Tony McDermott

Tony McDermott, professor at Pepperdine University School of Law since 1982, died June 1 in Torrance surrounded by family and loved ones.

McDermott, known to generations of students as “Skippy,” taught broadly across the curriculum and earned the university’s highest honor for teaching in 1995.

Tom Bost, interim dean, in a written statement said he remembered Professor McDermott as “an excellent classroom teacher, a caring mentor for generations of students, and a loving and devoted father.”

Born in 1939, McDermott earned a law degree from UCLA. As the assistant dean of the UCLA School of Law, he established the UCLA Legal Education Opportunity Program, the first of its kind in the nation.

McDermott previously taught at several other universities and worked as a federal public defender, a California probate referee and the business manager of a thoroughbred breeding and training farm.

Alumna Keri Sepulveda, a 1997 graduate of Pepperdine, reflected on the legacy of her friend and former professor in a written statement.

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“Professor McDermott was a true servant leader,” Sepulveda wrote. “He exemplified the values of dedication, integrity and, above all, concern for fellow man. He inspired me to give greater thought and deliberation to all my work as an attorney, to diligently apply the law with a sense of kindness and conscience.”

McDermott is survived by his son, Tim, a 2007 graduate of Pepperdine School of Law.

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