It is with profound sadness that Nicole LaViolette’s colleagues announce that Nicole passed away on Friday, May 22, 2015. Our faculty and our community will never be the same without her.
Nicole graduated from the Common Law Section, winning the gold medal, in 1996. She joined the Faculty as a professor in the French Common Law Program in 1998 and became a member of the Common Law Honour Society in 2006. Nicole taught International Law, Human Rights, Refugee Law and Family Law, in both English and French. She maintained an active academic and community education profile right until the very end, publishing two co-authored books, one on family law and one on cycling law, in the past year.
Nicole received numerous prestigious awards for her exceptional teaching and graduate student mentoring, her prolific research and publishing, her dedication to faculty administration, and her community service. In 2014, the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario honoured Nicole with its Ordre du Mérite; and the Lambda Foundation renamed its award at uOttawa the “Nicole LaViolette Friends of Lambda Prize,” recognizing excellence in research, public policy and laws affecting LGBTI people. Most recently, Nicole was awarded the SOGIC (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Hero Award from the Canadian Bar Association.
Somehow Nicole also found the time to train as a competitive cyclist and skier. As Dean Nathalie Des Rosiers said when she communicated news of Nicole’s passing to the Faculty “Nicole was a visionary professor, fighting for a just society, just for its immigrants and refugees, just for its LGBT community, just for its poor and vulnerable.”
Nicole will be remembered for her dedication to others and her tremendous courage, as well as for her many achievements. All of Nicole’s colleagues at Common Law wish to express their heartfelt condolences to Nicole’s life partner of 24 years, Lisa Hébert, to Nicole’s father, her siblings and the other members of her family.
Details about Nicole’s memorial service will be posted here as soon as they become available.
Last summer, Nicole created an endowment to support two of her most passionate interests: immigrant and refugee students, and the French Common Law Program at uOttawa. The “Nicole LaViolette Fund for Immigrant and Refugee Students Enrolled in the Common Law Program in French” will offer funding support to these students and projects promoting their academic and professional success. Donations made to the “Nicole LaViolette Fund for Immigrant and Refugee Students Enrolled in the French Common Law Program” will be matched 1:2 until June 30, 2015, effectively increasing the value of your gift by 50%. For example, a donation of $20 is transformed into $30. Donations in recognition of Nicole can be made to the Nicole LaViolette Fund via the contact information below, or by clicking here to make a donation directly online.