In Memoriam: Steve Watkins

January 14, 2019

A member of our law school community, second year student Steve Watkins, passed away unexpectedly following a routine medical procedure over winter break. Dean Donald Tobin shared the passing of Watkins with students, faculty, and staff after learning the sad news.

Watkins joined Maryland Carey Law after a distinguished career in the United States Navy from 2004-2016 where he served aboard the USS Toledo, at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unity, and aboard the USS Henry M. Jackson. He received his B.S. from Excelsior College in 2017 with a major in Nuclear Engineering Technology. While at Maryland Carey Law he interned with the Department of Justice’s Tax Division and Office of Tribal Justice in Fall and Summer of 2018 respectively.

Tobin remarked: “The passing of Steve Watkins is a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to his friends and family. Words cannot express the sadness we all feel. Steve was an exceptional member of our Maryland Carey Law community. Faculty members commented on his desire to get the most he could out of law school, and that his broad experiences helped shape his thinking, making him a delight to have in class. He will be sorely missed.”

As remembrances of Watkins pour in, classmate Kathleen Petrie recalls her time with Watkins: “Steve was quite the character. He always had a story to tell, always had a smile when I passed him in the halls or something positive to say when we were talking about life and the stress of law school along with being so far from home. Whether it was talking students through anxiety before exams or paying for someone's snack when they were short the money, he was just a genuine, kind person.”

Watkins’s classmates have been busy organizing events and managing donations to honor Steve’s memory. There will be a celebration of his life at Blue Pit BBQ on January 19th between noon and 4pm and Student Bar Association President Kaitlyn Holzer is organizing the First Annual Steve Watkins talent show to take place sometime in February. Classmates have also mobilized to support Watkins’s widow, Caitlyn, in an effort to make things easier for her in this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, Watkins’s family is asking that donations be sent to the Peninsula SPCA.

Students in need of support during this time can reach out to Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Michele Hayes at m.hayes@law.umaryland.edu. The Student Counseling Center (SCC) is also available at 410-328-8404.”