BU LAW Professor Allan Macurdy Dies at 47
Disability rights advocate oversaw Office of Disability Services
Allan Macurdy, a staunch disability rights advocate and a School of Law visiting associate professor, died Monday, June 23, after a lengthy battle with muscular dystrophy. He was 47 years old.
Macurdy had defied medical odds by living for more than 20 years on a ventilator. After 13 months in the hospital, he finally succumbed with his wife, Marie Trottier, and beloved spaniel, Lady Rose, by his side.
“May we always remember the service Allan gave the University, and the passion with which he advocated for the rights of all students,” says Kenneth Elmore, the dean of students.
Macurdy (CAS’84, LAW’86), who had managed BU’s Office of Disability Services since 1996, was outspoken and honest about what he described to the Boston Globe in 1999 as the “constant, grinding reality” of being perceived as mentally deficient, incapable of communicating, or simply unhappy.
“I have a happy life,” he told the Globe. “The fact that few people can see that probably says more about what’s wrong with the way we, as a society, look at ourselves than it is any indication of what my life is really like. We have this mythical idea about physical autonomy, physical perfection — we’re the society of diet crazes and bizarre body-consciousness. In terms of building your happiness in life, the outside package matters so little. I love my work. I have a strong family. I love my wife. I love my dog.”
In his role at the Office of Disability Services, Macurdy was responsible for disability policy, and he monitored and promoted the University’s efforts to ensure full and equal access to curricula, employment, facilities, events, and services. He also taught Conflict of Laws, Admiralty and Maritime Law, Federal Indian Law, and Legal Rights of Individuals with Disabilities at the School of Law. He published and lectured widely on Constitutional law, civil rights enforcement, individual liberties, federal jurisdiction, and law and disability.
Macurdy was a board member of the Franciscan Children’s Hospital, a founding board member of Partners for Youth with Disabilities, a past president and board member of the Disability Law Center Boston, and a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
A wake will be held at Lehman & Reen Funeral Home, 63 Chestnut Hill Ave., Brighton, on Friday, June 27, from 4 to 8 p.m. On Saturday, June 28, at 10 a.m., a funeral service for relatives and friends will take place in Cambridge at the Memorial Church at Harvard University, One Harvard Yard. A memorial fund has been set up in Macurdy’s name and donations can be sent to: The Allan H. Macurdy Memorial Fund, Boston University, One Sherborn St., Boston, MA 02215.
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