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Reception Celebrates Judge Heaney’s Legacy

On October 10, 2006, Co-Deans Fred Morrison and Guy-Uriel Charles, and the University of Minnesota Law School held a reception celebrating the outstanding career and public service achievements of the Honorable Gerald W. Heaney.  Judge Heaney recently retired from his 40-year judicial career on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

The celebration program included remarks by Co-Deans Guy-Uriel Charles and Fred Morrison, testimonials by the Honorable Warren R. Spannaus, the Honorable Donald P. Lay, the Honorable Myron Bright, Professors Mary Pat Byrn and Myron Orfield, University of Minnesota Provost E. Thomas Sullivan, and the Honorable Walter F. Mondale.  The Honorable Gerald W. Heaney shared reflections on his career, the legal profession, and legal education.

Gerald W. Heaney graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1941, then served heroically in World War II.  After the war, he and his wife Eleanor, established a home in Duluth, where they raised their children, Carol and William.  Beginning in private practice, Gerald Heaney embarked on his lifelong work of championing equal justice for and the rights of vulnerable citizens, including children, workers, racial minorities, and the poor.

In 1966, he was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Judge Heaney's legendary career is complemented by his unremitting devotion to compassionate and visionary community service, including extraordinary service to the University of Minnesota.  The impact of this humble man and powerhouse of justice is incalculable.  His influence will reverberate throughout the State of Minnesota, the legal system, and countless individuals lives for generations to come.

A deeply felt and enduring tribute to Judge Heaney is found in the hearts, minds, and actions of the hundreds of people that he has guided and advised over the years. 

The Gerald and Eleanor Heaney Law School Scholarship Match Fund perpetuates the inspirational principles and courageous practices of Judge Heaney.  The fund originated in 1989, created as a tribute to him by former law clerks, colleagues, and friends whose hearts, minds, and actions are continually shaped by his guidance and example.  In 2006, Gerald and Eleanor Heaney made a major gift to the fund, rendering it eligible for the University of Minnesota President’s Scholarship Match.  If you contribute to the Gerald and Eleanor Heaney Law School Scholarship Match Fund, the impact of your gift will be doubled – and you will help others follow Judge Heaney’s lead in pursuing equal justice for all.

For information about or to contribute to the Gerald and Eleanor Heaney Law School Scholarship Match Fund at the University of Minnesota Law School, click [here].