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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Grateful Alumnus Sculpts Tribute to Dean Snodgrass

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Edward V. Marouk ’57, an artist who sculpted and then donated a bronze bust of UC Hastings’ former Dean David E. Snodgrass, formally unveiled the bust on Friday, December 9, 2011.

Edward V. Marouk ’57, an artist who sculpted and then donated a bronze bust of UC Hastings’ former Dean David E. Snodgrass, formally unveiled the bust on Friday, December 9, 2011.

The date coincided with the College’s Swearing-In Ceremony. The bust unveiling ceremony lasted 15 minutes and was attended by a crowd of admirers.

Before the unveiling, UC Hastings Chancellor & Dean Frank H. Wu welcomed guests and introduced Dean Snodgrass as “someone who was a real legend.” He said that David E. Snodgrass served as the seventh dean of the law school, from 1940 to 1963. He pioneered the unheard of concept of the “Sixty-Five Club” in which outstanding legal scholars, having reached the age of compulsory retirement from other law school faculties, were invited to continue their work at UC Hastings.

“This innovation in legal education has enabled the College to maintain its strong law faculty,” Dean Wu said. “Dean Snodgrass built a law school that was renowned around the nation, and he moved the school to 198 McAllister,” which is where the bust resides.

During his tenure at UC Hastings, Marouk was strongly influenced by his experience with Dean Snodgrass, both as a professor and mentor.

“I met Snodgrass on my first day of law school,” Marouk said. “He taught Contracts and was a good teacher. I’d been an English major at Fresno State. I quit law school a couple of times because I didn’t like the dry bones, boring language. But then Snodgrass took an interest in me. He said something that changed my life. ‘When you graduate and have clients, all this language will come alive for you.’ If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have been a lawyer.”

Marouk has not forgotten that when he passed the Bar, Snodgrass sent him a personal note.

In 1960, Marouk began his law career as a prosecutor in the Humboldt District Attorney’s Office in Humboldt County. He went on to spent 50 years as a trial attorney with a solo practice, before retiring 10 years ago.

In reflecting on his past, Marouk said, “I was a trial attorney and did nothing but trials. I loved doing trial work. I loved being in the courtroom and in front of a jury.

“Nonetheless, at work, I was under tension, looking for a way to relax. I tried golf, tennis and handball. Nothing seemed to work. One day, I read in the Fresno Bee that there was a sculpting class at the Fresno Art Museum. I went to the class. I put my hands in the clay and it was like magic. I loved it.”

“I’ve been sculpting for 30 to 35 years. I came home at night with all that tension, and as I sculpted, all of that tension went away.” In reference to his bust of Dean Snodgrass, Marouk says, “And this is my thanks to him.”

Marouk’s other bust sculptures include one of retired U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Coyle, in the lobby of the Federal District Court in Fresno; retired Superior Judge Frank Creede, in the Frank Creed Fresno County Law Library; and three of Bernard E. Witkin, in the law library at Fresno State University, in the State of California Fifth District Court of Appeal, and in the San Joaquin College of Law.

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