Pace Magazine

Remembering Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz, EdD

July 12, 2023
Lit candles on a black background

Earlier this summer Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz, a former provost, a former dean of the Lienhard School of Nursing, and a beloved leader, teacher, and mentor for generations of Pace faculty, students, and staff, passed away. She died peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends, after a long battle with cancer.

marilyn jaffe-ruiz and her husband victor pose for the camera
Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz and her husband Victor Ruiz.

Marilyn, said her good friend Dean Emerita Harriet Feldman, was “one of the kindest people I have ever known, or will ever know.” She started her nursing career in 1963, when she graduated from the Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing. She went on to earn a master’s degree in mental health nursing from NYU and EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 1981, she joined the Lienhard School faculty at Pace University.

She served as dean of the Lienhard School from 1985 to 1992, and later she was the University’s vice provost and then provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. In 2002, she received Pace’s Diversity Leadership Award, and in 2006 our Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Leadership Award.

Marilyn’s good works extended far beyond Pace. She was an active volunteer and leader with AHRC New York City, which supports those with developmental disabilities, serving on its board for many years and as its board president for several years. In 2015, she was named the group’s volunteer of the year. After her retirement from Pace, in 2011, she volunteered as a docent at the American Museum of Natural History, as well.

When she retired, she also established a planned gift to create an endowed scholarship for first-generation nursing students at Pace.

Marilyn is survived by her husband of 43 years, Victor Ruiz. The family asks that donations in Marilyn’s memory be made to the AHRC NYC Foundation. You can also contribute to the Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz Endowed Scholarship at Pace by indicating that your donation is in her memory. We intend to hold a memorial at Pace in the new academic year.

We send all our best wishes in this difficult time to Marilyn's family and friends, and to those in the Pace Community who were lucky enough to have worked with her.

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