Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Tax Prof Bridget J. Crawford received Pace Law School’s award for outstanding teaching for the third year in a row at Sunday's graduation ceremony. Here are the Bridget's remarks:
I look at this award and I can think of only one word – “income.” It was Chief Justice Warren writing for the court in Glenshaw Glass who defined income as an “undeniable accession to wealth, clearly realized, over which the taxpayer has complete dominion.” With this award, I am reminded that I am a very wealthy person, although not in an Internal Revenue Code Section 61 sense. Every day as a teacher I am enriched by you.
I am lucky enough to work with smart, questioning, seeking students – students who want to know, “Why do we have to take Federal Income Tax?” -- why the law is the way it is; does it have to be that way; how can we make it better? I am enriched every day by what you bring to the classroom. Something very special happens between students who want to learn and a teacher who wants to be there. In that space together we value intellectual curiosity and practical sensibility and we articulate our greatest aspirations for ourselves and the law.
As you cross this stage in a few minutes to receive your degree, in your hands will be the “accession to wealth” for which you have worked so hard. You have “clearly realized” how it can transform you. Begin to today to exercise over that degree a “dominion and control” marked by creativity, boldness, humility and justice. Our profession needs you very much. I am proud to be your teacher. Thank you.