2020-GCU mourns passing of Dr Richard Brodsky

Dr Richard Brodsky, 1946-2020​

Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:19:00 BST
Dr Richard Brodsky, 1946-2020​
Dr Richard Brodsky, 1946-2020​

Dr Richard Brodsky, who became an Honorary Doctor of Laws of the University in 2018, passed away suddenly in New York on April 8 as a result of COVID-19.   

Richard had an outstanding career in public service which included 28 years serving fellow New Yorkers as a Democrat in the New York State Assembly. He had a passionate commitment to promoting economic and social justice for all; to maintaining the integrity of public institutions; to the preservation of the environment and to recognising the importance and value of culture in our everyday lives.

He was also a distinguished academic, having trained at Harvard Law School and Brandeis University, and was an inspiring lecturer in his role as Senior Fellow at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service, and a formidable presenter and debater in the media.

I was first introduced to Richard by his friends Mary Daly and Eva Haller and we all met in one of Mary and Richard's favourite haunts – a very typical American Diner, nothing fancy. Mary warned me that Richard was a tough cookie who would give me the third degree about our University's mission, value set and practical commitment to acting for the Common Good.  He was certainly challenging, but we passed his test and I, and the University as a whole, will be forever grateful for his advice and guidance as we sought to become the first foreign University to receive a charter to deliver degrees in New York City. Without Richard's wisdom, our achievement would certainly not have been assured and he kept us on the right path to success. 

Richard was a life-enhancing force for good with a sparking intellect, warmth, humanity, strong sense of purpose and wonderful sense of humour. We shared a love for the film Local Hero by Bill Forsyth set in Scotland - Richard had great taste! A strong, good, likeable man and I liked him so very much.

We all send our sincere condolences to his beloved wife Paige and his daughters. 

We also extend our thoughts to Richard's many friends, but especially to Mary, to Brian and to Eva and Yoel, joint travellers with us on the road to creating our College for the Common Good in New York City. 

Richard will be sorely missed by us all.

Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, FRSE

Principal & Vice-Chancellor