Kenagy Steps Down

David R. Kenagy’s long tenure at Willamette University College of Law came to a close at the end of June when he retired from two key posts. Kenagy had served as associate dean of administration at the law school since 1991 and as executive director of the Oregon Law Commission for the past seven years. He was interim dean of the college from 1994–96.

Kenagy was an early champion of the Commission and proved instrumental in giving the concept legs. He spent three years campaigning in the Oregon Legislature for funds and explaining his vision for Oregon’s preeminent law reform body. Soon after the Commission was funded by the legislature, Willamette University College of Law Dean Symeon C. Symeonides appointed Kenagy executive director.

“Under Dave's leadership, the Commission has grown from an upstart to a major player in the development of Oregon law and policy,” said Lane P. Shetterly, chair of the Oregon Law Commission. “His keen sense of good policy and good management, together with his tireless commitment to the success of the Commission and his passion for the law, has helped secure the Commission’s future.”

Symeonides, who conferred on Kenagy the title of dean emeritus at commencement, agreed wholeheartedly. “David has been an MVP for three administrations and 16 years, as well as team captain for two critical years,” he noted. “As the last dean to benefit from his talents and wisdom, I can say that his retirement is a tremendous loss for the College of Law and Willamette University. The only consolation is that the results of his hard work and foresight will continue to benefit the law school for many years to come.”

Reflecting on his many successes, Kenagy said he is most grateful for the relationships he has developed with members of the law school community. “Thanks to the examples of my Willamette family, this hard boiled attorney is learning to move from ‘things’ to people, from tasks to relationships,” he said. “That has been the delight of my work.

“Valuing people, warts and all, is what matters most,” he concluded. “That is the direction Willamette has taught me to follow and for which I am most grateful. That is Willamette’s gift to me.”


 David R. Kenagy David R. Kenagy