Lexington, VA • Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Blake D. Morant, associate dean for academic affairs and Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr. professor of law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been named the new dean of the School of Law at Wake Forest University. Morant, who joined the faculty of the law school in 1997, will begin his duties as dean at Wake Forest July 1, 2007.
"I know the entire University extends the warmest congratulations to Blake Morant, who has been an exceptional colleague and treasured friend for many years," said Acting Dean Brian Murchison. "He has worked tirelessly to further the academic mission of Washington and Lee. We wish him the very best in his new position, but it will be very hard for us to say good-bye."
Morant's contributions to the Law School and the University as a teacher, scholar, and ambassador were many during his distinguished 10-year career. In 2000, he sponsored a colloquium on the findings of the Virginia Supreme Court taskforce investigating gender bias in the courts of the Commonwealth. The remarks from the colloquium were published in the Washington and Lee Law Review in 2001.
From 2001-2006, Morant served as director of the Frances Lewis Law Center, the research and faculty support arm of the School of Law. During his tenure as director of the law center, he is credited with increasing the caliber of faculty workshop speakers and reestablishing close ties with the center's namesake and law school benefactor, Frances Lewis. He also organized a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the law center, featuring a keynote address by the late and famed federal judge Robert Merhige Jr., who ordered Virginia schools desegregated in the 1960's and 1970's. In 2003, he became the first American to deliver the Annual Thomas More Commemorative Lecture at St. Dunstan's Church, Canterbury, England.
"It has been an honor and privilege to have served with the distinguished faculty at Washington and Lee. The Law School's renowned student-centered focus and emphasis on a liberal arts model of education have become trademarks of quality within the legal academy. I am indebted to this fine institution for the opportunities it has provided, and will deeply miss the special sense of community that is uniquely Washington and Lee."
Morant earned his undergraduate degree and J.D. from the University of Virginia. After working in several capacities for the Office of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General, he entered academia, teaching law at American University and the University of Toledo before joining Washington and Lee in 1997 as an associate professor. Morant's teaching specialties are in contracts, administrative law and communications law. He is a member of the Commonwealth of Virginia Gender Bias Task Force and on the editorial board of the American Association of Law Schools' Journal of Legal Education.
Morant departs Lexington along with his wife, P.J., a Spanish teacher and chair of the foreign language department at Rockbridge County High School.