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A new fund honors and remembers a beloved alumnus, RIck Fordyce '86

From the Winter 2011-12 Caller

Rick was a man who lived with intention. He went with the twists and turns like the rest of us, but he was always different. From the time we met in middle school, we all saw that. Catlin Gabel gave him the freedom to be himself, and he went for it. After school here he lived his life fully and literally inhaled the world . . . he took as much knowledge and music and art and as many people as he could into his life. He did not waste a minute.” – Friend and classmate Stephanie Sherwood ’86
 
Richard Anthony Fordyce ’86 was born May 23, 1968, in Portland. He entered Catlin Gabel in 7th grade and joined the Portland Youth Philharmonic Symphony as a first violinist. At Catlin Gabel he excelled in theater, arts, music, and science, graduating in 1986 as a National Merit Scholar. In 1990 he graduated from Brown University, magna cum laude, as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, with departmental honors. Rick received his JD in 1998 from the University of Texas School of Law at Austin, where he was a member of the Texas International Law Journal and a recipient of the Robert S. Strauss Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Law. Rick served as intern in 1996 for the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio, Texas. He began his practice as an attorney with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where he specialized in commercial litigation and appeals. He participated in trials and performed extensive research and writing, including numerous legal articles. His friends and family admired his amazing brilliance, great courage, strength, and infectious enthusiasm for life. A gifted musician who loved all kinds of music, Rick played many instruments and performed and composed in diverse styles. His passion for music and encyclopedic knowledge led to a huge vinyl library and CD collection. (Photo at right: Rick Fordyce '86 & Adam Furchner '86)
 
“Of all the education he received, his experience at Catlin Gabel was the most important and profound. This place meant the world to him.” – Rick’s father, Donald Fordyce
 
On Boxing Day, December 26, 2011, Rick died after a two-year battle with cancer. His wife, Emily Stewart Fordyce, and his parents, Nancy Ann and Donald Fordyce, survive him. In mid December Rick asked to have his memorial service at Catlin Gabel, with four classmates chosen by him to plan his service. On January 7, classmates, friends, former teachers, and family filled the Cabell Center Theater, remembering him as a gentle man with a brilliant mind. His delightfully whimsical humor and the sense of joy and wonder with which he greeted each moment were gifts he shared with all. His generosity of spirit surrounded all with warmth and kindness—he would point out what was so wonderful about any given moment and hold it up for all to see.
 
To honor Rick’s life, his parents have established an endowed fund named the Richard Anthony Fordyce ’86 Memorial Scholarship Fund. They want to ensure that Rick’s name remains connected to Catlin Gabel in perpetuity, and that students like Rick have the opportunity to thrive just as he did here.