At the farewell ceremony for University Vice President and General Counsel Marvin Krislov on July 30, guests were invited to sign the back of pieces to a 500-piece puzzle of the Big House that would be given to Krislov and his family as a memory of the ceremony and his time spent at the University.
“Does he like doing puzzles?” asked a guest.
“I hope so,” said Lynette Kosky, an administrator in the Office of the General Counsel, who helped organize the event. “Someone in his family’s bound to.”
That upbeat atmosphere was present throughout the ceremony for Krislov, who is leaving his position at the University to serve as president of Oberlin College in Ohio.
But Deputy General Counsel Dan Sharphorn offered Krislov a stern warning.
“We’d like for you to sign this affidavit testifying that you will remain an ardent supporter of the Wolverines,” he said.
Jokes aside, Sharphorn and several University regents spoke about Krislov’s contributions to the University, especially his work with the University’s 2003 U.S. Supreme Court case concerning its use of affirmative action, and applauded his dedication and hard work.
University President Mary Sue Coleman said one of Krislov’s strong points was that he never backed down from a challenge.
“Marvin always said, ‘Let’s find a way to do this,’ ” she said, ” ‘Even though there’s some risk.'”
Sharphorn also presented Krislov with several gifts: a photo of the law library, a paperweight with a block “M” embedded in it and a handheld fan that spells out “GO BLUE” when turned on.
Even with these memoirs, Krislov said he and his family will miss the University. He said his son asked Krislov if they could still attend University football games despite living in Ohio. Krislov said it would be hard to move on after spending so much time with University administrators, and he thanked everyone he had worked with.
Without the support of the regents, Krislov said, it would not have been possible for him to stand up for such “courageous, principled, valued” issues.
At the end of his speech, Krislov had his own gift to distribute – a stack of vouchers for free tickets to an Oberlin football game that he passed around the audience.
For University alum Staci Daniels, Krislov’s legacy had a lasting impact. Daniels is black and entered the University in 2003, right after the Krislov’s efforts helped keep affirmative action at the University.
“I found people who looked like me,” she said. “Which I don’t know if I would have done if he wasn’t here.”
The ceremony filled up the Michigan Union’s Kuenzel Room.
“In nine years, he cast a wide net,” Kosky said.