Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Dick Seeburger was one of the smartest, kindest people I ever have known. He used the Socratic method in his teaching, and the questions he posed to his students were so demanding that they affectionately referred to him as "the Riddler." He was able to expand the analytical abilities of even the brightest students, and years after their graduation, many of them continued to speak gratefully of all that he had contributed to their development as critical thinkers.
Dick served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at a time when Pitt's School of Law was expanding dramatically, and he became a mentor to large numbers of more junior faculty members. Not only was I a part of that group, but because we taught some of the same courses, we developed a particularly close bond as professors. Then, when I succeeded him as Associate Dean, he offered invaluable insights regarding the challenges and opportunities that I would encounter as an academic leader.
Most important were the human qualities that Dick brought to everything he did, because they set an inspiring example for all who were around him. He was interested in, and knowledgeable about wide-ranging topics and always was good company. He was unfailingly courteous and respectful and was deeply committed to the greater good. In fact, I cannot remember a single time over the course of the many years that we worked together when anything he said or did was driven by self-interest. In that sense, he was a true institution-builder.
Mark Nordenberg, Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh, Dean Emeritus of its School of Law and Friend, Colleague and Admirer of Dick Seeburger