Richard Randall ā€™54 Lā€™58: Contributing to the Future

Richard Randall

Richard Randall

If there’s one skill Richard Randall ’54 L’58 seems to have honed to perfection, it’s time management. His command of the clock served him well during his nearly 40 years as a practicing attorney and corporate executive, but it was just a nascent skill as he began an overwhelmingly busy first year at the College of Law.

Not that Randall’s undergraduate years at the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School were idle. Raised on a farm in Northern New England, Randall arrived in Syracuse with lots of learning to do. “I was really a hayseed,” Randall laughed. “My Phi Delta brothers even helped me with what shoes to wear and which ties I should have left back home!”

A dean and a dream

Randall didn’t need his fraternity brothers’ help when it came to deciding his career path. Early in his freshman year, he attended a talk given by Ralph Kharas, dean of the College of Law, and a mentorship was born. “Dean Kharas was so helpful and took an interest that really encouraged me to get my college degree and my law degree,” said Randall.

By the summer of 1955, Randall was not only a college graduate, but a husband, father, and soon-to-be first-year law student facing a heavy academic load and financial challenges. That’s when Randall let Kharas know he’d be taking a night job. “And the dean said to me in the nicest way possible ‘that’s not practical’,” said Randall. “But finally after I told him there was no other way I could go to law school, he agreed.” Randall not only maintained high grades, but became editor and business manager of the Syracuse Law Review and a member of the law school honor court. “I learned to apportion my time and I was near the top of my class all the way through,” he said.

Contributing to the future

From his first job with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to high-level positions with McDonnell Douglas, Randall enjoyed a long and successful legal career. The time management skills he developed during his years at SU served him well. “I think working through law school made me realize it wasn’t that hard, you just had to train yourself to be multi-faceted. I think it was a great experience that the dean allowed me to work nights and still go to school.”

Grateful for this experience and the opportunities his law school education afforded him, Randall has made a bequest to the University, allowing his gift to be used for the University’s highest priorities.

These days, Randall manages a “70-and-older” softball team and even in retirement, he still knows how to make the best use of his time. “You’ve got stay busy, but the secret is doing things you enjoy. That’s so important,” he said.

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