Frank K. Walwer ’55, a onetime associate dean of Columbia Law School, was a highly regarded academic who presided over both the University of Tulsa College of Law and Texas Wesleyan School of Law. He passed away on January 1, 2010, at the age of 79.
A native New Yorker, Walwer attended Columbia College, where he was honored with the Richard H. Fox Memorial Prize, awarded annually to the graduating senior who “combines intelligence with a kindly interest in his fellow man.” He then enrolled at Columbia Law School, graduating in 1955.
Although Walwer briefly practiced law, he spent the bulk of his career in academia. He became an administrative officer at the Law School in 1958, eventually rising to the position of associate dean. In 1980, Walwer left New York to become dean of the University of Tulsa College of Law. “My affection for you and Columbia stems from a 32-year relationship going back to Columbia College freshman days,” Walwer wrote in a letter advising the Law School faculty of his decision to leave. “To part will be difficult (to start again will be fun, I hope).”
In 1991, after more than a decade as dean, Walwer stepped down to serve on the Tulsa faculty full time as the Trustees Professor of Law. Then, in 1994, he left Oklahoma to become dean of Texas Wesleyan School of Law, where he helped secure full American Bar Association accreditation. “Frank had his own style, as a person and as a leader,” one of his colleagues recalled in an obituary in Tulsa World.
Walwer is survived by his wife of 49 years, Mary Ann; his son, Gregory;
and three grandchildren.