When I think of Professor Phillips, the image is this: a scholarly looking gent at the front of a classroom, gray hair disheveled, bushy black eyebrows raised inquisitively, glasses hanging from a string around his neck, thumbs tucked inside the belt of his high-waisted polyester pants, and a pregnant pause filling the air. Some of the students in the room appear pained, their faces contorted by confusion; others are smiling, their faces glowing with the childish delight of seeing the world from a new angle. I must admit that, as a student in five of Professor Phillips' classes, I experienced both emotions on a regular basis. Professor Phillips did not spoon feed his students; he instinctively knew that the most precious gifts are earned. To borrow an old adage, he wouldn't give his intellectually hungry students fish; he'd teach them how to fish, so they'd be able to feed themselves. Excelling in one of his classes required good old-fashioned thinking-not just about what the law is, but why it is, how it came to be that way, and what it normatively should be. If your heart and mind were open, Professor Phillips was able and willing to take you on the educational ride of your life.
Elizabeth Price Foley and Elizabeth C. Price,
In Memoriam: Jerry Phillips: A Scholar & a Gentleman
, 71 Tenn. L. Rev. ix
Available at: https://ecollections.law.fiu.edu/faculty_publications/415