By Ken Andersen
Past National AAUP President Victor Stone embodied the values of the AAUP with his dedication to shared governance, freedom of speech, civil rights and civil liberties, and his stated “passion for justice and the underdog.” Vic and wife Susan were known for their involvement in the civic life of community, state and the University of Illinois.
A native of Illinois, Vic graduated from Oberlin College, served with the Navy in the South Pacific in WWII, and graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1948. After briefly practicing law with a Chicago firm, he joined the U of I College of Law in 1955.
Capping many years of activity in the AAUP, he served as General Counsel 1978-80, National President 1982-82, and on the AAUP’s Foundation Board of Trustees 1983-90.
Active in the ACLU, he was co-founder of the Champaign County Chapter and served on the Board of the Illinois Division 1987-96.He was awarded the ACLU’s highest honor, The Roger Baldwin Award in recognition of “a lifetime commitment to civil liberties” in 2002.
Not surprisingly, Vic participated in shared governance activity ranging from chairing the Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure to serving on a university presidential selection committee, not to mention three years as U of I Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
His teaching of courses such as Civil Procedures, Conflict of Laws, Torts, Federal Courts, and seminars on the European Community and the Supreme Court Docket was recognized in an outstanding teacher award. Work on a number of state legal committees and commissions was tied to membership in the National, Illinois State and Chicago Bar Associations. He argued a civil rights case, Mark v. Chesny, before the US Supreme Court.
He served in his community in many roles: co-founder of the Champaign County Urban League and a legal Special Advocates Program and through memberships in the State Appellate Defender Commission, American Arbitration Association, State University Annuitants Association, Planned Parenthood, and for 15 years on the Oberlin College Board of Trustees with Oberlin awarding him an honorary doctorate.
Service and honors in full measure. But such a focus misses his wit and personal charm, his and Susan’s involvement in a rich array of friendships, world travel, Krannert Center concerts, his Philosophy Club discussion of books and ideas, his great reverence of the English language and precision in its use.
He is survived by his wife, Susan; three children, Mary, Jennifer and Andrew, their spouses and five grandchildren.
Victor Stone embodied the ideals and commitments that are the American Association of University Professors at its best.His was a commitment to the many communities in which he was involved: academic, legal, civic, familial.
Victor Stone exemplifies Aristotle’s “good” man, virtuous and wise.
Biographical data provided by the Stone children.