Scott Hughes, a 2011 summa cum laude Cooley graduate, practices civil litigation, environmental law, and energy and natural resources law at the Grand Rapids firm of Mika Meyers Beckett & Jones. While he was articles editor of the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, Scott worked daily with our beloved Dawn Beachnau, the long-time administrator of the Law Review who died earlier this year. Scott’s tribute below suggests the kind of impact Dawn had on literally thousands of Cooley students.
I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Dawn C. Beachnau, a mentor and beloved friend. Although the words of one stranger may offer little comfort, my hope is that the collective memories of the students fortunate to know Dawn may provide her friends and family some console during this difficult time.
Dawn’s involvement with the Thomas M. Cooley Law Review extended far beyond administration. Dawn devoted herself not just to the publication, but also to the people involved with the organization. I believe that it was her genuine care for people that motivated Dawn to continue serving on the Law Review year after year. In doing so, Dawn left a lasting mark on countless faculty members and students, including myself.
During my tenure on Law Review, I spent many hours with Dawn and others and created many memories. Still, when I remember Dawn, my mind almost always returns to the same memory, a heartfelt hug and some shared tears in saying our goodbyes just before my graduation. Dawn left me that day with a few special words that I still hold dear to my heart.
I will always remember Dawn for being a loving and compassionate person, and I will remember her bright smile and her caring eyes.