Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will host a celebration of life service Friday to honor former dean and professor Susanah Mead, who died in late 2017.
The service in Mead’s honor will be at 1 p.m. Friday at the Indianapolis law school, 530 W. New York St. Mead died Dec. 23 at the age of 70.
Those interested in attending the service must RSVP.
A 1976 summa cum laude graduate of IU McKinney, Mead clerked for two years in the officer of former Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Paul H. Buchanan before beginning a legal education career at IU McKinney in 1978. During her tenure at the law school, she served as a legal writing instructor, professor of torts and product liability and director of the legal writing program.
Then in 1997, Mead was named the associate dean for academic affairs and began work on the capital campaign that led to the construction of the law school’s current home in Lawrence W. Inlow Hall. In 2005, she became the first woman and alumna to lead the law school when she was named interim dean.
“She became more than just a friend and colleague — but also a role model for how to handle even the most difficult issues with patience, thoughtfulness and grace,” McKinney dean Andrew Klein said in January, when the school announced Mead’s passing. Klein served as associate dean for academic affairs during Mead’s term as interim dean from 2005 to 2007.
“Perhaps the core of what I learned from Susie is the importance for a leader to confront challenges head-on, and the value of doing so in an open and civil fashion,” Klein said.
Mead’s other contributions to the law school included the founding of the Dean’s Tutorial Society, which was one of the first organized, volunteer law school peer-tutoring programs in the country. She also had the distinction of being one of the law school’s first tenured professors.
Outside of the classroom, Mead served as co-chair of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Conclave on Legal Education in 2007 and on the ISBA’s Buchanan Award selection committee. She was named an Indianapolis Bar Foundation Distinguished Fellow in 2006, received the ISBA’s Presidential Citation in 2007 and was recognized as an Indiana Lawyer Leadership in Law Distinguished Barrister in 2009. IU McKinney also recognized Mead as its Law Alumna of the Year in 2007.
Mead’s daughters, Holly, Edie and Sybil, announced plans shortly after their mother’s death to use monetary donations made in her honor to establish a scholarship for women law students at IU McKinney.