Life as a legal scholar requires a dedicated immersion into one’s specialty, countless hours of study, and a commitment to growth. Many work with the hope of receiving an appointment to chair in law, and after many years of hard work, a College of Law legal scholar has reached this well-deserved achievement.
Ryan Rowberry, professor of law and co-director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth has been named the inaugural Janice C. Griffith Chair in Law.
“[This] is a very fitting tribute to Ryan, who has been a truly transformative steward of our law school community,” said John Travis Marshall, co-director of the Metro Growth Center.
“It recognizes not only that Ryan is a leading national and international authority on historic preservation, disaster resilience, and cultural resource issues, but that he is an equally devoted and brilliant colleague and teacher.”
Consistently creating a positive environment for those around him, Rowberry is looking forward to figuring out the best way to use this appointment to advance the programs of the Metro Growth Center and to impact the lives of students here at the College of Law.
“I am very humbled and grateful to be named the inaugural Janice C. Griffith Chair in Law. I have known Janice for years and have admired her scholarship in local government… I am incredibly grateful for her generosity in endowing this Chair,” said Rowberry.
Throughout her career, Griffith has achieved numerous honors spanning from her most recent publication in the Environmental Law Institute’s Annual Review (ELPAR) in 2021 , to being recognized in a 2005 resolution by the Georgia House of Representatives dedicated to commending Griffith as the dean of the College of Law.
From 1996 to 2004 Griffith guided the college with strong leadership and scholarship in local government. A combination that made her essential in establishing the college’s Center for Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth.
Today, Griffith’s impact on the Center continues through the Janice C. Griffith Chair in Law endowment fund, which aims to provide financial support to a College of Law faculty member whose area of study focuses on policymaking, land use planning, preservation, and sustainability.
As a scholar devoted to the study of contemporary legal issues involving cultural and historic preservation, Rowberry made an ideal appointee.
Praise offered by Marshall confesses how, “Ryan [Rowberry] has done, and continues to do, this demanding intellectual work, and he does it with the type of enthusiasm and cheerfulness and earnest curiosity that not only invites but inspires collaboration of colleagues across our downtown campus and across the globe.”
To Rowberry, preserving our past means preserving our future. He offers the perspective that, “Historic resources stand at the very heart of what makes a city a city, so finding ways to conserve what we have while building for the future is a challenge that I enjoy thinking about.”
-Alaina Vacante (J.D. ’24)