Saturday, September 15, 2007

Joey Hanzich ’10 Remembered; Tribute Site on

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Joey Hanzich ’10 was held on Sunday, September 30, 2007, at 1:00 p.m. in the Yale Law School auditorium. A reception followed in the Yale Law School dining hall.    

To read Dean Harold Hongju Koh’s memorial remarks about Joey, click here.    

Joey, a first-year student at Yale Law School, was found dead in his New Haven apartment on Sept. 13, from what appeared to be natural causes.    

“He was a gifted and wonderful young man,” said Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh in a message to the Law School community (see below). “How privileged we were to have him with us, even for such a short time.”    

Yale Law School has established a memorial scholarship fund in Joey’s name. The Joey Hanzich ’10 Fund at Yale Law School will serve as a lasting memorial to Joey’s life of service, humanity and compassion.  The Fund will provide financial aid support to deserving and talented students who reflect Joey’s commitment to public service and the common good. It may also be used to support activities related to healthcare law or other policy interests, which Joey so passionately pursued. 

Donations may be sent to Yale Law School Fund, P.O. Box 208341, New Haven, CT  06520-8341, with a note stating the check is for The Joey Hanzich ’10 Fund. Checks should be made payable to "Yale Law School Fund."  For more information, call 203-432-6080.    

If you would like to share your reflections about Joey or read the many tributes that have been posted in his honor, visit the Facebook website. Follow the simple directions to register. Facebook will send you a confirming email.  Click on the link in the email, and in the window that comes up, click on “Groups” in the left column.  In the top right search field, type “Joey Hanzich” and press enter.  To read the many tributes, click “View Group.”  To add your own tribute, click “Join Group.”      

Dean Harold Hongju Koh's message to the Yale Law School community, sent Sept. 14, 2007.    

I am deeply saddened to tell you that we have lost a precious member of our Yale Law School community. On Thursday, first-year student Joey Hanzich was found dead in his New Haven apartment, from what we believe to be natural causes.
Joey was a special member of our Yale Law School family, whom some of you already knew quite well and others were just getting to know.
He graduated as valedictorian of his class from Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, California.  He went on to Harvard College where he received numerous honors, including Phi Beta Kappa, John Harvard Scholar, and the Detur Book Prize.  He was the U.S. Presidential Scholar representing California.
Outside the classroom, Joey was a dedicated member of the Harvard College Democrats who worked on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.  He was active in community service; when one of his friends was diagnosed with cancer, Joey joined the American Cancer Society and helped raise money for medical research as the director of Harvard's Relay for Life.  He used his fluency in Spanish to provide translation services to the poor in Harvard Law School's legal services clinic, and he volunteered in nursing homes, providing music and entertainment to the elderly.  Academically, he was passionate about health care policy and traveled to Santiago, Chile, to work for the Chilean National Health Care Fund, about which he wrote his undergraduate thesis.  He spent last year at Pembroke College Cambridge studying health care policy.
I ask you to support one another during this time of great sorrow.  Please draw upon the resources of our Law School community and the larger Yale community, if you have questions or concerns or need to talk to someone.

In her 2007 commencement speech, Professor Pam Karlan quoted this line from the poem, “The Summer Day,” by Mary Oliver:  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Joey Hanzich did so much with his life; he would have done so much more.  He was a gifted and wonderful young man.  How privileged we were to have him with us, even for such a short time.