November 13, 2012 //
by Julie Heffler
First UH alumna reaches U.S. Senate
UH alumna Elizabeth Warren was elected to the U.S. Mass. Senate seat Nov. 6.
At 53.7 percent to 46.3 percent, Warren defeated moderate Republican and incumbent Scott Brown, said Nate Silver’s 538 blog sponsored by the New York Times.
“I stayed up on election night, until both of the elections I cared about were over — her’s and the president’s race,” said UH Law Center professor John Mixon, Warren’s colleague during the late ’70s and early ’80s.
“From afar, I contributed to her campaign. I am delighted that she won her race.”
Warren has been known for her advocacy for middle class, Mixon said.
“She told me once that she was a fan of middle class values: hard work, honesty and upward mobility,” Mixon said.
“One of her first projects was in bankruptcy law. These corporations were taking bankruptcy without thought — no problem. So if it was OK for the corporations, why not for wage earners?”
Her involvement in bankruptcy law was well-known, but her desire to go into politics was not, said law professor Douglas Moll, former student of Warren when she taught at Harvard University.
“She was excellent. She was one of those teachers who win the teacher-of-the-year award every other year and for a good reason. She really has a personality and is funny. She was very good at facilitating discussion,” Moll said.
“I did not see (her political career) coming.”
Warren is the first UH graduate to make it to the U.S. Senate. She was always proud of her past, Mixon said.
“She is not sensitive at all about her past; her folks being lower middle class workers was OK,” Mixon said.
“They were not rich by any means. She was proud of her upward mobility.”
She not only went to UH, but she also taught at the Law Center before she went to teach at Harvard.
“She was an excellent teacher when she was with us,” Mixon said. “She was an outstanding teacher when she was at Harvard. She was one of their best teachers.”
As former student of Warren, Moll said he found her very engaging, and her career in the Senate will be successful.
“I thought (her election) was great. She is going to be excellent because she is extremely driven, hard working and personable, which I think is probably necessary,” Moll said. “Some teachers have energy that is contagious and are very good in the classroom. Her energy is, in fact, contagious.”