When I first arrived at the UIUC College of Law as a brand new law professor, one of the first people to befriend me was a junior civil procedure professor named Tom Mengler. Tom was a wonderful teacher and scholar, as well as a kind and generous person with great judgment. After Illinois went through a couple of disatrous failed deadships and dean searches, the powers that be finally decided to take a chance on the then still quite young Mengler. Tom did a great job as Dean at Illinois. Indeed, the prospect of continuing to serve under his leadership was one of the few factors that weighed in favor of staying at Illinois when I was offered my current job at UCLA. (Sorry, Tom, but not even your leadership could overcome the disparity in weather!) Tom went on to a successful deanship at St Thomas and has now been named President of St. Mary's University -- the first lay President in the University's history, no less.
Elizondo said that Mengler's experience in academics, fundraising and his “firm foundation in faith” were reasons he stood out.
As dean for the past 10 years, Mengler guided the School of Law to several important milestones, including American Bar Association accreditation, the $100 million mark in fundraising and hiring a nationally recognized faculty, according to a St. Thomas news release.
I'm not surprised Tom has had this record of success. He took to academic administration like a duck to water, But I'm proud to say that I knew him when ....