The Tierneys and the Law

nsliI had the opportunity last month to be involved in the presentation by our National Sports Law Institute of its Master of the Game Award. The NSLI has given out this award, over the years, to such distinguished individuals as Hank Aaron, Donna de Varona, Bob Harlan, Al McGuire, Bud Selig, and Bart Starr. This year the award was presented to the Tierney family, especially to recognize the contributions of the late Joseph E. Tierney, Jr., of our law class of 1941, and his wife, the late Mrs. Bernice Tierney. The Tierneys are an historic family at Marquette, with Joe Tierney “the first” having been a member of our law class of 1911. As dean, I had the privilege to get to know the late Mrs. Tierney before her death earlier this year. As I explained in my remarks at the NSLI’s luncheon where the award was presented, Mrs. Tierney possessed an unusual combination of intelligence, grace, conversational skills, wit, and good humor; truly she was a remarkable woman. The more impressive remarks, from my perspective, were those of Joseph E. Tierney, III, of our law class of 1966 (and of Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols), who recalled his parents—their involvement in the Law School and the sports law program in particular, to be sure, but more generally as well. As Joe noted in his closing, “To be masters of the game, it is important to identify the game. For both of them, the game was life.” Joe’s remarks, which touch eloquently in just a few words on such varied topics as law, sports, family, and filial piety and such individuals as Marty Greenberg and the late Chuck Mentkowski and Jane Bradley Pettit, are well worth reading.

Joseph D. Kearney

Joseph D. Kearney has served as dean and professor of law at Marquette University Law School since 2003. He joined the faculty in 1997.

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