Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Celebrating The Work And The Life Of Bob Cochran

Cochran Cover 2In February 2019, Pepperdine hosted a Festschrift on law, religion, and ethics to celebrate the life and work of our dear friend and colleague, Bob Cochran, who is retiring in July at the end of this academic year. The Pepperdine Law Review has published the papers from the Festschrift in their latest issue, with articles by Roger Alford (Notre Dame), Barbara Armacost (Virginia), Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA), William Brewbaker (Alabama), Angela Carmella (Seton Hall), David Caudill (Villanova), Nathan Chapman (Georgia), Richard Garnett (Notre Dame), Robert Pushaw (Pepperdine), Brett Scharffs (BYU), David Skeel (Pennsylvania), Steven Smith (San Diego), Amy Uelmen (Georgetown), and David VanDrunen (Westminster Seminary), and John Witte (Emory); an article and response by Bob; an introduction by Derek Muller (Pepperdine); and my tribute.

Due to the coronavirus, we were not able to do our customary "clap-out" with faculty and staff celebrating with Bob's students at his last class yesterday, so we improvised with a Zoom clap-out:

Cochran 2

We followed that with a Zoom happy hour/roast with Bob's current and former colleagues:

Capture 3

In my tribute Celebrating the Work and the Life of Bob Cochran, 47 Pepp. L. Rev. i, ii (2020), I wrote:

Bob Cochran embodies everything we hold dear at Pepperdine: a faith-fueled dedication to the well-being and success of our students—personally, professionally, and spiritually; a career-long commitment to ambitious and impactful scholarship, intertwining faith and law in the beautiful mosaic of his work; and a life-long devotion to faith and service. Generations of students have affectionately referred to Bob as “coach.” In truth, Bob acts as “coach” for all of us at Pepperdine Law—students, staff, faculty, and deans alike. We are all better scholars, teachers, workers, servants, and people because of his presence among us. ...

Bob will leave an enduring legacy in law, religion, and ethics. But he will leave an even greater legacy at Pepperdine in the lives of the many of us he has coached through the years. In a New York Times article, Michael Lewis wrote about Shane Battier, an NBA player whose teams always thrived even though his contributions to his team’s success could not be fully measured by advanced analytics. In a blog post on Lewis’ article, I asked Who Is the Shane Battier of Your Faculty? Bob Cochran is Pepperdine Caruso Law School’s Shane Battier, and we will deeply miss this great and good man

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