My Thoughts on the Walk

Thoughts on a 46-year-old KU Law Tradition

Cameron Savard, 3L

Overcast skies and wind gusts didn’t deter Dean Mazza’s lead of some 20+ law students to “Old” Green Hall. It’s a tradition held each spring for the last 46 years and counting. The walk itself didn’t last too long—though you’re going uphill, it goes by quickly with classmates you’ve known since day one of orientation. I waited until my third year to participate in this time-honored tradition here at KU. I felt it would be a fantastic way to reflect on my journey through school with colleagues I’ve made over the last three years while we, as students and faculty, reflected on KU Law’s history where its deepest roots took hold—especially under Dean Green.

Photo from 2023’s Walk to Old Green

We made it onto the steps, sat in front of those Romanesque columns, and listened intently to Dean Mazza’s stories about our 146-year history. I won’t spoil it for those who want to take the walk, but some of these stories involve the building itself and explain why “Old” Green Hall became a special place for its students. As I listened to others, I noticed how KU Law underwent some palpable changes, most notably leaving “Old” Green Hall for the New and yet much about this school remains the same. Dean Mazza noted some aspects of this school that remain essentially untouched. One of these is that KU Law has been open to all people of all backgrounds since 1878, by Dean Green’s design—where within its first two decades, KU Law had women and African American graduates. Another that spoke to me most personally is that Dean Green and other faculty members applied all the experience gained from their highly accomplished backgrounds to the one place they felt mattered most: their students. Dean Green promoted an open-door policy for all and as a 3L, I can personally attest to our outstanding professors doing the exact same to this day. This kind of mentorship here at KU is itself memorialized by Dean Green’s statue, where we see KU Law graduate Alfred C. Alford of the late 1890s with Dean Green’s outstretched arm and support. Over the last three years, I’ve known my professors to live, work and exemplify Dean Green’s legacy with their guidance and professionalism towards my peers and me. I know for sure this aspect of KU Law, amongst others, will never change.            

After being able to walk inside “Old” Green Hall, where the steps still creaked and engraved wood columns stood over us, it was time for us to make our return. Truth be told, this simple walk made me that much prouder to be a future KU Law graduate and the first in my family to attend law school anywhere. I’m incredibly fortunate to attend a school whose core principles—instilled by its first dean—are so very present, even in a different building. No matter where Green Hall is, or what its future holds, KU Law will be the institution it’s always been for those seeking to learn the law. The Walk to “Old” Green Hall only made what I’ve known about this place for the last three years that much more tangible.

Photo from 2023’s Walk to Old Green

– Cameron Savard is a 3L KU Law Student Ambassador from Katy, Texas