Thomas R. Beecher, Jr., to Receive Jaeckle Award

By Ilene Fleischmann

Release Date: September 20, 2005

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Thomas Beecher will receive the UB Law School's Jaeckle Award on Oct. 22.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Community leader Thomas R. Beecher, Jr., will receive the 2005 Edwin F. Jaeckle Award from University at Buffalo Law School and the UB Law Alumni Association at a luncheon to be held Oct. 22 in the Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

The award, for UB Law alumnus Edwin F. Jaeckle, Class of 1915, is the highest honor the UB Law School and the Law Alumni Association can bestow. It is given annually to an individual who has distinguished herself or himself and has made significant contributions to the UB Law School and to the legal profession.

Prior Jaeckle Award winners include Hon. Charles S. Desmond, Frank G. Raichle, Jr., M. Robert Koren, Manly Fleischmann, Hon. M. Dolores Denman and UB President William R. Greiner.

The luncheon and award presentation at 12:30 p.m. will follow the morning-long UB Law Alumni Convocation, an annual continuing legal educational program beginning at 8:30 a.m. The convocation's focus this year is "Emerging Developments, Changes and Updates in Bankruptcy Law, Jury Trial Innovations and Aging and the Law." The full morning program is approved for 3 CLE credits in ethics and professional practice.

Nils Olsen, law school dean and professor, praised Beecher, noting that "Tom's service to the community and the university has been exemplary. Few have devoted as much time and effort to improving the lives of others through his many leadership roles over the course of his long and distinguished career. His guidance to the UB Law School through his membership on the Dean's Advisory Council has helped us enormously. He is an exceptionally worthy recipient of the Jaeckle Award."

Beecher is a partner in the Buffalo law firm Phillips Lytle, where he concentrates his practice on estates and trusts, corporate governance, closely held companies, foundations and not-for-profit entities. But it is his involvement in myriad business and charitable initiatives that has left the most lasting impression on Western New York.

Beecher is chair of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC), a nonprofit corporation founded to cultivate a world-class medical campus in downtown Buffalo. Under Beecher's leadership, and in partnership with its member institutions, local government, and the surrounding neighborhoods, the BNMC is implementing a comprehensive master plan for development of its 100-acre campus. This area includes the three new buildings of the Buffalo Life Sciences Complex as well as the region's premier clinical, research and academic institutions. In addition to improving the physical infrastructure, the BNMC supports scientific recruitment efforts of its member institutions, while fostering entrepreneurial opportunities. Additionally, the medical campus has partnered with the neighborhoods in obtaining national foundation support for infrastructure improvement initiatives and other efforts to support development and growth.

As board chairman of Buffalo General Hospital from 1991-94, Beecher helped lay the groundwork for the hospital's merger with two other hospitals into the Kaleida Health System. He chaired that system's board in 1999 and 2000.

He co-founded BISON, the Buffalo Inner-City Scholarship Opportunity Network, which funds scholarships for low-income students seeking private secondary education. He served on the boards of directors of Canisius College and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a trustee of the Messer and LeBrun foundations and is on the advisory board of the Children's Educational Opportunity Foundation.

In all, Beecher has served on the boards of a dozen companies, four foundations and more than 30 community organizations. He uses his nickname, "Trustee Tom," as his e-mail address.

The grandson of Irish immigrants who built a thriving textile business, Beecher also runs Ballynoe, Inc., which funds scholarships and educational travel for his large extended family.

He also serves on the Dean's Advisory Council at the UB Law School and is a member of the Law School's Class of 1959.

The first part of the convocation will focus on the new Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. The second part of the program will focus on new developments and recent trends in the use of jurors, including permitting jurors to ask questions and innovations to jury instructions. The convocation's final presentation will focus on aging and the law, with discussions on guardianship and Medicare drug benefits.

The fee to attend both the convocation and Jaeckle luncheon is $75 per person for Law Alumni Association members who have paid their dues for 2005-06, and $85 per person for all others. A table of 10 may be purchased for $750. Patron tickets are available for an additional $25 for individuals and an additional $200 for firms.

To register, call the UB Law Alumni Office at 645-2107 by Oct. 15 or mail a check made payable to the UB Law Alumni Association and send to UB Law Alumni Office, 312 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260. Fax registration will be accepted for those paying by credit card (Fax: 645-5940).