Dean Abramovsky standing at a podium, speaking to a room full of seated guests.

Remarks by Dean Aviva Abramovsky

Good morning and welcome to today’s celebration of the life and legacy of our treasured colleague and  friend – Isabel Marcus.

For those of you who may not know me, my name is Aviva Abramovsky. I am dean of the University at Buffalo School of Law. The law school, along with the UB Gender Institute, is grateful to have this opportunity to honor Isabel and reflect on the significant impact she has had on the University and the law school, on her students, and on the lives of her colleagues, family, and friends.

I’d like to express my deepest condolences to all of Isabel’s family and friends who are here with us today – her son Justin who has travelled here from Los Angeles and her daughter Erica who has come all the way from London.

And I know that there are many others watching our live broadcast from across the globe including several of Isabel’s friends and colleagues in Europe – Isabel’s reach was far and deep.

When I first came to Buffalo in 2017, I had the honor and privilege of getting to know Isabel both personally and professionally. She and a couple of our other senior faculty members - who all happen to be women – immediately took me under their wing.

I knew that as the first woman dean at UB School of Law, my appointment was the result of the many battles that Isabel and so many other advocates for gender equality had fought before me.

And Isabel was certainly a fighter. We often refer to her as a champion – a champion of human rights and women’s issues; fiercely dedicated to the pursuit of justice.

I cannot think of a more fitting descriptor.  Champions support and defend the principles they believe in with passion and enthusiasm, and with unparalleled courage.

I’m sure we would all agree that few were as courageous or as enthusiastic as Isabel. Her courage and her passion for the ideals of democracy took her to Tiananmen Square to speak with students not long before the infamous massacre.

Her commitment to cultivating a new generation of justice seekers inspired her to bring students to Kosovo to study domestic violence issues shortly after Serbia’s ethnic cleansing of the region.

And her enthusiasm and her warmth were felt by every person who had the privilege of spending time with her – as a colleague, a student, or a friend.

Today we face a host of new challenges to justice and our long-held constitutional rights. And while each day’s news may seem increasingly grim, I know that Isabel would not be afraid or intimidated. She would tackle these issues head on, as she always did.

So, I will continue to follow Isabel’s advice, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Be brave. Stand up for justice and women’s rights. Be a voice for democracy. And do it all in Isabel’s honor.

I would now like to invite Prof. Carrie Bramen, director of the UB Gender Institute, to share a few remarks.