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MU Professor Awarded 2007 Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence

April 3, 2007

Story Contact:  Katherine Kostiuk, 573-882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor Brady Deaton and Chairman Jim Schatz of Commerce Bank today awarded one of the 2007 William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence to R. Wilson Freyermuth, who is John D. Lawson Professor of Law.

Deaton, Schatz and a group of professors, administrators and staff paid a surprise visit to Freyermuth's classroom to honor him with the Fellowship, which includes a $10,000 award. Fellowships are awarded to five outstanding teachers at the University of Missouri-Columbia each year.

The William T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence were established in 1991 with a $500,000 gift. Kemper, a 1926 MU graduate, was a well known civic leader in Kansas City, Mo., until his death in 1989. His 52-year career in banking included top positions at banks in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. Commerce Bank manages the trust fund.

R. Wilson Freyermuth, John D. Lawson Professor of Law

Freyermuth joined the University of Missouri-Columbia law faculty in 1992 and teaches in the areas of property, real estate, secured transactions and local government. He currently serves as the executive director of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Real Property Acts and served as the reporter for the Uniform Assignment of Rents Act and the Uniform Residential Mortgage Satisfaction Act. He has co-authored texts in both property and secured transactions.

"Professor Freyermuth is an extremely versatile teacher who is able to reach different groups of students in these different courses and who effectively conveys both the subject matter in question and his passion and respect for the subject matter," said R. Lawrence Dessem, dean and professor of law.

The MU School of Law has recognized his achievements in the classroom and awarded him the Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award. He also was named the Phi Alpha Delta Teacher of the Year.

Freyermuth's teachings go beyond MU, as is illustrated by his computer-based learning exercises in the area of property law. He was named by the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) as its property fellow in 2000. The exercises that he created for CALI have been distributed nationally and are used at law schools across the country. Additionally, he has spoken on "Teaching Property Law for the 21st Century" at the American Association of Law Schools' Conference on Property Law.

Beyond his achievements outside the classroom, it is Freyermuth's demeanor and respect for his students that astound not only his students but also fellow law faculty members.

"He maintains a quite literal 'open door policy,' and students frequently avail themselves of the opportunity to talk to him in his office," Dessem said.

Freyermuth takes pleasure in keeping in contact with former students. His love of students led Freyermuth to organize and advise the Alumni Advisory Board at the law school.

Freyermuth is a graduate of Duke University School of Law and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.