Jan. 18, 2023 — University of Houston Law Center Professor Emeritus G. Sidney Buchanan died Saturday, Jan. 7 at the age of 89 after a long illness.
Buchanan joined the Law Center faculty in 1967, teaching constitutional law, wills and trusts. In 1970, Buchanan became the first faculty advisor to the fledgling Houston Law Review, a position he held until his retirement in 2004.
“What an utterly amazing man Sidney was, extraordinarily sensitive and kind, brilliant but humble and unaffected. I consider every day I got to spend in the office next to his as an unmitigated blessing,” said UH Law Center Professor Emeritus Robert Schuwerk.
For more than three decades, Buchanan provided advice and counsel to approximately 1,000 law review students. Upon his retirement, numerous former students paid their respects with tribute articles in the Houston Law Review.
In the tributes, many former students remembered Buchanan, known affectionately as the singing professor, for his “legal lyrics set to classic musical scores” and were “grateful for the enthusiasm” he brought to class that was “unequaled and contagious.”
Former student and Mary Ann & Lawrence E. Faust Professor of Law Elizabeth Trujillo said, “Professor Buchanan’s trusts and estates class was memorable — I still remember learning much of the law through song (and it stuck!). His repertoire was vast, his spirit amazing, his kind smile grand! If he got wind of your having the slightest musical talent, there you were alongside of him at the front of the room singing a rule of law from trust and estates to a Broadway tune.”
Known as an excellent teacher, Buchanan received recognition for his expertise in the classroom by earning Outstanding Professor of Year three times. In 2001, he received the University of Houston Enron Teaching Excellence Award, followed by winning the 2002 Piper Professor Award for superior teaching at the college level in Texas. Buchanan is the only University of Houston professor to receive this statewide honor for teaching law.
He served as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and had the distinction of holding the Baker Botts Professorship.
“All of us who had the pleasure of knowing Sidney are well aware of the kind person, inspired singer, and outstanding teacher he was. It was a blessing to know him,” said UH Law Center Professor Meredith J. Duncan.
Before joining the Law Center, Buchanan worked at Vinson & Elkins where he practiced wills, trusts and estate planning.
Buchanan graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1956 and received his law degree with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1959.
A memorial service in his honor will be held on Friday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas Ave., Houston, TX. A reception will follow. For more information on Buchanan and memorial details, click here for the obituary in the Houston Chronicle.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Christ Church Cathedral Endowment Fund, Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston Foundation, Holly Hall Retirement Community or the University of Houston Law Center. To donate to UH Law Center, go to http://giving.uh.edu/law/.
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