By Donna Parker
Geary Reamey, who received a bachelor's degree in history from Trinity in 1970, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor know how to have a good time in the streets of Austria, as evidenced by, well—the hat!
“This photo was taken in 2001, and she had actually purchased the hat for her nephew,” laughs Geary. “I wandered around Innsbruck with it on.”
When asked if he got any strange looks, Geary says, “You’d be surprised how many tourists do all kinds of goofy things!”
Geary was again recently in Austria for a serious honor. He was awarded the Culture Medal of Honor by the City of Innsbruck for contributions in the areas of art and culture.
“The award was in recognition of my role as co-founder and director of the St. Mary’s University Institute on World Legal Problems. The Institute hosts an annual summer program held in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck.”
The program draws American, Austrian and other law students from more than 130 universities who study international law taught by scholars, including seven Justices of the Supreme Court.
Geary, who is a professor of law and the co-director of international legal programs, has long been involved with this program and says it’s been a wonderful teaching experience.
“Austrian students are interested in courses about U.S. law taught by American instructors. They are interested in the broader picture of the law, very well-prepared and engaged actively in learning, which is a real joy.”
Geary has spent a considerable amount of his time in Austria when not in his role as St. Mary’s University professor of law. He loves the freedom to walk out his Innsbruck front door and poke around. He’s traveled to Vienna for festivals and loves the live music and arts and crafts booths.
“I’ve wandered around and taken in free performances by first-class entertainers. Then, it’s onto street food—delicious wurst stands and roasted chestnuts in a little paper cone. Many things in Europe are different. Stores in France, for example, devote aisle after aisle to different kinds of cheeses or wines. It’s fun!”
Geary, who met his wife, Kay Lancaster, on a blind date while they were both Trinity students, has one grown daughter.
“Trinity provided such an intimate atmosphere. You couldn’t help running into your classmates and professors, which always made me feel like I was a student who happened to major in history and not a history student lost on a big university campus.”
“My mentor was D. Roger B. McShane, department of history, who taught classical history. Greek and Roman were my primary areas of interest. Roger was nice enough to write a letter of recommendation for law school and we stayed in touch for many years.”
“I also really liked Bill Bristow, department of art. He was a great teacher and so encouraging. I had been told in various ways by elementary and high school teachers in art class to find some other field, but Bill was happy with whatever you wanted to work on. He encouraged that and I really enjoyed it.”
Geary, who describes himself as loyal, dependable, and creative, is in a really good place in his life. He is committed to social dancing. He and his wife take lessons and ballroom dance with friends. He has volunteered with the Bexar County United Way for 25 years and even took up sax, while on a sabbatical.
“The teacher in me enjoys looking at my current and former students and seeing all of their success stories representing achievement. I like to think I played a little part in that. It’s all about staying involved and stoking your creative fire.”
You may e-mail Geary at email@example.com.
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