Environmental Law Program

ELP Joins the WSRSL Community in Mourning the Loss of Professor Jon M. Van Dyke

The Environmental Law Program joins the legal community in mourning the loss of Professor Jon M. Van Dyke. Professor Van Dyke was a renowned constitutional and international law scholar and an esteemed ELP faculty member.

Dean Avi Soifer had the following words to offer:

“I have the awful task of informing you that Professor Jon Van Dyke passed away earlier today while at a conference in Australia. I am personally so very sorry to have to give you this news.

Jon was admired, loved, and vitally important throughout a remarkable number of different circles of people stretching far beyond our Law School, but we were particularly and truly blessed to have the direct benefit of his many years of inspirational teaching and scholarship, remarkable public service, and deep and abiding friendship.

There is and will be no other like him.

Jon apparently died in his sleep and we are awaiting further details about memorial arrangements.

Wednesday we will gather for an All School Memorial during what would have been his Constitutional Law 1 class, beginning at 1:30pm in Classroom 2, and there will be another Evening Memorial beginning at 5:30 pm, also in Classroom 2, when his evening Constitutional Law 1 class would have been held.

Throughout the day, members of the community are invited to come to the Moot Courtroom to share memories, to mourn, and to comfort one another.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sherry Broder, and with their children and family.
A book for condolences will be available.

Any students who feel that they cannot attend other classes or meet other obligations will be excused. We are in the process of arranging counseling and making appropriate adjustments for his classes and for Law School exams.

Like so many others, I find it virtually impossible to think about the Law School and our community without picturing Jon working away and bringing his extraordinary array of different skills to bear on all kinds of genuinely important projects and commitments.

Jon Van Dyke will certainly not be forgotten, but he will be hugely missed.


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A few words from Associate Dean Denise Antolini:

“Dear ELP students, alumni, and friends:

With very heavy heart, I share the tragic news with you that Professor Van Dyke has passed away yesterday.
Please see the Dean’s message below from last night to the Law School community.
You are all welcome to join us at the school today for the assemblies and at the moot court room for remembrances.
Jon was the most senior faculty member of the Law School and of the Environmental Law Program.
His intellect, scholarship, and expertise in a wide range of fields — environmental and beyond — was truly unparalleled.
His passion and devotion for serving the community, local and global, on top of all the masterful teaching he did for so many years, is beyond measure.
We will really really miss our dear friend and colleague.
Please join us in sending your thoughts and prayers to his family and friends, and each other.
We will keep you posted on plans for memorials and remembrances.
Professor Antolini”
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Professor Van Dyke shown here supporting his wife Sherry Broder at an ELP Colloquium on “Black Carbon.” Pictured left to right is Associate Dean and Former ELP Director Professor Denise Antolini, Professor Van Dyke, Sherry Broder, Dean Avi Soifer, and Professor Maxine Burkett.