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Citing Curtis Reitz: Professor Marks 45 Years of Teaching
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Renzulli would go on to become a partner with Duane Morris & Heckscher LLP, and a partner to Reitz. They were married in 1983 and each has three children from previous marriages. Reitz and Renzulli are avid ballroom dancers, hold season tickets to The Philadelphia Orchestra, and hike in their beloved Adirondacks, where they built a home. The dreamy mountain ranges are inspiring Reitz to delve into geology.

“When we go to alumni gatherings,” says Renzulli, “almost inevitably someone comes up to Curtis and says ‘I learned so much from you. You were my best teacher.’ I think that was my reaction too.”

“I had Curtis Reitz for first year contracts,” recalls Edward B. Rock L’83 Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law. “…Years later, as I was preparing to teach contracts for the first time … we talked about his teaching approach. Curtis told me, ‘I don’t know how to teach people law. I only know how to help them teach themselves.’ And that he did.”

Reitz was named provost and vice president of the University in 1971 and served as counselor to the president from 1973 to 1986, teaching all the while. Reitz says it was an “intellectual challenge to get to know from the very top of the university what makes the place tick.” Financial issues, state funding, and the social unrest of the day were major issues. “We [also] did some creative things in those years,” says Reitz. Among them was enriching the student experience with the college house model of students and faculty living in residence, creating the University Scholars research honors program, developing freshmen seminars, and hiring the first vice provost for university life. During Reitz’s administrative tenure, the University instituted a new financial management system and made major changes in the University’s physical plant – including landscaping College Green.

“His luminous mind was coupled with a sense of precision and a most humane sense of the purposes of universities,” says University President Emeritus Martin Meyerson. “I count it as a blessing, quite apart from his provostship, that I came to know this wonderful human being and especially distinguished lawyer.”

To Richard Bazelon, Reitz is “a model of what a lawyer should be – very sensitive to issues of professional responsibility, very concerned about advancing the law, and really thoughtful about legal issues.”

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