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Former university counsel Shur donates $20,000 to fund scholarships for third-year law students

October 6, 2010
George M. Shur

George M. Shur

George M. Shur did outstanding work for NIU as its general counsel from 1983 until his retirement in 2003.

His most obvious connection to the College of Law was that his office was located in a building adjacent to the College of Law, but his connection to the college was much deeper. So, when Shur was considering how to support the university’s capital campaign, he decided on a $20,000 gift to the College of Law to directly benefit the students.

“I knew the importance of the campaign and wanted my contribution to benefit the College of Law,” Shur said. “Every year for the past 20 years, I had two students from the law school that that worked in my office as law clerks. My success was due, in a large part, to the efforts and abilities of the quality students from that program.”

Named the George M. Shur Student Scholarship, an eligible third-year student who excels in constitutional law courses will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship. The first recipient will be selected this fall and a new recipient will be named each fall semester for the next eight years.

The College of Law has built a proud tradition of graduating students not only skilled in legal knowledge and practice, but also imbued with a commitment to their communities.

“George Shur embodies a commitment to community – including the university and DeKalb – which is a wonderful example for our students,” Dean Jennifer Rosato said. “Through his generous gift, third-year students will be able to better prepare for graduation, their job search, and the bar exam. This scholarship will enable the students to think less about how they will pay their bills and more about how to achieve their professional aspirations.”

An avid supporter of education and his community, Shur is a past president of the DeKalb Board of Education.

Prior to his time with NIU, Shur was a partner in the law firm of Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer & Nelson in Portland, Maine. He specialized in educational, municipal, administrative and trial law. Shur has served on a number of committees and boards, including as president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and NACUA’s representative to the American Bar Association House of Delegates.

In January 1994, Shur received the Thomas S. Biggs, Jr. award from Stetson University College of Law in recognition of national contributions and dedicated services to the field of higher education law.

He also has taught UNIV 101 at NIU and served as assistant executive dean of students of Semester-at-Sea for the spring 2003 semester. After returning from these seaborne duties, he again served NIU, this time as interim director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Shur and his wife, Martha, live in DeKalb.