Organizations are defined by the individuals who represent them at their best. Our friend and colleague Christopher Wayne Frost was an important part of the University of Kentucky Rosenberg School of Law. As a school alumnus (first in his class) and as a faculty member for the past 24 years, Professor Frost has been a law school legend – part of the ethos of the place.
Few remarkably talented teachers can strike fear into the hearts of their students, demand the best and accept no less, while still being loved. Chris’ reputation preceded him, and the students shivered in anticipation of being “frozen” – and called to explain a situation or concept in class. But his high expectations generated a loyal following of students who took whatever semester he offered, and many UK law graduates credit Chris’ education to their career paths and eventual success. Law school graduates knew they could always count on him, and previous students were in regular contact to share their successes and failures and seek the advice of their beloved teacher.
Chris was an expert in bankruptcy and commercial law, and built a national reputation for his research. He wrote dozens of contributions to the widely read “Bankruptcy Law Letter,” and a stack of other influential articles and books. In recognition of his research achievements, he was inducted into the prestigious American College of Bankruptcy.
For us, as fellow juniors, it was his guidance that we depended on. In conversation, he was kind but honest, sweet but humble, and he met you where you were. He was an enlightened, responsive and generous teacher, whether you needed advice on your kids, students, research, or carburetors (fast cars were one of his hobbies). With his encouragement, one of us took a leadership position in the law school; The other devoted him to a book on bankruptcy law. Our achievements are his achievements.
While Chris wasn’t born and raised in Lexington, he moved here at age 18, stayed in college and law school, and once he left, started figuring out how to get back. After practicing law at a reputable firm in Chicago and beginning his academic career at St.Louis University, Chris returned to Lexington to join UK Law School in 1998. His commitment to the city he loves was evident in many ways, including his service as leading transition teams to both Mayor Jim Gray and Mayor Linda Gorton, nominated him for state house in 2006, and most recently served him as chairman of the board of the historic Lexington Courthouse. Chris took a keen interest in Lexington and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and his influence will be felt for decades to come.
Christopher Wayne Frost passed away on the morning of January 13, 2022, surrounded by the family he adored. He left a hole in our hearts and our community. We expect to spend the rest of our jobs living up to his example.
Jennifer Beard Pollan Professor of Tax Law and Associate Dean, Christopher Bradley Professor of Bankruptcy at the University of Kentucky Law School J. David Rosenberg.
This story was originally published January 14, 2022 11:27 am.