South Carolina's Flagship University

In Memoriam - Dr. Harry M. Lightsey, Jr.

[Portrait of Dr. Harry M. Lightsey, Jr.]

The School of Law lost a beloved member of its community when alumnus and former dean Harry M. Lightsey, Jr., died on Sunday, January 15, 2006 at the age of 74. Dr. Lightsey served as an adjunct and then full-time professor at the school for nearly 20 years, and as Dean from 1980 through 1985.

Dr. Lightsey was a native of Columbia, graduating from Dreher High School and Clemson University. He received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Georgia before graduating from the School of Law summa cum laude in 1961. His career as a student at the law school was quite distinguished; his honors and achievements included graduating with a 4.0 grade point average and serving as Editor of the South Carolina Law Review, Chief Justice of the Order of the Wig and Robe, and captain of the Moot Court team.

In his practice of law, Dr. Lightsey served the State of South Carolina in a wide range of public and private positions. He was well known for his expertise in regulatory law. He also was an Assistant Attorney General, General Counsel to the South Carolina Public Service Commission, and Legal Advisor to the President of the South Carolina Senate, Senate Finance Committee, and Senate Banking and Insurance Commission. He was also active in politics.

Dr. Lightsey's interest in education was a theme throughout his life. When he stepped down as Dean of the School of Law, he served as President of the College of Charleston for six years beginning in 1986. He also served on the Commission for Higher Education. He published numerous books and articles, and received honorary doctorate degrees from five colleges and universities. He established endowments at several schools, including an endowed scholarship at the School of Law. Teaching was one of his loves, and his students held him in the highest regard as a teacher, mentor, and friend.

Dr. Lightsey's service included positions on numerous boards and commissions, as well as within his church. The South Carolina Bar awarded him the Durant Distinguished Public Service Award in 1991, and he received the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian honor, in 1993.

Dr. Lightsey's contributions were so wide-ranging that it can surely be said his impact has been felt in every part of the state. He will be remembered as a leader in the legal profession and in higher education, and the School of Law is proud to honor his memory.