My protestant Christian law professor (there was only one at Harvard Law at the time), Bill Stuntz, passed away on March 15 after a long battle with cancer. Here’s the article in the Harvard Law newspaper: http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2011/03/15_william-stuntz.html
In the world of law, he was one of the most highly respected criminal law minds. In fact, his “Policing the Police” was one of my favorite classes during law school and has most shaped and informed my legal career.
In the kingdom of God, Stuntz was a warrior, an advocate, and an example to follow. I remember the way he supported our Christian Fellowship. I remember him delighting in his children, advocating for his daughter, and being devoted to his wife. I am thankful for the generosity he showed me and Niki in the gift he got us for our wedding. I was shaped by the way he challenged my thinking as a Christian–from prosperity theology to the calling of a lawyer. And I am grateful for the way he put things into perspective during my turbulent 3rd year when I was unable to get a job in one of the big-named-law-firms most respected by the Harvard Law crowd. “What matters to these people doesn’t really matter,” he said. There was something about it coming from him that made it true.
I admire the way he fought the good fight. I remember him talking about the intensity of the spiritual battle he and his family faced in Cambridge and how tempting it was to move back to UVA. But he didn’t. He knew God called him to Harvard Law, and he was not going to concede the ground to the enemy.
His perseverance served as a light in the darkness to us believers on campus. I remember walking across campus one night, totally overwhelmed and in despair. Law school was hard. And it seemed like it wasn’t worth it. But then I walked past the library and saw Stuntz’s light on in his office. Just knowing he was there was such an encouragement to continue persevering myself.
I also remember how nothing shook his belief in the goodness of God. No matter how sick he was, he believed in God, he trusted God, and he knew God was good.
He lived well. He fought well. He made a profound difference. And I believe he has heard those priceless words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”