For the past few weeks I've wondered how can this recognition can come to me when I know there are many people in the University in this room today who give more time and talent on a regular basis to build our community than I ever have.
I'm hoping to keep my nervousness in check today long enough to say what an inspiration the University community has been to me throughout my career and to say thanks to everyone for creating an atmosphere a culture of caring where each of us is encouraged to contribute what we can to make our community and our University a better place to work and live.
To my deans, thanks for your kindness and patience. I'm sure you must have been tempted from time to time to suggest that if I really, really wanted to help perhaps I should try to be in my office more often.
To the Law Library staff, thanks for your dedication and hard work and talent in running the Law Library and who from time to time over the years suggested that if I really, really wanted to help, perhaps I should try to be out of my office more often.
To my colleagues in the Law School, in the Library, and throughout the University You are my mentors and leaders. You are your own best examples for the art and joy in giving back to the community that gives so much to us. My congratulations to the Senate for the important work you do in faculty governance that enriches the lives of us all in the University. As examples for each other, we need to recall that students take their cues from us, and I believe it is vitally important for students to see the amazing amount and types of work that can be accomplished by volunteers in a supportive, nurturing environment. When faculty and staff engage in work and projects around the campus, around the city, around the State, we must make every effort to include our students. I truly believe I am merely a mirror held to the University community, and this recognition award is more truly a reflection of you than of me.
I have been blessed throughout my professional and personal life. I cannot imagine better work for me than working as a law librarian. I cannot imagine a better institution to work for than the University of Oregon. I cannot imagine a better city in a better natural setting than Eugene in the Willamette Valley. My personal life has been blessed as well, most especially by my wife Patricia. She is the quintessential spouse of a compulsive volunteer and she has given literally thousands of hours of work and talent to projects that I 'accidentally' commit her to before she learns of them. We are high school sweethearts married 37 years ago, and I love her very much.
I knew Wayne Westling from the first year he came to the University of Oregon. I am doubly honored to receive an award established in his memory. He was a citizen of the world who brought his wit and charm, his clear thinking, and his prodigious advocacy skills to the work of the University Senate. We are all beneficiaries of his example and accomplishments. When I was elected to the Senate as a representative of the Library Faculty in the mid 1980s I served as parliamentarian. And after Wayne was elected as a representative of the Law Faculty he became interested in the fine points of parliamentary procedure. So I loaned him my copy of Robert's Rules of Order. Contrary to good practice as a bibliophile, I had written my name in the inside front cover not that I ever expected to get the volume back. Two years ago as I was engaged in the bittersweet task of helping move materials out of Wayne's office, I came across that copy of Robert's Rules of Order. Inside the front cover, Wayne had written his name below mine. I do feel especially connected to Wayne through that book, and now also through this award.
I thank the Senate for this great honor.
Dennis Hyatt (Law Librarian)
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