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In Memory of Judge Dorothy Toth Beasley ’64: A Trailblazing Alumna and Beloved Friend

A Message to the WCL Communityfrom Dean Roger A. Fairfax Jr.

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Judge Dorothy Toth Beasley
Judge Dorothy Toth Beasley '64

Dear WCL Community:

I write with the sad news that Judge Dorothy Toth Beasley ’64 passed away over the weekend following an illness.

Judge Beasley was an extraordinary and committed alumna of the Washington College of Law. She served on the Dean’s Advisory Council and provided me with sound advice and encouragement throughout my tenure. She attended every DAC meeting, and always came equipped with thought-provoking questions and innovative ideas. Indeed, she was an active participant in our most recent DAC meeting last month.

She also was a generous supporter of WCL, donating nearly $1 million to WCL during her lifetime. In 2007, she made a gift to establish the Stephen and Beatrice Dodd Toth Endowed Scholarship Fund to honor her parents and support WCL students interested in public service. I have fond memories of Judge Beasley meeting with the Toth Scholarship recipients periodically in the Dean’s Conference Room.

Perhaps most impressive was her trailblazing career. In 1977, she became the first woman appointed and then elected as judge to the State Court of Fulton County, Georgia. She then became the first woman to serve on the Georgia state appellate court when Governor Joe Frank Harris appointed her in 1984.

Although she retired from the bench in 1999, the Court of Appeals courthouse still reflects Judge Beasley’s impact. Etched in marble above the judges’ bench, the court’s credo previously read “Upon the integrity, wisdom and independence of the judiciary depend the sacred rights of free men.” However, after eight years of advocacy by Judge Beasley, two words – “and women” – were added to the engraved quote.

Many of you will remember that we bestowed upon Judge Beasley the Lifetime Philanthropy Award last year during the Legends and Leaders event.

Judge Beasley represented the best of our WCL alumni community, and we will miss her dearly.

In sadness,

Dean Roger A. Fairfax Jr.

ѿý Washington College of Law