Roger A. Weber was thrilled to be chosen
as our first featured alumnus. Although we are deeply saddened by his sudden
passing on February, 20, 2007, we are grateful to be able to honor his legacy in
this manner. These are Mr. Weber’s words about his Honors experience:
"I was a freshman at Ohio State in 1967 in the Colleges of
Arts and Sciences and was surprised to be notified before arriving of my
selection for the Honors Program, which I believe was run by the College at that
time. There was no Honors housing. The biggest benefits to me were the ability
to work out a course schedule with my Honors advisor and to attend Honors
courses. At that time Honors courses typically had only eight or so students.
I started college majoring in Journalism, thinking vaguely
that I wanted to be a writer some day. I wrote for the Lantern several quarters.
Among the assignments: I was the sports reporter for the Cross-County team in
the Fall of 1968, a year the Big Ten Conference Meet was at Ohio State and a
Buckeye runner won the individual Big Ten championship. In hindsight, the most
embarrassing thing I wrote for the Lantern was a gushing article about the
McDonald's restaurant opening on High Street -- the first in the area.
In the Fall of 1968 I took an Honors political science course
(on Latin America) taught by Professor McCoy and this influenced my decision to
switch majors to political science. That in turn led to my decision to go to law
school and Professor McCoy wrote a letter of recommendation to Harvard Law
School for my admission.
An Honors course in Economics, taught by Professor Fletcher,
influenced my life in a major way. We worked from the manuscript for a text
Professor Fletcher was writing (entitled "Labor Economics"), which emphasized
supply and demand curves and measurements. I was gripped by this and have
remembered this forever as a favorite and valuable course.
So when I was in law school, as a second year student, because
of my lasting interest in labor economics, I took Labor Law as an elective.
My professor was Archibald Cox, who was to become famous the following year when
he was appointed to be the Watergate prosecutor.
On Professor Cox's recommendation I took a summer job during
law school with Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, in Cincinnati, in its Labor Law
Department, which had a national reputation. I had an exciting time that summer
and took full time employment at the firm upon my graduation from law school in
1973. I have practiced exclusively in Labor and Employment Law ever since and
became chairman of the firm's department in 1997.
And, as you can see, my experience in Honors put me on that
road. I look back to my Ohio State days with great nostalgia. Because of
anticipated military service obligations, I raced through in three years. But I
wish I could go back and take a few more Honors courses!"
After graduating in 3 years with honors in the liberal arts,
Mr. Roger A. Weber attended law school at Harvard University. He also served as
partner and supervising attorney at the Cincinnati based law firm, Taft,
Stettinius & Hollister, LLP and was recognized by Law & Politics Magazine and www.superlawyers.com as one of the "Top 100
Ohio Super Lawyers" for 2007.
We were indeed fortunate to have Roger Weber facilitate an alumni fireside chat
with our current Honors & Scholars students last fall about his firm’s
experiences with The Gospel of Judas. The Gospel of Judas is a 1700 year old
Gnostic document that was discovered in a cave in Egypt, recognized as a
valuable antiquity, and, through a most remarkable series of events including a
theft, several sales and other changes of hands, came somehow to be in a freezer
in Akron, Ohio.
Mr. Weber also lent his time to the Honors & Scholars Center as a member of the
Associate Provost’s Honors External Advisory Committee before his untimely
passing this past spring. We salute Roger A. Weber and thank him for his
relentless dedication to his alma mater, and, in particular, the Honors Program
at Ohio State.