The web version of EM Legacy contains information not presented in the print version.
Legaciesmulti-generational links to the Universityhave been an important part of Emory tradition since its early days. In this new section, EM examines these important lines in the Emory University family tree. Our inaugural EM Legacy, the Beckham family, spans three centuries of Emory students.
THE BECKHAM FAMILY LEGACY extends back to the Civil War, when a disabled Confederate soldier named Robert Young Beckham attended Oxford College for one year. Financial circumstances forced Robert to leave Oxford. He moved to Zebulon, Georgia, became a court clerk, and married Laura Jordan, who bore him five children. The youngest, Walter H. Beckham 08C, was the only one to attend college.
Walter paid his way through Emory by packing peaches during the summers. After completing his degree in three years, he became a school principal in Montezuma, Georgia, still spending his summers at the peach-packing house as a superintendent and inspector, and later moved to Leesburg, Georgia, where he met his wife, Clara Marshall. He earned a law degree at Harvard University. Walter first practiced law in Albany, Georgia, and in 1925, he moved with his wife and two sons to Miami. He was elected judge of the juvenile court in 1932 and remained a judge until his death twenty-eight years later.
Walters sister, Eugenia Beckham Rogers, married Russell H. Rogers 03D, and their son Russell Rogers Jr. 33C attended the University.
Walters three sons, Walter H. Jr. 41C, Charles M. 43C-48L, and Robert J. 52C, continued the Emory tradition.
Walter H. Beckham Jr., a 1999 Emory Medalist, is a lawyer in Miami, and all three of his children attended Emory. Barbara Beckham DeLeo 66C-67G is a clinical psychologist in San Diego. Walter H. III 70C-77L is a lawyer in Atlanta. James K. 72C is a lawyer in Miami, and James two children, Justin 99C and Blake E. 01C, carry on the Emory legacy.
Charles M. Beckham died of polio at the age of twenty-nine.
Robert J. Beckham is a partner with the Holland and Knight law firm in Jacksonville. His three sons attended Emory. Robert J. Bo Jr. 78C is an associate and Eugene G. 79C is a partner in the law firm of Beckham & Beckham in North Miami Beach. John M. Mac 93MBA is a senior distribution analyst at Florida Power and Light. The boys grandfather, John H. Goff, was a longtime Emory business professor and, at one point, served as interim dean of the business school. Their grandmother, Catherine Nash Goff 25G, and their uncle, John H. Goff Jr. 55BBA-59MBA, also attended Emory.
Another Beckham family legacy exists in Kappa Alpha fraternity, which counts among its membership Robert, Walter III, James, Eugene, Mac, John Goff Jr., and Justin Beckham.