Alumni News

September 6, 2017 at 12:07 pm

In Memory of Adrienne Gavula (1982-2017)

Adrienne Gavula

Adrienne Gavula

By Dr. Haley Duschinski
Director of the Center for Law, Justice & Culture at Ohio University

It is with extremely heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our dear friend and colleague Adrienne Gavula (1982-2017).

Adrienne was a fearless warrior for civil liberties and social justice and a friend to many members of the Center for Law, Justice & Culture community at Ohio University.

During her time at Ohio University in 2000-04, she took on leadership roles in the ACLU student chapter as public relations director, planning events on topics ranging from the USA Patriot Act to access to reproductive healthcare.

She began working for ACLU of Ohio upon her graduation, most recently with the Columbus Office as regional director from 2013 to 2015 and development director from 2015 to present.

Adrienne maintained close connections to many members of the CLJC community—supervising CLJC student interns at the ACLU of Ohio’s Columbus Office, mentoring student leaders of the reinvigorated ACLU student chapter, and sharing her time and expertise with students who shared her passions over informal coffee and lunch meetings.

She joined us on campus on Valentine’s Day 2017 for a full day of classroom lectures and student meetings, culminating in a public lecture on “The Future of Civil Liberties under the Trump Administration” to a standing room only crowd in Baker Center 240-242.

Most recently, she hosted the Summer Law & Trial Institute, donating her time to explain the ACLU’s mission and inspiring the next generation of social justice advocates.

She was especially passionate about women’s reproductive freedom, solitary confinement, and disability rights.

Adrienne passed away unexpectedly, and too soon, on Friday, Sept. 2.

CLJC Pre-Law Specialist and Advisor Larry Hayman first met Adrienne during their undergraduate years at Ohio University.

He writes: “I, like everyone else, am shocked and terribly saddened by the sudden loss of my longtime friend and colleague Adrienne Gavula. The world lost a thoughtful and brilliant leader and a passionate and tireless advocate for those without a voice.

“While we grieve Adrienne’s much-too-soon departure, we should all strive to be a little bit more like her—to practice what we preach, to show up when it is important, and to confront injustice whenever we see it.

“I am solaced during this difficult time by knowing how many lives she changed for the better.”

Adrienne’s profound courage and steadfast commitment to creating a better world provide a shining example for the rest of us to follow.

See the ACLU Ohio tribute statement in Adrienne’s memory.

We will communicate ways to honor Adrienne and her memory in the coming weeks.

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