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We’re looking for your memories of four Baylor giants

The next issue of the Baylor Line is coming soon, and while we’re not going to tell you what’s in store, we will say that there will be a salute to Jack Loftis, Ralph Storm, Mary McCall, and Matt Dawson, who have all passed away in recent months.

In addition to the articles that we’ve written, we wanted to give YOU a chance to let us know if any of the four had an impact on your life or you shared a memorable moment.  Just Comment on this post or send a note to  Thanks.

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6 thoughts on “We’re looking for your memories of four Baylor giants”

  1. Brad Cates (BBA, Class of '77; JD, '80)

    What do I, or any other Practice Court student from the “Mad Dog” era, NOT remember about Matt Dawson? When he approved of my performance, I was sky high; when he disapproved, I was quickly looking for the hole beneath the rock from which I apparently crawled. Professor Dawson was preeminent among a special group of law professors who managed my metamorphosis from a law student into a lawyer. His teaching of litigation skills was without equal, but I will remember him best for how he prepared me to respond to difficult clients, disingenuous opposing attorneys, oppressive judges, and my own mistakes, for if I could stand strong in the face of his almost daily “correction,” I could persevere against any conflict the practice of law hurled my way. I will miss him.

  2. Ralph Storm and his wife were the official greeting committee for recruits at Baylor in the early 70’s . He was a big man, always had a smile for you and loved Baylor. He was genuine and sincere when talking about Baylor being the best place to get an education and play football. I listened to him and others and never have regretted the decision. Ralph’s daughters Kathy and Susan were wonderful classmates too. Ralph got us astro turf when we needed it to compete with other SWC schools. His love of God , family, and Baylor are truly a great legacy that will live on.

  3. I entered Baylor Law School in the Spring of 1970 on the combined BBA/JD program. Matt Dawson began his Practice Court tenure in 1971 or thereabouts. We were his first Practice Court class. Russell Serafin and I were Practice Court partners. We tried the first case under Mr. Dawson’s scrutiny. We tried the case in the morning. We tried the case in the afternoon. This went on for two consecutive weeks. What impressed me most about Mr. Dawson was his cross examination skills. He could cross examine anyone anywhere regardless of their vocation, occupation or profession. I will never forget the first exam he gave us at the end of the quarter. My recollection is that we had four hours to complete the exam. I don’t think a person could have finished that exam in eight hours. Our first born arrived in 1973. We named him Matt Mosley. That was no coincidence. Mr. Dawson inspired those of us who were his students. To me he was always Mr. Dawson. I never had the courage or the desire to call him ‘Mad Dog’ although I’m sure it was designed to be used in a complimentary manner. Mr. Dawson was the consummate professional.

  4. Ralph Walton (BA, JD 1972)

    He was always Mr. Dawson, although the moniker, “Mad Dog”, I’m sure was intended as a compliment for his tenacious and exceptional skills as a trial lawyer. He was second to none, and although I was intimidated by Mr. Dawson as a law student, I’m not sure I ever got over the respectful fear that I had for him. I was appointed to the District Court bench in 1984 (by a Baylor grad, Mark White), and I remember telling Mr. Dawson about my appointment at Homecoming that year. He sincerely expressed his congratulations, and he told me that if he had ever had aspirations to be a judge, it would have been as a trial judge. He may have just been being nice, but it sure made this young lawyer feel better about taking the bench. He is an iconic figure in the history of Baylor Law School, and in our profession, and he will not be forgotten. Ralph Walton

  5. Keith Lemons (BA, JD 1978)

    During our third practice court trial, my practice court partner and I were trying a law suit against the eventual National Mock Trial winners. My partner was making his final argument when Mr. Dawson stepped into the room. He listened a moment then began to speak to my partner (with one of his trademarked, drawn out beginnings with the pace of adomonitory language speeding up ) “Dooonn’t…. yaahh .. knoooww….., you NEVER apologize for your client, you STAY on the OFFENSE, the best defense is offense….” and continued with some other choice remarks which left indelible imprints on each of us.
    The next day, a group of practice court students was standing at the posted practice court trial brackets while I was recounting the episode. At one point I remarked ‘then Mad Dog lit into….’ when I noticed a couple of listeners’ eyes widen a second before I felt a hand on my shoulder – it was Mr. Dawson smiling from ear to ear and said, “And you did a fine job, too” and walked away. That memory is as fresh as if it occurred yesterday afternoon and his statement encouraged me more than I can express despite the awkward situation I was in at the time. When Mr. Dawson said something, you took it to heart.
    He knew “Mad Dog” was as much a term of endearment as respect and it was. There were a few that did not appreciate then what was obvious later – he had molded each of us into not only competent, but formidable trial lawyers before we had even received our licenses! There is no question that I owe Matt Dawson for the greater part of the success I have had in my trial practice for the last 37 years.
    I called him a few times for advice in my first two years of practice; once while running for District Attorney in the Panhandle. I was surprised and honored to receive a personal check from him for $50.00 to help with my uphill campaign. But, that was Mr. Dawson, always doing the unexpected and going the extra mile.
    Matt Dawson was one of the greatest practice court professors that there will ever be in any law school. He loved his work; his students; and, had mastered the use of what I believe was ‘tough love’ to squeeze out the best trial skills each had to offer. No one, save my wife, can appreciate how fortunate I feel to have been taught by Matt “Mad Dog” Dawson. Each time I am in the court room, I can hear the echoes of his advice and admonishments, of which both ultimately made it second nature to go above and beyond the expected; prepare for everything and anything; to never leave anything in the courtroom but your best; to respect your clients and your opponents; to respectfully stand your ground with judges; and, success will follow. My go-to train of thought when hit with something unexpected is ‘what would Mr. Dawson do?” The answer was actually obvious – ‘always stay on offense.’ What made the obvious unique is that I learned that offense from the best there will ever be. I will miss the great man, but his spirit has been and will stay with me for the rest of my life.

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