Runkel Receives Award for Teaching Excellence

Professor Emeritus Ross R. Runkel was presented with an Award of Excellence from Willamette University President M. Lee Pelton at a university-wide faculty awards ceremony on April 30, 2009. Runkel received the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching. Named for the former Willamette University president, the Hudson Award celebrates distinguished teaching and leadership.

“Professor Runkel personifies the highest ideals of the College of Law,” said Dean Symeon C. Symeonides. “He has devoted all his considerable energy to teaching and has always proved to be an outstanding legal educator and mentor. His students, colleagues and peers all admire and respect him tremendously.”

An employment law specialist, Runkel taught at Willamette for 30 years before retiring in 1999. At the request of the law school, he returned in 2005 to teach for another four years as a visiting professor. His great humor, intelligence and steadfast nature have made him a favorite among students for decades.

Throughout his impressive legal career, Runkel has served as chair of the Oregon State Bar Section on Labor and Employment Law, commissioner and vice-chair of the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission, director of the Willamette University Center for Dispute Resolution, director of the Portland Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, as well as in a number of other professional and civic positions.

He received his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Washington, where he was associate editor of the Washington Law Review and a member of Order of the Coif. He was a teaching fellow at Stanford University Law School, practiced law in Seattle with Riddell, Williams, Voorhees, Ivie & Bullitt, and served on the law faculties at Lewis and Clark College, Texas Tech University and the University of Washington before joining Willamette University.