Prominent University officials and legal scholars reflected with reverence and nostalgia about the life of the late Law School Dean Ernest N. Griswold at a memorial service yesterday afternoon at Memorial Church.
Former Harvard president and former Law School Dean Derek C. Bok, attorney Archibald M. Cox'34 and Corporation member Judith Richards Hope were among those offering remembrances about Griswold, who served as Law School dean from 1946 until 1967.
Those speaking recalled Griswold, who died on November 19 at age 90, as a stern but caring mentor and friend.
Current Law School Dean Robert C. Clark spoke about the "Grissergrams"--handwritten personal memos--that Griswold sent to students and faculty.
Clark recalled a "Grissergram" he received during one of the "darker moments of my early deanship."
"It wasn't exactly flowery or eloquent," Clark said. "That wasn't his style. But it was one of the most important I received at that time."
Hope spoke about Griswold's commitment to his wife Harriet, who was paralyzed in the eighth year of their marriage.
The dean visited his wife in the hospital "every day for 16 months while teaching and taking care of their two small children," Hope said.
Their marriage would last another 55 years.
Speakers at the memorial service also stressed Griswold's commitment to recruiting women and minorities at the Law School.
Under Griswold, several noted, the Law School admitted its first crop of women, including Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who would go on to the U.S.Supreme Court.
Griswold went "into the trenches" to lobby thefaculty "one by one" over a period of three yearsbefore proposing to admit women before theCorporation, Hope said.
Bok, Griswold's successor as dean of the LawSchool, praised him for his commitment toattracting Black students, initiating what wouldbecome a nationwide movement among law schools.
"In a world with so much passion and so littletrue conviction, Ernest will always remind us ofwhat it means to be a truly principled humanbeing," Bok concluded.
And all speakers praised Griswold for hiscommitment to excellence.
Hope noted that five of the nine currentSupreme Court justices came through Harvard LawSchool while Griswold was dean.
"That's not an accident," Hope said. "Heplanned for things like that. He planned forgreatness."
Clark also noted that Griswold, a U.S.Solicitor General under two presidents afterleaving the Law School, was one of just threelawyers in this century to argue more than 100cases before the Supreme Court.
Other speakers at the ceremony included RoswellB. Perkins, president emeritus of the American LawInstitute; and Robert F. Drinan, former dean ofBoston College Law School.
About 200 people, including President Neil L.Rudenstine and Provost Albert Carnesale, attendedyesterday's service