September/October 2005 issue

E.D. Missouri Bankruptcy Court Creates Wall of Honor

by Dana McWay, Clerk of Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, E.D. Missouri

Many categories of people work within the Judiciary and contribute to its success. As an institution, the Judiciary typically memorializes individual contributions of the many judges who have interpreted the law by placing portraits of judges throughout courthouses in the nation. Two groups who are not ordinarily recognized in a tangible way in a courthouse are chambers and clerk’s office staff. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri decided to change that practice by creating a Wall of Honor as a physical remembrance of the two groups’ contributions.

Located within nonpublic space in the Thomas F. Eagleton courthouse, the Wall of Honor is a commemorative wall plaque listing individual names of staff who have retired from or died while in service to the Court. The Wall serves the dual purposes of honoring former staff members while at the same time communicating to current staff that they too will be remembered in the future for their years of service. The overriding theme throughout the project is that the judges and the court as a whole value the contribution of court staff and recognize that these contributions are part of the foundation supporting the court today.

Several factors were considered in physically creating the Wall. The approach of low cost, low tech, and low maintenance was paramount throughout the project. Second, it needed to incorporate the architectural elements of the courthouse into the design. Third, the court needed to be able to add to it over time as additional employees retired. Finally, it needed to convey sufficient gravitas to all who view it. We at the Eastern District of Missouri believe that we have addressed each of these factors. A picture of the Wall of Honor reflects how these factors materialized into physical form.

The Court dedicated the Wall of Honor at a ceremony in April of 2005, and the ceremony was the subject of a Court-to-Court program broadcast on the Federal Judicial Television Network (FJTN) in October.

Information about this project can be obtained from Dana McWay, Clerk of Court, at (314) 244-4601 or

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