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May 9- Gary Vause, Stetson University College of Law Dean, dies


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Gulfport, Fla. - Gary Vause, dean and vice president of Stetson University College of Law and a renowned legal scholar, died of cancer May 9 at his Gulfport home. He was 60. In late April, Dean Vause told a campus-wide gathering he would retire July 31 because of his cancer.

“Since his appointment as a faculty member at the College in 1975, Dr. Vause provided exemplary service as teacher, scholar, administrator, Vice President and Dean. He literally had a hand in virtually every major initiative at the College since his arrival, and we are truly grateful. His work on dispute resolution and international programs is world-renowned. And, his leadership in establishing the Tampa law school program provided one of the most important strategic initiatives for Stetson University in the 21st century. Gary was respected by all, and was a dear colleague and friend. The entire Stetson University community celebrates his life and mourns his passing,” said Stetson President Doug Lee.

Vause first joined the law school 28 years ago as assistant dean and was named dean four years ago. He spearheaded Stetson’s new Tampa Law Center and Campus, which is currently under construction in downtown Tampa. Vause worked to advance academic excellence, increase diversity and expand a global focus at the College of Law.

Dean Vause also either established or contributed greatly to a number of other Stetson programs, including its Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in International Law and Business; the Center for Excellence in Dispute Resolution; the joint J.D./M.B.A. degree program with Stetson’s School of Business Administration; and summer abroad programs in Granada, Spain and Tallinn, Estonia. He also expanded Stetson’s curriculum in health and elder law.

Under Dean Vause’s leadership, Stetson University College of Law recently earned another first place ranking for its trial advocacy program from U.S. News & World Report. As he has done in the past, Dean Vause credited the Stetson Law community for this prestigious ranking. “Working together, Stetson’s strong faculty, outstanding students and supportive alumni have inspired and motivated us to higher levels of academic excellence,” he said.

A Tallahassee native and the first member of his family to attend college, Dean Vause earned B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Connecticut, LL.M. and S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) degrees from the University of Virginia, and a certificate in Mandarin Chinese from Yale University. He served as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in China and was elected a member of the American Law Institute. In addition to Mandarin, he also spoke Portuguese and Spanish. He served in the Air Force during the early 1960s and was proud of his military career.

Before coming to Stetson, Vause managed his own law firm in Hartford, Conn., specializing in labor and employment law.

Memorial services will be at Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 5800 15th Ave. S., Gulfport, Fla. On Monday, May 12, will be a gathering at 5 p.m., a wake service at 7 p.m., and a rosary at 9 p.m. A requiem mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 13. Dean Vause will be buried in his family plot in Tallahassee, Fla.

Dean Vause leaves behind his wife Maria Celia Vause, a brother Robert Vause, a sister Suzanne Long, their spouses, and nephews David Chad Strickland and John Daniel Long III.

In lieu of flowers, the Vause family requests that donations be made to the Stetson University College of Law Scholarship Fund for International LL.M Students.

Donations can be sent to Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st St. S., Gulfport, Fla. 33707.