Welcome to the first post in our “Who Are These People, or WATP series. If you have ever visited the Coleman Karesh Law Library at the University of South Carolina, you may have noticed that the library is chock full of paintings. We decided that it might be fun to tell you a little about the men and women living in said paintings. In turn, WATP was born. (On a side note, I’m not convinced that WATP is going to survive as an acronym. If you have any other ideas, please let us know.)
The initial offering of the Who Are These People series is a teacher, a scholar, and the eponym of our beloved library:
The painting is located to the right of the elevators on the first floor of the Coleman Karesh Law Library at the University of South Carolina.
And why is Professor Karesh important? Why is he so famous that he has an entire library, nay, an entire university LAW library, as his namesake. Does he really deserve to be the first entry in the prestigious Who Are These People blog series? Well, let’s just ask the Memory Hold The Door project, which chronicles famous South Carolina legal professionals. From Professor Karesh’s Memory Hold The Door entry:
“Coleman Karesh was born in Newburg, New York, the son of Rabbi David Karesh and Lena Mishkoff Karesh. He was survived by his widow, Alice Freed Karesh, and four daughters.
He graduated from the University of South Carolina, receiving an A.B. degree in 1923 and an LL.B. degree in 1925. He practiced law in Columbia for twelve years with Senator James H. Hammond.
In 1937, he joined the law faculty of the University of South Carolina and taught until his retirement in 1972. He was the first recipient of the Russell Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1957. Upon his retirement, the library in the new University of South Carolina School of Law was named the Coleman Karesh Library, recognizing his long and brilliant career in teaching. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Alpha Delta, the American Law Institute, and was, for many years, the State of South Carolina’s Commissioner on Uniform State Laws.
A master teacher, his scholarship was precise and profound, his teaching blended wit with wisdom. Long after graduation, his students, judges and lawyers alike, constantly sought his counsel. No man in his generation had as much influence on the State of South Carolina’s Bench and Bar. He lives in the hearts of those who felt his reverence for the law and loyalty to its principles.”