Remembering Professor Randy Bezanson


The University of Iowa College of Law invites you to share memories and tributes in the comments section below.

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  1. Randy was beloved at Washington and Lee and his legacy continues to impact the law school. Members of our law school community who served on the faculty or worked in the law school in administrative positions during his deanship continue to praise him, not only as an influential dean but also as a superb person. His deanship brought about some monumental changes, including the small class size of which we are so proud and which has been widely emulated. I had the opportunity to correspond with him in the last few months to let him know the impact his deanship has had for decades. We should all be proud of our affiliation with a highly respected member of the legal academy who has garnered accolades and admiration. While his death is to be mourned, his legacy will live on through each of us and our Law School.

    Washington and Lee joins the Bezanson family and Iowa Law in mourning and celebrating Randy’s life and legacy.

    Nora Demleitner

  2. Very sad news about the passing of Professor Randy Benzanson. He was the year behind my law school class at Iowa, and was indeed recognized by everyone, faculty and students, as “a star student,” but very likeable. Randy was a huge credit and asset to the Iowa Law School, and will be missed. All of us who knew him are better for the experience.

  3. It is with deep regret that I learned of Professor Bezanson’s passing. He was my professor when I was at Iowa during the 1985-1987 years. I remember Professor Bezanson as a “smart, warm, caring person”. He will truly be missed. My condolences to his family.
    S. Weathers

  4. I grew up with Randy and his wife Elaine at Elmcrest Country Club and in Cedar Rapids, competing as youngsters would. I graduated from Iowa Law School and I am a CPA, but all of my success falls far short of Randy. I truly looked up to him for his extreme success and only wish now, he knew how I did respected him. Seems sad we lose him as such a young age.

  5. Words cannot express my sincere appreciation for all that Randy Bezanson taught me both professionally and personally. It was his encouragement that led me to pursue scholarly study of the First Amendment and ultimately gave me the confidence to become a professor. The Iowa community was richer because of his presence, and his legacy will live on in the successes of the countless Iowa Law alumni he inspired.

  6. I am so sorry to hear of Prof Bezanson’s passing. He was one of my favorite professors at U of I during 1984-1987. Such a loss. My sincere condolences to his family.

  7. I am saddened by the passing of Professor Bezanson- Randy to those of us fortunate enough to be classmates of his. Unfailing in his grace and sharp wit, he was a joy to listen to as he displayed his extraordinary analytical skills. It is appropriate that his picture in this space shows his winning smile.
    My condolences to the family.

  8. Professor Bezanson was one of those rare teachers who really inspired students. He made constitutional law come alive. He was also very kind, and I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing. RIP. I have never forgotten your gentle manner, and never will.

  9. Melissa and Peter and the Bezanson Family–our hearts are heavy and our prayers are with you during this time. Thank you for sharing your dad with us. He was loved by all our class at U of Iowa law school–class of 1987. He was a fabulous professor who always provocative with his questions, encouraged debate, generous with his time in explaining and continuing discussions beyond class. He was a nice man ..very approachable…a well dressed man…and always had quick wit and ready smile.

    We were so intimidated by most of our professors, but he was different and welcomed any and all questions and kept us engaged and wanting to learn more. He helped me with an independent right to privacy project and was stunned that I flew to New York to conduct some of the research, but I knew he had high expectations and wanted to do my best to be worthy of his time and talent. Cherish your time together these past months and we will cherish our fond memories of Iowa and Professor Bezanson.

  10. I am so sad to hear of Randy’s passing. I was so very grateful for his genuine and caring support as Advisor to the Law Review when I served as Editor in Chief. He truly understood the challenges I faced. My favorite law school class was his Supreme Court Seminar. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends for their loss.

  11. Melissa and Peter, I am so sorry to hear about Randy. Sunday morning breakfasts in northern Wisconsin will never be the same. Our condolences on behalf of all the Sharps and Johnsons.

  12. My deepest condolences to the Bezanson family (and the University of Iowa Law School) on the passing of Professor Bezanson. I was one of those “small town Iowa kids” that the law school used to take back in the 70′s. Professor Bezanson opened up a world to us that many of us never knew existed – and he did so in a kind and professional fashion.

    He was one of a kind – a man who walked and argued amongst giants – yet had the ability to relate and teach every student in his class (both in and outside of the classroom). The dignity with which he lived and taught will be missed.

    I know I am not alone when I say that he, and he alone, gave many small town Iowa kids the confidence to move away and practice law far from the homeland. My thoughts and prayers are with the Bezanson family.

  13. My memory of Randy Bezanson is his taking the time to speak with me about how to go about getting admitted to the Iowa law school. My father, Ray Stefani, had recommended I speak with Randy and sure enough, Randy was very helpful, insightful and welcoming to me. Randy left the UI law school shortly after I was admitted so I didn’t get to have a class with him. Nevertheless, just from the limited interaction I did have with him, I can say without hesitation the world has lost a wonderful man. Randy Stefani, class of 1981.

  14. I feel so fortunate to have been Randy’s RA when he was already 4 years into beating the odds with his health. He was a great teacher, friend and confidant. He and I had the opportunity to write an article together, which I knew to be characteristic of his student-centric philosophy. But his efforts on my behalf went well beyond that. When a judge called him to check references for my clerkship application, he answered with “Hire him.” He also put me in touch with his son, Pete, when I was looking for schools in Phoenix for my kids. He and Elaine were also gracious enough to take my wife and me out to dinner before graduation. We loved them and will miss them greatly. They were such a great pair, and it is comforting to know that Randy and Elaine have each other again.

  15. Professor Bezanson was brilliant and equally patient. I enjoyed the opportunity to visit him during his office hours and just chat about life. He was giving of his time and an overall phenomenal person. I am glad to say that he was my professor.

    God bless and rest his soul.

  16. Prof. Bezanson taught the Children of the New Biology seminar with Prof. Kurtz. It was a wonderful learning experience. He was truly one of the best. My condolences to his family.
    Mike Kuehn, 88.

  17. I was saddened to hear of Professor Bezanson’s passing. But the mention of his name brings a smile to my face, as I can hear still my favorite salutation from him every time I poked my head in his office to say hello, “Mr. Smith, come on in!” Despite the fact I could see he was always busy, he never failed to make time sit and chat with me. As a black student, I felt very welcomed at the law school. Professor Bezanson was instrumental in creating that atmosphere for me. My deepest condolences to the Bezanson Family.

  18. Condolences to the family of this wonderful educator whom I had the privilege to call my professor while at Iowa. He was always available to his students, in and outside of the classroom. I will forever be grateful for his teachings in mass communications.

  19. I had the opportunity to meet Prof. Bezanson during my years at W&L. I found him graciously willing to discuss with students their needs and concerns. At the time, I doubt that I fully appreciated his humility. In retrospect, I am moved by the sacrifices that he made to assure our well-being.

  20. In 1982, Ernie Kersten, Steve Kraft and I had Randy for Con Law I. One day Steve was supposed to present on the Supreme Court margarine case (McCrary, so he wore a cow suit. With a perfect deadpan, Randy addressed Mr. Kraft as “Mr. Calf.”

  21. Dear Melissa,Peter and the Bezanson Family:

    I was a student in your Father’s classes at the College of Law. He was willing to serve as one of my mentors. When I became a law teacher, he graciously offered his advice and support. I am a much better law teacher—and better person—because of your Father’s example.

    I want to extend my family’s condolences on the loss of your Father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


    David S. Day

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