Legal minds from across the state honored one of their own Wednesday night.
A fund was established at UW-Madison Law School in the name of Maryann Schacht and her late husband Herman David Schacht, to encourage Native American and underprivileged students to pursue careers in law.
The event was organized by lawyer Daniel and Carleen Vande Zande from Waupun.
A partial list of dignitaries in the Old Hickory Golf Club room included: Dan Tojaki and Mindy Scott of UW Law School, Beaver Dam Mayor Becky Glewen, Wisconsin State Bar President Margaret Hickey , Wisconsin League of Municipalities legal counsel Claire Silverman, Dodge County judges Brian Pfitzinger, Joe Sciascia, Kris Snow, John Storck, Steve Bauer and attorney Stephanie Schacht, who is Maryann’s daughter. Spouses and other dignitaries and friends also attended the tribute.
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Maryann officially retired on January 3, 2022. She served as the Beaver Dam City Solicitor from 2001, having followed her husband to that position. Dave, as he was known, served as city attorney from 1971 to 2000, then assistant city attorney for a 10-year period when Maryann took over. Together, Dave and Maryann have served the city for over 60 years.
Maryann was the first woman named President of the State Bar of Wisconsin and has received countless accolades for her service to generations of clients.
Maryann continues to guide the city through its legal dilemmas to the present day.
On Tuesday evening, Mayor Glewen said: ‘There is no one I would rather have spent the last six years (as mayor) learning from. She is incredible.”
Maryann intervened: “I always consult”, to loud applause.
She returned to the city as a consultant in April, sharing the long memory of city politics and decisions stretching back decades.
Glewen continued, “I saw her work ethic, her kindness, her ability to listen, her legal expertise, the love of her job and what she does. I adore this lady.
The two women exchanged hugs as they frequently do when they meet.
Carleen Vande Zande, wife of Waupun City Attorney Daniel Vande Zande and a close friend, summarized a long list of civic commitments and professional honors.
She said: “It was at law school that Maryann blazed a trail as a trailblazing woman in her field, and that trend has continued throughout her career. She was one of four women in her class, including Justice Barbara Crabb and former Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. I think they all knew they were innovating.
She added, “Maryann’s career is marked by service to her profession, to the county, to the state, to local communities, to her family and to thousands of people in need of legal services in times of crisis in their life”.
Speaking directly to Schacht, Hickey later said, “You went there before to allow us to thrive.”
Prior to her official retirement, Maryann announced that she would continue to work in one form of law or another.
“Law is not just my occupation, it’s my hobby,” Maryann said. “In my free time, I think about the law. It has been a very good practice and I plan to continue as long as I am proficient and able – which I hope will last for many years.
Announcing the Pathways to Excellence fund, Dean Tojaki said, “At UW Law School, we talk about law in action. This means we strive to provide all of our students with not just book learning, but an understanding of how they can be real-world problem solvers. Well, it’s hard for me to think of anyone who embodies that idea better than Maryann Schacht. We are very, very proud that you are one of our graduates. This fund will continue your service in retirement and beyond.
According to a brochure, the Pathways to Excellence Fund supports students from historically underrepresented or less advantaged backgrounds, including Native American students, through financial and pre-law programs or other activities that will encourage and facilitate their pursuit. careers in law.
Maryann paid tribute to her late husband.
“Alice Walker, an American activist and author, said thank you is the best prayer you can say, and I say it often,” she said. “He expresses extreme gratitude, humility and understanding. The truth is that the real person who possessed extreme gratitude, humility and understanding is the missing person here tonight. Herman David Schacht — my husband, my partner and my best friend — symbolized all the qualities that this award defines. He was kind, caring, a good listener, a leader and his love for municipal law and justice in the town of Beaver Dam was unparalleled. It is with great humility that I accept this honor on behalf of Schacht & Schacht (and Cherie Somers, my legal assistant for 26 years).
“I have been so fortunate to be able to serve our community, our profession and to learn from our colleagues. I will always appreciate all the friendships we have been able to create. We were blessed to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School in the 1960s and now feel fortunate to give back, by example, to future generations. Thank you for this honor and your presence.
For more information about the Pathways to Excellence Fund, contact Mindy Scott, director of development at UW Law School, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (831) 595-7199.