Lawrence A. Jegen, III of Indianapolis, Indiana (and throughout his life affectionately known as "the Professor") died on Thursday, May 17, 2018, after a brief battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and the thousands of Indiana University McKinney Law School students and other professionals whose lives he touched in the classroom and various seminars throughout his 56-year teaching career.
Professor Jegen was born in Chicago on November 16, 1934, to Lawrence A. Jegen, Jr. and Katherine Mary (Stibgen) Jegen. He spent several formative and fond years living with his grandmother, Mildred Stibgen, in Freeport, Illinois, along with his great aunt and great uncle. Although he was offered a football scholarship to Notre Dame University, Professor Jegen attended and graduated from Beloit College in Wisconsin in 1956 with a B.A. in philosophy and literature. In 1959, he received his J.D. from the University of Michigan and in 1960 an M.B.A. in accounting from the University of Michigan. In 1963, he received an LL.M. in taxation from New York University.
In August 1962, he became an Assistant Professor of Law and was made a full Professor of Law in 1966 at the predecessor to Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. During his tenure, he taught taxation, estate planning, and philanthropy. Professor Jegen was devoted to Indiana University and to his students. He found his calling in teaching and shared his joy of learning and of the law. He believed greatness lay within all his students and sought to help them grow throughout their careers even years after graduation.
His teaching extended far beyond the law school as well. He co-founded the Indiana Bar Review, now part of the Indianapolis Bar Association, and gave over 400 bar review tax lectures over 35 years. He also co-founded the Annual Tax Institute for Colleges and Universities with Stewart T. Cobine, which educated thousands of lawyers and accountants from 1994 to 2010.
Professor Jegen received many awards throughout his storied career, including the President's Distinguished Teaching Award from IU President John Ryan in 1987 and The Teaching Excellence Recognition Award from the IU Board of Trustees in 1997. In 1993 and 2005 he received the Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion, which is the highest award granted by Indiana University. He was especially grateful for the "Black Cane Award" he received six times from students recognizing him as the most outstanding law professor. He was also honored by three Indiana governors with a "Sagamore of the Wabash" (Governors Welsh, Whitcomb, and Bowen).
Professor Jegen's contributions to the enactment of ERISA were recognized with an invitation to attend the signing of ERISA in the Rose Garden on September 2, 1974, which he attended along with President Gerald Ford, members of Congress and other dignitaries. ERISA remains one of the most important tax and labor acts of legislation ever enacted.
Professor Jegen is survived by his son, David Jegen, of Newton, Massachusetts, his daughter-in-law Cindy Greene, his grandchildren Alina and Ames Jegen, and the mother of his children and former wife, Janet Jegen. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Kae Headland of Indian Head Park, Illinois, and niece, Holly Ann Oliver of Beecher, Illinois, and by his companion Linda Nichols Kenny of Indianapolis. He was preceded in death by his daughter Christine Marie Jegen, an enduring light in Professor Jegen and all her family.
Professor Jegen was a teacher, a maverick and a master storyteller. He lived life on his own terms. He was loved and will be missed, but may his legacy live on in the hearts of those he touched.
A Celebration of Life service has been planned for Sunday, June 3rd, at the Indiana State House, 200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, in the North Atrium at 3:00 pm. There is a public entrance at Capitol and Market Streets and also an ADA accessible entry on the Senate Street side. The State House parking lot will be available.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Christine Marie Jegen Scholarship for Undergraduate Women Fund held with the IU Foundation (#038G030083) at the Showalter House, 1500 North State Road 46 Bypass, Bloomington, IN 47408.
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I just spent the past half hour recounting my experience in Professor Jegen's class with my colleagues. While it was not a class I wanted to take or a subject that I cared for, he made a lifelong impression on me. His love for his work and the fervor with which he immersed himself in the law were glowingly apparent. He made the subject of tax law as interesting as humanly possible, was the most fair and even individual I can recall and genuinely cared about help us all to grasp the concept he was instructing. Me deepest sympathy on such a loss. God Bless him and his family.
David D. and Tara L. Becsey, Class of 1991
We both dreaded taking the required income tax course because we had limited knowledge about that subject except for filing our personal returns. I was pleasantly surprised when I absolutely loved the class. At first, I was somewhat intimidated by his mere presence (and having a last name beginning with "B" meant that I was seated in the front row) but he was always a gentle giant and addressed each student as "friend." Professor Jegen had so much energy and made tax interesting and understandable. I'll never forget when, during the extensive final exam, he had burgers, fries, and drinks from McDonald's delivered for all of us; how great was that? My husband and I also had the chance to enjoy his expertise during the bar review course, and I attended several seminars where he spoke and I hung on every word. Professor Jegen was a gifted attorney, lecturer, and teacher and the legal community has lost one of the truly great ones. He will be remembered and missed by everyone who had the opportunity to be his student.
From a student of the class of 1966===after 51 years of practice I have yet to find a greater gentleman and a more get to it teacher than Larry Jegen ===we in the Legal Profession have truly lost ONE OF THE GREAT ONES thank you to the Jegen family James D Blythe II
To Professor Jegen's Family, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Anyone who could take a subject like tax law and make it interesting and fun was nothing less than a genius. Every class he taught was packed with energy and the entire class was often physically and mentally exhausted by the end of one of his lectures. Even when I saw him years later, he would ask about my career and seemed to take a personal pride in my success and that of all of his former students. He was a truly great teacher.
I graduated from law school in 1989. I returned after graduation for a summer course in tax law. (Thankfully I did not have to take an exam!)
A year later I got a call from a gentleman who needed an estate attorney for his mother's estate. Of course, I was just starting out and pretty delighted. Then he told me his story- he had been eating in a restaurant and complaining to his eating companion that he had interviewed three attorneys to handle his mother's estate, and none was acceptable. At that point, Larry Jegen came from the table across from this gentleman's table and gave him the name of an attorney to call - ME.
Certainly amazed me! We had a successful client/attorney relationship, and after that this gentleman came to work for me doing my billing.
After I retired seven years ago David was still connected, now as a friend to the family who sings in choir with my husband and brings wine to our large family gatherings.
Lawrence Jegen gave a gift that night when he recommended my services. Certainly is a gift that keeps on giving.
God bless and keep him
Ruth Ann Hanley
Professor Jegen was one of the best people I've ever known, or known of. He was exceptionally kind, brilliant and generous. Fortunately, there are thousands who will better the world because of him. As a law professor, he was famously unmatched and singular. As a life professor, he was also so, in an array of lesser-known ways. I learned as much from him after graduating as I did in school. For decades after we graduated, he continued to teach, uplift and guide many of us, quietly and always strongly. Belonging to the large company of beneficiaries of his greatness, I will always be most grateful to, and for, Professor Jegen.
To Professor Jegen's family - Peace be upon you. I was honored to take 3 tax classes from Professor Jegen but for some reason did not become a tax lawyer. My fondest memory of him was during the Bar Review Course where my dear friend and I sat in the front row so we could hear and capture the wisdom. Professor Jegen recognized me and began to pepper me with questions which miraculously I was about to answer about 6-8 in a row correctly. He graciously stopped my grilling and said: "You will do fine on the tax section of the exam." He was a splendid teacher, a motivator to achieve excellence. His brilliance will be sorely missed at the School. He will forever be in our hearts and memories.
To the Jegen family, my deepest sympathies. Professor Jegen was a great teacher. He had an uncanny ability to find the one student in a classroom of 100+ who was lost and was able to find where that student was on solid ground and then bring him/her back up step by step until the student was caught up with the rest of the class. It was an amazing thing to watch, even if it wasn't fun if you were the lost student. I liked and respected him so much that I took every one of his classes that I could fit into my schedule. Many students feared him, but I was lucky enough to learn that underneath he was a big teddy bear. He was also a very kind, generous man. A few months before I graduated, he asked me if I had a job lined up yet for after graduation. I did not, so he offered to send out copies of my resume to his network of contacts. To say I was honored that he offered to do this for me is an understatement. I'd seen him a couple of times since I graduated (back in 1996) and he always recognized me and called me by name. A few years ago, I reached out to him to tell him how much I admired him and how much he had meant to my academic career. I will always be glad I took the time to do that.
I will miss him. I've worked at the law school for almost 20 years and Jegen was one of the first people to welcome me. I will never forget proctoring his Saturday tax exams. I enjoyed his sense of humor which could be a bit naughty at times together with the talks we had.
To the family of Professor Jegen - Today and always, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength. He was simply the best - and I was privileged and honored to have him as a professor and mentor as a student and attorney. He will surely be holding court in Heaven re: above/below the line.
Taffie N. Jones
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