Bronze of Late Baylor Law School Dean Angus McSwain Unveiled

Oct. 15, 2013
McSwainOn Oct. 4, Baylor Law School unveiled a bronze bust depicting the late Dean Angus McSwain. McSwain's son and daughter-in-law, Andy (JD '84) and Chris, stand next to the sculpture.

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Contact: Janet Perez, Baylor Law School, 254 710-6681

WACO, Texas (Oct. 14, 2013) - Baylor Law School has unveiled a bronze bust depicting the late Dean Angus McSwain.

The bronze, unveiled on Oct. 4, was a yearlong labor of love by members of the Baylor Law School Class of 1972. The effort was led by Baylor Law School Professor Tom Featherston and his friend and former classmate, Pat Shaw, JD '72, as well as John Mosley, Lou Sandbote, Arnie Cavazos and Hal Laine.

"Last summer, Pat and I were talking about Dean McSwain and agreed that something special should be done to honor him so that future generations of Baylor Law students would know who he was and what he meant and still means to the Law School," Featherston said. "He was not only the Dean, but also our teacher, a mentor and our friend."

McSwain passed away in May 2011. He earned his LLB in 1949 from Baylor Law, where he was first in his class. He later earned an LLM from the University of Michigan Law School. He served as a professor of law at Baylor from 1949-1965, when he became dean. McSwain would lead the Baylor Law School for the next 19 years. McSwain returned to full-time teaching in 1984 and was named The Gov. Bill and Vara Faye Daniel Chair of Property Law in 1985. In 1990, he was designated a master teacher, the highest honor granted to Baylor faculty members. Although he officially "retired" in 1994, McSwain continued to teach until 2008 -- a total of 59 years.

Having always admired the bronze bust of Judge Abner V. McCall that resides on the third floor of the Law School, Featherston suggested a similar tribute to McSwain. Featherston and Shaw then invited other members of the Class of 1972 to help raise money to pay for the sculpture, which was created by Clifton-based artist Bruce Greene.

"We had a great response and the cost of the bronze was raised," Featherston said.

Among the attendees at the unveiling were McSwain's son, Andy McSwain, JD '84, and Baylor President Ken Starr. The bronze now stands alongside that of Judge McCall.

Although not a member of the Class of 1972, Baylor Law's Practice Court Director Jerry Powell attended Baylor Law during Dean McSwain's tenure. He echoes Featherston's admiration for the late dean.

"Dean Angus McSwain is the stuff of legends at Baylor," Powell said. "He was one of the most knowledgeable men I have ever known, and not just about the law of property. He was the complete scholar. I could, and regularly did, listen to him discuss with great intelligence matters of law, history, science, religion and of life itself. But he was also a genuinely modest, kind and caring man. Oh, and he could tell a really good story too. In so many positive ways Dean McSwain influenced the lives of generations of Baylor Lawyers."


Established in 1857, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,000 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. The Law School boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature, among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S.News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Baylor Law School is ranked No. 54 in the magazine's 2013 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." Learn more at


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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