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Honoring Judge Seymour Boyers

January 8, 2019

The Honorable Judge Boyers’ vision to see the creation of City’s first public law school was a founding force of CUNY Law; his distinguished and impactful life was devoted to the service of others and advancing the cause of justice. He was known not only for his fine mind but also for his unwavering honesty and constant kindness.


We invite the community to join us in celebrating Judge Boyers by making a donation to a scholarship fund set up in his honor. The funeral service will be held at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 W. 76th St, New York on Thursday, January 10 at 9:45 am (guests should arrive between 8:45 and 9:30 am). 


In celebration of Judge Seymour Boyers’ life and commitment to justice, we are proud to announce the creation of a scholarship in his name. The Judge Seymour Boyers Scholarship will provide support to CUNY Law students working to advance social justice in New York and around the world. This scholarship commitment is made possible by the leadership of the Boyers family and CUNY Law community.

Judge Boyers and his family accept his honorary CUNY Law degree on April 1, 2015. From left to right: Granddaughter, Mariel Gold; Wife, Joan Boyers; Son, Robert Boyers; Judge Seymour Boyers; Daughter, Risa Silverstein; Grandson, Jordan Gold; Son, Richard Boyers; Son-in-law, Joel Silverstein

“His was a life in positive perpetual motion,” says his family. “He was especially proud of helping to shape an enduring institution devoted, like Sy himself, to law in the service of the public interest.”


Judge Boyers was a prominent trial lawyer, an author, a legal educator, a justice of the Appellate Division Second Department, a City Councilman, a Councilman-at-Large for Queens County and a member of the New York State Assembly. As a young lawmaker, he marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. and fought for civil rights. He was also the principal sponsor and considered by many the “father” of the Landmarks Preservation Bill that protects and preserves beautiful historical buildings throughout the City of New York.

He served as the founding Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the CUNY Law School, a position that he held from 1983 to 2002. On April 16, 2015, he received an honorary degree from CUNY Law as well as the Dean’s Public Spirit Award.

“The law school mourns the passing of Judge Boyers, without whom the law school would not exist and whose decades of support sustained us in our mission. We have lost a great lawyer, a great jurist, and a great role model. We take solace in the fact that his legacy lives on in the generations of lawyers committed to the public good that his support and example enable.”


The Judge Seymour Boyers Scholarship enhances the CUNY Law Foundation’s effort to increase support for our students in the form of scholarships, summer fellowships and bar study grants. In 2018, CUNY Law announced it would be able to double the number of summer public interest fellowships scholarships offered in the summer of 2019 thanks to a record-breaking Giving Tuesday campaign.





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