2018 Symposium – Professor Fred Cheever Environmental and Natural Resources Writing Award

University Of Denver Water Law Review Annual Symposium 2018: Forging Sovereignty, Self Determination, and Solidarity through Water Law


Denver, Colorado          March 30, 2018

Professor Fred Cheever Environmental and Natural Resources Writing Award


Professor Justin Pidot introduced the newly created Professor Fred Cheever Environmental and Natural Resources Writing Award to honor annually a beloved member of the DU Law Community who passed away last year.  Depending on the topic, the winner of the award will be published in either the University of Denver Law Review or the University of Denver Water Law Review.  Professor Pidot felt that the tribute was fitting as Professor Cheever was a searing intellect and a masterful writer, who had a passion for helping the disempowered.  In rereading Professor Cheever’s work, Professor Pidot noted three virtues that shone through every piece: a commitment to education, a belief in the transformative power of communication, and a love of the written word.

Professor Pidot elaborated on Professor Cheever’s commitment to education by noting that during his twenty-five years of teaching, Professor Cheever taught thousands of students and touched countless lives.  He had an unceasing curiosity that invited his students to share in his joy of learning.  Professor Cheever’s influence is evident in the reviews from previous students: “Any class from Professor Cheever is a joy,” “he is excited about the material, which feeds into my excitement,” and “he will be the one that everyone will never forget.”

Professor Pidot’s introduction also emphasized Professor Cheever’s belief in the transformative power of communication.  Professor Cheever was a man who truly enjoyed communicating with those of differing perspectives by listening carefully and sharing generously.  Aside from being an environmentalist, he was a long-time member of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation because he was perpetually optimistic that practical solutions can arise when shared values overwhelm mutual differences.  Professor Pidot noted that a writing award like this necessarily involves communication through the written word and will give students the opportunity to speak with activists and form innovative ideas of their own. Professor Pidot further lauded the award for capturing Professor Cheever’s love of the written word.  The award is meant to be broadly applicable, allowing for formats ranging from law review articles to philosophical prose.

At the completion of the award introduction ceremony, Professor Pidot quoted from Professor Cheever’s body of work; the recitation was a clear reminder of Professor Cheever’s virtues and beliefs.  Professor Cheever will be deeply missed, but his legacy will live on, and his accomplishments, influence, and achievements will never be forgotten.


Sydney Donovan