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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

$1.2 million gift honors late professor

The legacy of the late professor Howard B. Stravitz will endure for years to come at South Carolina Law, thanks to the generosity of his brother, Ed, who made a gift of over $1.2 million to the law school to honor Howard.

Howard's will left his estate to Ed, but Ed understood that Howard wanted to benefit the law school, so he donated the proceeds to the school.  The funds will be used to create endowed scholarships for incoming students who have a record of high achievement, exemplify a commitment to public service, have demonstrated past leadership, and show promise for future leadership for the rule of law and justice. 

"Howard loved his South Carolina family—friends and students—and his time at the law school," said Ed Stravitz. "One of his great joys was to have his classes come to his house for dinners and wine tastings. He believed that it was an honor for him to be able to treat his students for the benefit of the school. He loved his students, and he loved teaching them. His scholarship fund will provide a perpetual recognition of that bond."

"There's no greater need at this law school than financial support for our students," says William Hubbard, dean of South Carolina Law. "Too many are graduating with debt. Howard knew that. Ed knows that, and through his charitable contribution of over 1.2 million dollars, we can start chipping away at that problem and better support our students."

In addition to the student scholarships, the third-floor wing of faculty offices has also been named the Howard B. Stravitz Faculty Suite.

"The greatest calling of all is to be a teacher, and Howard manifested that in every good way.  We can think of no faculty member more deserving of this honor, so that future faculty members can draw inspiration from Howard and the kind of teacher he was," says Hubbard. 

Stravitz was one of the senior-most active faculty members, teaching at South Carolina Law since 1983.  Throughout his almost 40-year career, he taught civil procedure, federal courts, and religious legal systems: Jewish law.  He also taught mass torts, creditors' and debtors' rights, and a seminar on advanced problems in practice and procedure.   In 1989, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Publication Award. Between 1989 and 1999, Stravitz coached the law school teams in the ABA Moot Court competition. His 1989, 1991, and 1996 teams made it to the national finals.  

His dedication to his students was as renowned as the lavish dinner parties he frequently hosted for them.  Even after he became sick, Stravitz remained in the classroom until the very end.  He gave his final exam—which he said he looked forward to grading—two days before he died on April 30, 2021, at the age of 73.

During a special ceremony at the School of Law to celebrate Stravitz's life, Ed revealed he remembered telling his brother, "You have to stop [teaching].  You're not well. But he kept saying, 'It's my obligation to complete my job, and my job is to finish the year.'  That was Howard's loyalty and love, not only of his students but of this school and the people he got to know and befriend here in South Carolina.  And I can't thank you enough for doing all the things that you've done for him. Besides his blood relatives, you were his family.  You meant so much to him."  

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