TJSL wasn’t really saying farewell to Dean Rudy Hasl at his tribute on April 18 – but 'thank you' for a job incredibly well done - as he steps down after eight years at the helm of the law school.
The event was held in the lobby of the new TJSL downtown campus and as emcee Professor K.J. Greene told the attendees, “Dean Hasl is one of the most distinguished people you will meet in legal education.”
As faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees and special guests looked on, Professor Greene said, “What he’s done for this school is phenomenal. His legacy is not this building, as wonderful as it is. His legacy is the difference he has made to people. He has changed thousands of lives.”
“He’s given his life and his soul to the law school,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Jones, who is the chair of the TJSL Board of Trustees. “As chairman, it has been a pleasure to work with Rudy and we are proud of this facility and all of the hard work he did to build it. We appreciate everything you’ve done.”
Vince Hall ’08, who is San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s chief of staff, presented a proclamation to Dean Hasl for his exceptional achievements. “Had it not been for Dean Hasl, we would not have this world-class facility,” said Hall.
In the proclamation, the Mayor Filner declared April 18, 2013 “Rudy Hasl Day” in San Diego, and Dean Hasl was clearly moved to be so honored.
Lorena Slomanson ’03 spoke on behalf of the Alumni Association and thanked him “for the tremendous support he has given TJSL’s alumni.”
“This has been a labor of love for me,” said Dean Hasl when it was his turn to speak. “It has been a wonderful treat to be able to serve you for the past eight years.”
Dean Hasl thanked the board of trustees for providing the leadership to take the leap of faith and relocate the law school to the area where it now stands. It was not the best of neighborhoods several years ago, but Dean Hasl said, “The transformation has been remarkable. TJSL has been a catalyst for the development of the East Village and we are a vibrant part of the community.” It was fitting that the podium was located in front of the LEED Gold plaque awarded to TJSL by the U.S. Green Building Council for the law school's sustainable, environmentally-friendly design. It was something Dean Hasl and the design team worked hard to achieve.
Dean Hasl said he will take a year-long sabbatical after he steps down on June 30, and will stay affiliated with the law school. And don’t mention retirement to him.
In fact, he quipped, “Law school deans don’t retire – they just lose their faculties.”
There was one more surprise in store for Dean Hasl. The atrium in the lobby, planted with trees and plants carefully selected by the dean, will now be called the “Rudy Hasl Atrium.”
As the audience members shook Dean Hasl’s hand and toasted him, the song chosen to honor him was wonderfully appropriate: “I Did it My Way.”