Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law
Daniel Keating, a distinguished Professor of Law at the Washington University School of Law, is widely recognized for his exceptional commitment to teaching and his active engagement with the school and neighboring communities. He has earned a reputation of generosity and selflessness through his unwavering commitment to community-focused educational initiatives.
In 2015, Dan started a nine-week ACT prep course for students at St. Laurence High School in Chicago and expanded the course one year later to Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School. He teaches the course entirely by himself, offering it free of charge to students, many of whom would not otherwise be able to afford it. Throughout the eight years of the program, Dan has taught approximately 1,200 low-income students. He also pays for students’ ACT prep books, brings in a statistician to generate test results, and buys snacks for breaks.
In addition, Dan recently finished a seven-year term on the board of Joe’s Place, a shelter for unhoused teenage boys in the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District. The shelter provides the boys with a supervised and caring environment and supports their transition into adult life. As a member of the board, Dan provided legal guidance and enlisted the assistance of students in the Law School’s Entrepreneurship Clinic on support projects. Joe’s Place and the MRH District were recognized by the National School Boards Association as a “Grand Prize Magna Award” winner, awarded to outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.
Dan’s nominator, Mark Smith, recounts his relationship with a custodian at the Law School, as a fitting example of Dan’s undeniable and enduring efforts to help others. After the man’s brother died, Dan helped him move into a new apartment and assisted in purchasing household items. Even after the custodian’s retirement 15 years ago, the two men remain friends, going to lunch, basketball games, baseball games, and more. Dan’s nominator states, “[He] has no family in his life, but Dan has made him a part of his.”
Dan’s continued acts to support members of the community without the need for recognition demonstrates his genuine will to uplift others. His nominator attests, “I suspect there are many other things Dan does that I just don’t know about, but to me, just these illustrate how much he does and how deserving he is of the Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award.”