McGeorge School of Law

Kelso Teaches Final Constitutional Law Class

June 1, 2012

Kelso Teaches Final Constitutional Law Class

Last class: Professor John Sims, left, presents a book to Charles Kelso, seated, as his faculty colleagues Brian Landsberg, Leslie Jacobs, Dorothy Landsberg and Clark Kelso look on at the octogenarian's last Constitutional Law class.

Professor Charles Kelso ended his reign as the country's oldest full-time law professor on April 19, 2012, when he taught his final Constitutional Law class at age 83.

In 1951, Kelso was the youngest law professor in the country — by four years — when began he began his teaching career at Indiana University School of Law at age 22. He has taught Constitutional Law at Indiana, McGeorge, and several other law schools as a visiting professor for nearly 60 years.

The popular and spry octogenarian will cut his work schedule in half in the 2012-13 academic year, teaching only an American Legal History Seminar and the First Amendment elective course.

A native of New Albany, Indiana, Kelso earned an undergraduate degree and J.D. at the University of Chicago and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton before beginning his career in legal academia. In the 1960s, he added an LLM and a JSD from Columbia University School of Law to his resume.

"Charles is an institution around here," said Professor John Sims, one of Kelso's 'Con Law' colleagues. "He still writes first-rate law review articles on the Supreme Court and is widely recognized for his expertise on that subject. McGeorge has been fortunate to have him on our faculty all these years, and I'm sure thousands of alumni remember him fondly."