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Remembering Judith Vichniac

October 25, 2019

Dear Colleagues,


It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Judy Vichniac on October 22. Judy was a friend and a vital member of our CES community since 1972, when she came to Harvard to begin her PhD studies at the Department of Government. An expert on West European politics, Judy taught many courses on social and political theory, political sociology, and cultural history. One of her enduring legacies at CES is the “Visiting Scholars Seminar: New Research on Europe,” which she started in the early 1990s during her tenure as acting director of the Center. This weekly seminar became a CES institution and continues to bring together visiting scholars and the Harvard community for interdisciplinary discussions on Europe.


Judy was founding director and later associate dean of the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship Program from 2001 to her retirement in 2018. Prior to her tenure at Radcliffe, she served in many capacities at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). A former teaching fellow, she was appointed assistant professor and head tutor in the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies in 1984 and director of studies and senior lecturer in Social Studies in 1989. For 11 years, Judy managed the strategic planning and daily operations for the largest interdisciplinary undergraduate honors concentration at Harvard College.


Judy earned a B.A. from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Ph.D. from Harvard.


Judy’s passing is a true loss for us. Our thoughts go out to her family.


With deepest sympathy,


Grzegorz Ekiert

Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Government and Director, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University

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