Laurence Ravillon: (1968-2017)
For my late Professor and Director of my thesis, Laurence Ravillon, who passed away on February 2017.
(Speech delivered on behalf of her former students)
I could affirm that Department of Law of University of Burgundy lost one of its shining lights. I could tell you that International law lost one of its prominent figures. However others will do it better than me… Today I am not here to talk about it. Obviously, Laurence was a marvelous professor, a great PhD supervisor and master supervisor and she has influenced many students’ generations. I really want to focus and insist on the fact that for most of us, Laurence was much more than professor and now this light jut turned off.
She knew and saw us growing up and she taught us how to grow up. She was not only communicating her academicals knowledge, she supported, motivated and assisted to accomplish ourselves... She never had criticisms, reproaches nor complained about the dozens of mails that her students send to her, nor complained about the absence of students, whether justified or not, and about our tired eyes of the Friday morning. She always supported us and often far beyond our own expectations.
Professionally each of us owes so much and more much on personal perspective. She managed to keep an exclusive relationship with each of us. She was our guide, our shining light and today it is darker and we feel like lost. We also know that it is rare and it is a lifetime opportunity to meet someone as exceptional as Laurence. We are all thankful for having its opportunity.
Divine Laurence, you gathered and protected us. We try to do the same thing, we all gather together in order to protect you, to fight besides you and despite the number how much we were, we unfortunately did not been enough strong. Today and behalf all your students, presents and those who cannot attend, we would like to tell you that we are indebted to you. We want to testify our love and gratitude. We share our tender compassion with your family that we thank for allowing us to pay tribute to you and to whom we will try to share our force and our courage.
These last days, we received a lot of emails, phone calls and always the same words were used “brilliant”, obviously, but also “humble” and mostly “human and caring”. These words have not been written because it was necessary; the tears are not faked… It reflects our compassion, the gaping hole of your absence and our deep sadness; these words are sincere and natural as you were.
Today, we are all orphans but in each step of our professional life, at each meeting of former students (prom meetings) for each toast, you will be with us and we will remember your smile, your shiny and colorful dresses which were as shining as you within the Department of law of University of Burgundy.
(Many thanks for the text and translation to Alizé Bonfils and Jean-François Giné)