When I heard that Professor Anna Shavers had passed, I was stunned. Anna was truly one of the kindest people I have ever met. She had an unmatched generosity of spirit and kindness. I first met Anna at the ABA Administrative Law Section’s fall meeting many years ago. She was interim dean of Nebraska College of Law at the time. A few months later, I was awarded tenure at Mercer University School of Law. Although she had only met me that one time, Anna sent a very kind congratulatory note. I was touched that someone I barely knew (and a dean no less) had taken the time to write and congratulate me.
As I became more involved in the Section, I worked more closely with Anna as she served nine years on the council, first as a member, then as an officer, and finally as chair. Anna was a gentle and caring leader, who always had a smile on her face. When she was chair, she chose to have our spring meeting in Orlando, hoping to encourage council members to bring their families. I brought mine, and we had a wonderful time. My daughter still talks about “Mr. Jack (Beermann)” and his very bad jokes.
What we didn’t know during that meeting was that Anna was battling cancer. Anna was very private about her health challenges. We only found out much later when it appeared she had fully recovered. Because of COVID travel restrictions, I had not seen Anna much in the last few years; however, she had just assumed the role of Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. With the COVID restrictions lessoning, I anticipated seeing her in person this year. Thus, when I learned that Anna had passed, I felt sucker punched. With no warning, the Section lost a gentle giant. I will miss her greatly.
Linda D. Jellum is a former Chair of the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. She is currently a Professor of Law at the University of Mercer School of Law but will be joining the faculty at the University of Idaho College of Law this fall.