In Memoriam: Royal Graham Shannonhouse III, former professor
Having joined the School of Law in 1969, Royal Graham Shannonhouse III developed a reputation during his nearly 25 years teaching at the University of Baltimore. His students remember him with affection as an exacting but passionate professor, one so admired that they clamored for him to provide the commencement keynote in 1977. Shannonhouse taught at the law school until 1993, but his commitment to his field continued until he retired from private practice in 2009, a year before his death.
Here, a current UB faculty member reminisces about his former professor:
I believe that, in my 38 years at [the University of Baltimore], Royal Graham Shannonhouse III may have been the greatest law professor that we have had. He was the most feared and the most loved—all at the same time. Professor Shannonhouse taught me property in 1973, and he taught my wife equitable remedies in 1990. He managed a very heavy teaching load. He joined the law faculty as a 40-year-old in the fall of 1969, which was the year that U of B started its day[time] law school. Professor Shannonhouse was one of only three full-time law professors at that time.
All the students called Professor Shannonhouse by his universal nickname: “The House.” Inside the classroom, he was a terror and very demanding; outside the classroom, he would do whatever he could to provide his students with guidance, advice and insight into both the law and life. He considered the law a sacred calling, and he did his best to instill its values in his students. Professor Shannonhouse was so loved by our class that we demanded—and the dean [Joseph Curtis] agreed—to violate an unwritten rule, and Professor Shannonhouse became our commencement speaker.
In the summer of 2009, Professor Shannonhouse’s students—now men and women in their 50s and 60s—gathered with excitement, like little children, as we celebrated his 80th birthday. He told us that we were his legacy. We each got to tell our favorite story from the era of “The House.”
Last summer, at 81, Professor Shannonhouse passed away. We all went to his service. We will miss him. We truly loved that man.
—Byron L. Warnken, J.D. ’77, associate professor, UB School of Law