Our Director Gary Slapper 1958-2016

Gary Slapper

Gary Slapper in his office

Gary Slapper in his office (photographed by Hannah Slapper)

Gary Slapper, NYU London’s beloved Site Director, and an NYU Global Professor, passed away on Sunday 4th December 2016 after a brief and sudden illness.

“Gary was one of the first members of the NYU community I came to know, and we have not only lost a great site director, but also someone of great humanity,” said NYU

President Andrew Hamilton. “Gary helped to build London into one of NYU’s premier sites with grace, attention to detail, and of course, a sense of humor that was second to none.”

Gary was named Site Director in 2011, after serving as director of the Open University’s Centre for Law. During Gary’s tenure, NYU London experienced a nearly fifty percent increase in enrollment, with more than 1,000 students studying at the site each year, and the site expanded its academic breadth to include disciplines such as education, public health, and fashion. 

“Gary was a cherished member of the NYU community,” said Linda G. Mills, Lisa Ellen Goldberg Professor and vice chancellor for Global Programs and University Life. “His commitment to NYU’s students, lecturers, and administrators was at his very core, closely rivaled by his sense of humor and great intellect, all of which brought smiles as well as keen insights on a daily basis. We are all in shock that such a rich and generous life has been extinguished far far too soon.

Gary was a true renaissance man, nimbly switching between law, philosophy, football, the environment, and pop culture (with The Simpsons holding a special place in his heart). He was also an accomplished writer, penning The Times [of London] Weird Cases column, in which he explored particularly strange legal cases, bringing immense entertainment to his readers – and we think it’s safe to assume, to Gary himself.

“Rarely can a ‘boss’ have been a more popular and revered figure,” said Eric Sneddon, associate director, NYU London. “We all recall a man of warmth, great humor, gifted at once with a razor sharp mind and a common touch. The university has lost someone truly special; anyone who moved within Gary’s orbit would feel enrichened and would know the world is now poorer.”

A graduate of University College London, Gary received his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He was the author of some 15 books concerning law and the English legal system, and was also a visiting professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The NYU community extends its deepest sympathies to Gary’s wife, Suzanne, his three daughters, Charlotte, Emily, and Hannah, and the rest of his family, friends, and colleagues, in the UK and beyond.