Son of law school's founder welcomes incoming class


John Brennan, son of Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s founder, Thomas E. Brennan, was on hand last month to welcome the new class of law students at WMU-Cooley’s Lansing campus.

During the orientation program, John Brennan spoke to the students about their class’s memorable namesake: Thomas E. Brennan.

“I’d like to tell you about Thomas E. Brennan as a human being — as my dad — because I think there are some things about him that might be useful to you as you begin this daunting and, certainly, very exciting new chapter in your life,” he said.

Brennan went on to note that his father was always a loyal friend, was generous, sought forgiveness, acted goofy — even writing and singing silly songs in public, and took risks.

“All of you are risking the next few years in hope of doing something great with your life,” said Brennan, WMU-Cooley professor emeritus who taught at the law school for 20 years. “He would tell you that you are worth it. He would tell you to ignore your naysayers.

“He would certainly tell you to go out there and persevere. And he would tell you how incredibly grateful he is that you have given the women and men of this law school the opportunity to help you succeed. Unfortunately, he can’t tell you that today, but I’m honored to do that for him.

Following Brennan’s remarks, Ingham County Chief Circuit Court Judge Richard Garcia administered the WMU-Cooley honor code oath.

All students, faculty and staff take the oath, which states, “I promise not to lie, cheat, steal or plagiarize, and I promise not to tolerate people who lie cheat steal or plagiarize.”