In Memoriam: Rennard Strickland

Rennard Strickland died on Jan. 5 at the age of 80. 

Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Professor Strickland was of Osage and Cherokee heritage. Over the course an impressive career he served as dean of The University of Tulsa, Southern Illinois University, Oklahoma City University and the University of Oregon. An ALI member for over 24 years, he was most recently senior scholar in residence at the University of Oklahoma Law Center, where he helped introduce Indian Law into the university’s legal curriculum. 

Professor Strickland was invested in legal education in the classroom and through participation and leadership in the Association of American Law Schools and the Society of American Law Teachers. He was the only person to have been a tenured professor of law at all three of Oklahoma’s ABA-approved law schools. He was the only person to have served as both the president of the Association of American Law Schools and as the chair of the Law School Admissions Council. He was also the only person to have been honored by both the Society of American Law Teachers with their annual teaching award and the American Bar Association’s “Spirit of Excellence” Award. 

In 2012, he received the Robert Kutakes’ Award, presented by the American Bar Association in recognition of his substantial contributions to legal education and the active practice of law. In 1992, he was appointed chair of the Osage Constitutional Commission by U.S. Judge James O. Ellison of the Northern District of Oklahoma. 

Professor Strickland will be remembered for his pioneering work in Indian Law, his dedication to teaching, and his philanthropic spirit. 

Read an In Memoriam piece from UVA Law here and a formal obituary here.