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College of Law to fete longtime professor at annual Pedrick Society dinner

January 20, 2012

In the 45-year history of the College of Law at Arizona State University, only one professor has a room dedicated to his passion, English Legal History, in the basement of the Ross-Blakley Law Library. Only one is credited with construction of the “fire escape” on the north side of the library. Only one has delivered lectures from Kalamazoo to Oxford and Cambridge, and knows both Medieval Latin and Law French.

Just one has his own law school bobblehead: Professor Jonathan Rose.

Rose, who joined the faculty at the behest of founding Dean Willard H. Pedrick before the walls of Armstrong Hall were even built, and was a driving force behind the design and construction of the architectural wonder that is the law library, will retire this spring. He has been at the College of Law for 44 years and plans to travel and spend more time on his research and scholarship, as well as teach part-time.

It is fitting that Rose will be honored at the Willard H. Pedrick Society Dinner, March 6, given his close ties with Pedrick, his naming as a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar in 2001, and his love for and dedication to the law school and its students.

The annual Pedrick dinner will begin at 6 p.m. at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown, 50 E. Adams St. The dinner celebrates the culmination of an endowed scholarship campaign in Rose’s name to which nearly $350,000 has been raised. To purchase tickets to the dinner or to contribute to the scholarship, visit or contact Liz Aiken, Director of Sustained Giving, at

Rose is among a handful of professors about whom alumni from all five decades of graduating classes routinely ask.

“While he played the caricature of the law school professor in his first-year contracts course, Professor Rose treated students in his office with warm regard and mutual respect and always made himself available,” said Jennifer Wright (Class of 2008), associate attorney at Bain & Lauritano, PLC in Phoenix. “Although some professors abandoned the Socratic Method, his use of it keenly developed both my legal analysis skills and my ability to hone in on important case details. No doubt, the law school will need 10 new professors to replace on Jonathan Rose!”

A former attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Rose arrived at Arizona State University in 1968, and was associate dean from 1987-90. He has taught courses in contracts and advanced contracts, antitrust, legal profession, law and economics, regulated industries, consumer protection, legal writing and English legal history to thousands of law students. He is a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Law, Science & Innovation.

Rose’s reach extends beyond the walls of the College of Law, as an affiliate faculty in the ASU Department of History and in the ASU Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, and as a member of the graduate faculty in the doctoral program in history. He is a Senior Fellow of the Administrative Conference of the United States and a member of the Selden Society, Medieval Academy of America and the American Law Institute. Rose also has been active in professional legal activities, University activities and community activities.

“Jon Rose was a wonderful mentor to me,” said Alastair J. Gamble (Class of 2007), Labor and Employment Associate at Baker Hostetler in Los Angeles. “He pushed me when I needed to be pushed and softened when I needed a moment to remember why all the work was worth the effort. As a teacher, he is peerless. As a lawyer, he remains the standard by which I judge myself. As a friend, he is kind and generous. I am so fortunately to have known him in all three capacities.”

At the dedication of the library in November 1993, Rose was described as “the real force” behind the 11-year library project by its design architect, Mack Scogin, who also described Rose as a “great client, an exacting critic, and a good friend and colleague.”

Gordon Campbell (Class of 1972), of Counsel at Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City, said he’d never seen such a concentration of intellectual power as had been assembled at the law school.

“The one who stood out among the superstars … was the young guy, Jonathan Rose, who was just getting started,” Campbell said. “Perhaps it was that he was not far from me in age. Maybe it was that he seemed to have such intensity. Most likely it was that, when it came to analytical thinking, he worked hard. And the things he thought, he could defend. He inspired me. On top of that, he was a good guy. He cared about us. I will always be grateful.”

Rose has collected numerous teaching awards from the ASU Alumni Association, Maricopa County Bar Association and the College of Law Alumni Association, among others. After spending most of his career in antitrust, regulation and legal ethics, Rose changed directions, and now is an international expert in medieval and early modern English legal history. His research focuses on the history and regulation of the legal profession and the operation of the medieval legal system. Rose is a life member of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge, where he spends summers researching and lecturing.