Cooley Alma Mater Connection: Roger and Marilyn Grove
Roger and Marilyn Grove had been donors and supporters of Cooley Law School. Roger was also a good friend of Judge Brennan’s. Both avid sports fans and athletes, they often met up for a match of tennis or racquetball or pickle ball, or a friendly duel in almost any sport. Roger was also a musician. He was a tenor and first baritone horn for the MSU Concert Band.
During one of their many matches, Judge Brennan shared with Roger his interest and vision in having an alma mater for the newly minted law school. He even pulled out a sheet of paper where he had scratched out what he thought would make a nice tune for the piece.
Roger first remembers how impressed he was that Judge Brennan was able to come up with a complicated piece of music having never had any kind of musical training whatsoever.
“It was incredible that he could do this,” stated Grove. “He literally marked up the keys on his piano and one-fingered out the tune.” He then realized that there was much more that needed to be done to give his tune true life.
With his connections with the MSU Concert Band, Grove shared Judge Brennan’s notes and tune with them and left the magical translation and transformation to the MSU Chorale. What they unraveled from that simple sheet was the most beautiful rendition of the Cooley Alma Mater that the Cooley Law School founder could have envisioned.
Roger remembers calling Judge Brennan when the song was final, and the Chorale was ready to play it for him. It was a surprise. He picked up Judge Brennan and told him “I’m going to take you on a little trip, but I’m not going to tell you where.”
When they arrived, everyone had a seat and there was a moment of silence before the song was sang. No words could have expressed the joy on Judge Brennan’s face. According to Roger, it was the first time he had ever seen Tom Brennan cry.
Roger and Marilyn Grove, now retired, have enjoyed being a part of the Cooley family since the law school’s beginnings. Along with being an accomplished musician, Roger owned his own business Roger L. Grove Financial Services for nearly 50 years, while Marilyn worked for the Schultz Snyder & Steele Lumber Company for 25 years. Both have a love and passion for the arts and have surrounded themselves in their home of 50 years in Lansing, Michigan, with beautiful collections from their travels and have meticulously landscaped their yard as a treasure for themselves and others.
Roger and Marilynn have enjoyed over 67 years of marital bliss