth Magill ’95 echoed Ryan’s sentiment, calling Dean Harmon “both compassionate and wise,” and that “she will be sorely missed.”

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