The William & Mary Law School community came together on Veterans Day for a special event, the dedication of a flagpole and patio in honor of our nation’s veterans and in memory of the late Lizbeth A.S. Jackson. Jackson was a member of the Law School’s staff for 28 years and was the Associate Dean for Administration at the time of her death in February 2018. She was the daughter and wife of decorated combat veterans and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Dean Davison Douglas, Chancellor Professor of Law Lynda Butler and Vice Dean Patty Roberts ’92 welcomed faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends to the event and spoke about its significance. Special guests included Dean Jackson’s husband, Carl, her mother, Zoe, her sister, Jeanette, and brother-in-law, Larry.
Douglas said that Veterans Day was especially meaningful at the Law School because of the school’s commitment to advocating on veterans’ behalf and the many faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends who have served in the military. The new flagpole and patio are located near the South Henry Street entrance to the Hixon Center for Experiential Learning and Leadership, which is home to the school’s Puller Veterans Benefits Clinic.
Butler spoke about Jackson’s love for family, friends and her country, her pride in her loved ones’ military service, and her regard for law students who were veterans or active-duty service members. “Being able to help them deal with the issues that law school presented meant the world to her,” Butler said. “This is why the dedication of our flagpole and patio to those who serve is the perfect way to remember Dean Jackson.”
The absence of a flagpole at a school that had so many veterans among its faculty, students and staff over the years was something that Roberts and Jackson often puzzled over together, said Roberts, and the two sketched out a plan for one before Jackson’s death. Roberts reminded the audience that Jackson had a hand in every construction and facilities project at the Law School during her 17-year tenure as associate dean. She thanked the many people who made a gift in Jackson’s memory to give the Law School its flagpole and to bring a project dear to Jackson’s heart to completion.
During the event, SBA President Rebecca Jaeger ’20 presented a collection of notes and messages from students about Jackson to her family, and Army Captain Christina Lowry ’20 proposed a toast to Jackson and the nation’s veterans. At the conclusion of the dedication, Chief Deborah Cheesebro and Lieutenant Daniel Salvitti of the William & Mary Police Department raised the flag on the new patio for the first time.
The flagpole and patio were made possible through the generosity of family, friends, colleagues, students, alumni, P.E.O. Sisters, the Law School and the Virginia Peninsula Chapter of the Military Officers of America.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.