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Pepperdine Caruso Law Community Celebrates the Life of Professor Jim McGoldrick

On the evening of September 10, the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law community came together virtually for a Celebration of Life for Professor James M. McGoldrick. Family members, colleagues, friends, and former and current students of Professor McGoldrick shared both laughter and tears as they remembered the profound and lasting impact that he had on their lives and the law school.

The evening began with Dean Paul Caron noting that it is the first time since 1969 that the law school academic year has begun without Professor McGoldrick on the faculty. The speakers who followed conveyed how much he will be missed and his unmatched influence. Pepperdine University President Jim Gash recalled his first day in Professor McGoldrick's class during his second year of law school and their continuing friendship as fellow faculty members. Alumnus and Caruso Law benefactor Rick Caruso said Professor McGoldrick inspired him to work harder and engendered a love of Pepperdine because Professor McGoldrick embodied those qualities. Senior Vice Chancellor and Caruso Law Dean Emeritus Ronald Phillips related how he hired Professor McGoldrick, who had attended Pepperdine University as an undergraduate, as one of the first full-time professors at the law school at its original location in Anaheim.

Family members who shared their personal memories included Professor McGoldrick's daughter, Julie, and son, JT, both of whom graduated from Caruso School of Law, and his wife, Jan. Many of Professor McGoldick's colleagues and former and current students related a common theme of how Professor McGoldrick made them all feel as if they were a part of his extended family. He was remembered for being generous, inclusive, wise, and honest, with a unique sense of humor.

In memory of Professor McGoldrick, his former office has been named after him. In addition, his faculty colleagues have established the James M. McGoldrick Memorial Law Scholarship, which will continue to honor his legacy at the Caruso School of Law.

Jim Goldrick office photo and plaque