Honoring ‘Singing Professor’ Mark Pettit

Professor Mark PettitProfessor Mark Pettit, known to many generations of BU Law students as the “Singing Professor,” is taking a leave of absence this semester while he is being treated for cancer. As a tribute to him, we are asking alumni to email lawalum@bu.edu to submit their recollections of his song lyrics and other memories for a scrapbook that we’re compiling for him.

Professor Pettit, who has served on our faculty for the past 40 years, has taught thousands of law students in the areas of contracts, evidence, and consumer law. In 1993, he was recognized with a Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest teaching honor for faculty at BU.

But for many of you who have taken his contracts classes, you might recall the Pettit song classics, “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Nose,” “Breach It,” “Smoke Ballin’” and “Statute of Frauds.”

We have missed Professor Pettit’s inimitable teaching style this semester. He has been a dedicated faculty member who has been educating and entertaining law students for four decades. Please feel free to send your thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement to Professor Pettit at mpettit@bu.edu. And enjoy this performance by a group of our current students who wanted to pay tribute to the legendary Singing Professor with a song of their own.


Silvia Glick posted on October 4, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Dear Professor Pettit,

You were a bright light for me–a wonderful teacher who is caring and accessible. I wish for you a full and speedy recovery.

Warmest regards,
Silvia Glick (class of 1992)

Brian Balduzzi posted on October 4, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Dear Professor Pettit:

You pushed me to become a better student, a more aware and curious attorney, and a more enlightened and compassionate person. Thank you for the lessons, thank you for the music. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

Brian Balduzzi (JD, Class of 2013; Tax LLM, Class of 2014)

Mike Goodman posted on October 12, 2017 at 1:13 am

You taught at the University of Hawaii my first semester of law school. I never knew contracts could be so much fun! You taught me a lot. Please get well so you can do the same for others. Aloha.

Peter Ebb posted on October 16, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Mark – 30 years later, what I remember most fondly is not the songs (though they were endlessly entertaining) or your maniacal approach to pick-up basketball games with your students (though that was also endlessly entertaining). What I remember most vividly, and what I cherish the most, was your decency and your respect toward each of us, whether we grasped the holding of the day’s case or not, and your willingness and ability to restate our occasionally incoherent or ill-informed answers in a way that was both correct and somehow suggestive of the possibility that it had been our idea in the first place. Hurry back (but not quicker than is good for you) so that more students can have the benefit of . . . well, I can’t think of the right word here, so let’s just say the benefit of you.

With thanks for all you did for me, Peter Ebb (Class of 1990)

toby stull posted on June 10, 2018 at 9:43 am

The first year of Law School can be far from a kind experience. Professor Mark Pettit, however, was just that. Kind. He is a gentle, funny and wonderful professor who cares deeply about learning and his students — a natural teacher. I wish him a speedy and full recovery. You are in my thoughts, Professor Pettit.

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