Miami Law Headlines

Miami Law Mourns Passing of Nancy Benitez

Home   >  News   >  June 2011 Headlines   >  Miami Law Mourns Passing of Nancy Benitez

Miami Law mourns the passing of Nancy Benitez, who died on April 26 at the age of 88.

Mrs. Benitez was the wife of the late Professor Rafael C. Benitez, who founded the Comparative Law LL.M. program, the Inter-American Law LL.M. program, and the Inter-American Law Review at Miami Law. Professor Benitez taught international law for 16 years at the School of Law, and served as Associate Dean, Interim Dean and director and founder of the foreign student program. After his death, Miami Law established a scholarship in his memory to benefit a foreign attorney who is enrolled in one of the Law School's LL.M. programs.

"For those of us who had the privilege of being led and tutored by Admiral Rafael Benitez during the early days of UM's Law School Foreign Student Program, his wife, Nancy will always be remembered as the one who eased us, with her warmth and charm, into an American culture most of us were unfamiliar with," said Jose Manuel Palli, JD '83, MCL '84. "They were a veritable Renaissance couple, Nancy and the Admiral."

Mrs. Benitez was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was a gifted watercolorist, sculptor, musician and gracious hostess. She volunteered throughout her life for Recording For The Blind and Talbot Hospice.

"I was very saddened to hear that Nancy Benitez has died," said Miami Law Professor Keith Rosenn. "She was a beautiful person both on the inside and outside. She opened up her heart and home to the foreign LLM students and made them feel very welcome in Miami. Her assistance was invaluable to Professor Benitez in launching the foreign MCL program (now the International LLM), and I know that all of our former students who had the opportunity to know the Benitezes will mourn her passing."

Mrs. Benitez is survived by her children, Cristina Benitez, Peg Evans and John Benitez; three grandsons; and brother, Roger Critchlow.