Regent's Proceedings 287
Samuel D. Estep, professor of law, retired from active faculty
status on May 31, 1989, after a dedicated career of teaching and
research. Born in Topeka, Kansas, Professor Estep received his
A.B. degree from Kansas State Teachers College in 1940. He then
enrolled in the University of Michigan Law School, where his
studies were interrupted by service in the United States Navy. He
returned to the University of Michigan in 1945, and earned his J.D.
degree in 1946. For two years following graduation, he practiced
law with a Detroit law firm. Professor Estep joined the faculty of
the University of Michigan Law School in 1948 as an assistant
professor; he was promoted to associate professor in 1951 and
professor in 1954.
Professor Estep devoted his career to teaching in such diverse
fields as constitutional law, commercial law, and science and the
law. His work as a scholar has been devoted primarily to topics
drawn from his interest in science and the law. Together with Dean
E. Blythe Stason and Professor William J. Pierce, he co-authored
the path-breaking book, Atoms and the Law. Earlier, the same team
had published State Regulation of Atomic Energy, and Professor
Estep published many law review articles on the legal problems
that would emerge from the peacetime use of atomic energy.
Professor Estep also was one of the pioneers in the legal literature
dealing with space communications, and he has remained active in
the broad field of science and the law.
Over the years, Professor Estep also contributed to his profession,
the University, and outside constituencies by his active
participation in committee work and community projects. In 1973,
he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Kansas State
Teachers College. Professor Estep has been highly regarded by his
students as a fine, interesting, and gentle teacher; he has
continually earned strong marks in student course evaluations. In
1988, his final year as a full-time teacher, the Law School Student
Senate recognized his contributions by awarding him the Francis
The Regents now salute this accomplished scholar and educator for
his dedicated service to the University by naming Samuel D. Estep
Professor Emeritus of Law.