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MSU College of Law

In Memoriam: Professor Craig R. Callen

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Professor Craig R. Callen, who died Saturday, April 23, 2011, after a brief illness. The Michigan State University College of Law has suffered a terrible loss. Craig Callen has been at the heart of our world, as a respected scholar, dedicated faculty leader, generous mentor, and beloved teacher and friend.

Craig made a wonderful academic home at the Law College. He was voted by the students as their Distinguished Professor of 2011, served on the elected Faculty Advisory Council. Craig brought intelligence, humor, independence, and decency to everything he did.

Professor Callen, the Judge John D. O’Hair Professor of Evidence and Procedure, was a member of the MSU Law faculty since 2002. He taught Civil Procedure and Evidence. From 1998 until his passing, he served as editor-in-chief of International Commentary on Evidence , an experimental electronic journal that he helped establish.

Professor Callen’s students and friends knew him to be a person of wide-ranging interests. He read mysteries, philosophy, history, and poetry. He enjoyed an extensive classical music collection. He was an avid University of Iowa, Minnesota Vikings, and Minnesota Twins fan.

Professor Callen served as a chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Evidence, a member of the board of directors for the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), and a member of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section’s Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence.

Professor Callen earned a B.A. with honors and high distinction in 1971 from the University of Iowa, and a J.D. in 1974 from Harvard Law School. He practiced law with firms in Chicago and Milwaukee before taking the advice of his law school professor, Archibald Cox, to consider teaching. He began his academic career in 1978 at the University of Miami School of Law. He also taught at Oklahoma City University School of Law and Mississippi College School of Law, where he held the J. Will Young Professorship. He was a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Leiden in The Netherlands.

Professor Callen is survived by his mother, Evelyn Callen; his sister, Sheri (Frank) Gustafson; his brother, Bruce (Sandy) Callen; his niece, Linda Parker (Antoine); his nephew, Andrew Peek; his niece, Jenna Callen; his nephew, Michael Callen; and his grandnieces and grandnephews. Those who wish to extend condolences or share memories with the family may send them to The Family of Professor Craig Callen, c/o Michigan State University College of Law, 368 Law College Building, East Lansing, MI 48824-1300.

Members of the Law College community paid their respects and shared remembrances of Professor Callen at a memorial service at Michigan State University College of Law on Wednesday, April 27. A funeral service also will be held in Des Moines, Iowa in June.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made in Professor Callen’s name to the Parkinson Foundation or the Craig R. Callen Scholarship at the MSU College of Law.

Amicus magazine: Death Notice (Spring 2011, p. 3) PDF »

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