Richard T. Bowser
37 Campbell L. Rev. 457 (2015)
I first met Dr. McQuade in January 1988. I was in the Dean’s suite in Kivett Hall. I had just finished my admission interview with Professor Charlie Lewis and was waiting to speak to the Dean of Admissions, Tom Lanier. I was there with another applicant when Dr. McQuade walked in. Without an introduction (or any other word for that matter), he said, “I’ve been informed that there is only one spot left in next year’s class and I’ve been sent here to tell the two of you that that spot will go to whichever of you wins the arm wrestling match. Are you ready?” I had no idea at that moment how much that man would mean to me from that moment on.
Dr. J. Stanley McQuade was born in 1929 in what could rightly be described as the slums of Belfast, Northern Ireland. He would go on to graduate from Queen’s University Belfast with top honors in law, theology, and philosophy. But his formal education was not finished. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in medieval philosophy, and then his medical degree.
In 1977, he was living in Bryson City, North Carolina, along with his wife Francis and their two children, where he was an anesthesiologist. His good friend Eric Carson was living in Fayetteville. Eric informed him that Campbell had recently opened a program in law. The idea piqued Dr. McQuade’s interest. Although thinking it to be an undergraduate program, Dr. McQuade sent a letter to then-president Norman Wiggins. The letter congratulated him on the start of the new program and expressed an interest in teaching if the need ever arose. Dr. Wiggins responded cordially, noting that he would pass his letter on to the dean of the law school, Leary Davis. Dean Davis did, in fact, contact Dr. McQuade, and in 1978, he joined the faculty of the new law school.
As Dr. McQuade tells it, he was of little use to the faculty that first year, but Dean Davis had a plan. He wanted Dr. McQuade to teach jurisprudence—a kind of jurisprudence that would be very relevant to the practice of law. So for that first year, Dr. McQuade taught a course in jurisprudence (one that was of little value by Dr. McQuade’s account) and sat in on other courses being taught in the law school. By his second year on the faculty, he was teaching Jurisprudence, Torts, and Law and Medicine. Those fields, along with legal history, have been the matters of scholarly interest for Dr. McQuade for the last thirty-eight years. His published articles and books explore topics within all of those fields.
While Dr. McQuade has explored all of those topics, jurisprudence has been his first scholarly love. Believing with Socrates that an unexamined life is not a full one, Dr. McQuade has worked diligently (as a co-author, I might say, tirelessly) to help aspiring lawyers to reflect on their practice of law by helping them ask and answer three essential questions: (1) What is law?; (2) How will you and others decide what ends it should serve?; and (3) What is the structure or logic of the law? All who have taken Jurisprudence from Dr. McQuade will recognize that outline.
While jurisprudence has been his greatest scholarly contribution during his years on this faculty, there is no doubt that his greatest contribution to the law school and its constituents has been the giving of himself. He has been—at one and the same time—the law school’s doctor, pastor, and friend.
In his early years of teaching at the law school, Dr. McQuade continued to practice medicine. He formally served as an anesthesiologist at a local hospital (there is at least one story of nurses discovering law school exams in the ER). He often informally served as the primary care doctor for faculty and staff (and their children) and students. That service always seemed to be a joy to him.
While Dr. McQuade has been an ordained Methodist minister (and a great fan of both John and Charles Wesley), for more than fifty years, he has only rarely served as the pastor of a particular congregation. He has wondered on occasion whether his true calling was sidetracked by medicine, philosophy, and law. Many would not agree. He has winsomely represented his Savior by word and deed before thousands of men and women and has provided countless hours of spiritual counsel to his law- school parish over the last thirty-seven years.
Aristotle divided friendship into three categories: (1) those that are based on utility—a relationship in which both parties derive a benefit from each other; (2) those based on pleasure—a relationship in which the parties are attracted by a characteristic of other like wit or appearance; and (3) those that are based on goodness—where the friend values loving the other for the good of the other more than he values the benefits that the other brings—in short, loving when there is no gain. I’m convinced that I learned more about this kind of friendship from Dr. McQuade than from anyone else. Several years ago, in the midst of a very difficult time for my family and me, Dr. McQuade, in a most self-sacrificing way, was an extraordinary help to us. Knowing of his love for the psalms and of his respect for a particular biblical commentator, I purchased a set of commentaries on the psalms to give to him as a small token of our deep gratitude for his many kindnesses. When I took the commentaries to Dr. McQuade to offer as an expression of appreciation for all that he had done, he told me that he couldn’t accept them. When I asked why, he simply said gently, “That would be counting and friends don’t count.” Those commentaries are still on my bookshelf. I’m looking at them as I write this dedication.
I am not uniquely qualified to write this dedication to Dr. J. Stanley McQuade. I share with many others several connections to Dr. McQuade. I’ve been his student; he’s been my mentor—but he has been that for many. I have had the privilege of being his colleague at the law school for more than twenty years. Others have shared that privilege longer than I. I have co-authored articles with him, but so have others. I have watched him dance an Irish jig and throw candy on St. Patrick’s Day, laughed heartily at his stories, and been amazed at his extraordinary knowledge of so many things, but literally thousands have experienced all of those. Lastly, I have been the object of his gracious, loving spirit, expressed in both word and deed. But that only puts me in the category of everyone who has ever met Dr. J. Stanley McQuade.
Dominus benedicet tibi amici. Soli Deo Gloria.