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HANS SMIT
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February 26, 2012
Beverly I don't know if you would remember but I worked as Hans administrative assistant in the 80's . I feel this as I worked closely with him and he was amazing. I am sad, and my heart goes out to you and your family. Jennifer S. Eyges
February 25, 2012
I am Jennifer Eyges and was Hans Smit's Administrative Assistant in the 80's. When I a gave birth to my son Eric Hans came to the hospital to see me with presents. After I returned to work to show him the baby my son he picked him up in the air and said "what a beautiful baby" . 13 years later Hans met my son and said is this the baby.

Hans Smit was an amazing man great to work for. He loved to tell stories about growing up in The Netherlands during WWII. I used to look forward to my job as working with Hans Smit was exciting. He was kind, generous, warm, ebullient, imposing, charismatic, artistic and humorous.

When I gave my vocal performance graduation recital at Columbia, Hans Smit was there to cheer me on.

Hans you will be missed though many years have passed by since I worked as your Administrative Assistant. You were really special and unique and working for you at the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law was truly also very special.

My condolences to Marion and Robert Smit and Beverly Smit
January 27, 2012
Just stumbled across the news that Hans Smit had passed, memories of happy holidays with the family especially tennis and volley-ball with Hans and Robert.
Love to Beverly Robert and Marion All my love, Howard,
January 14, 2012
Professor Smit's legacy survives him, in the memories of his admiring students, who will not forget his intellect or influence.
Andrea Lee Negroni '82L
January 12, 2012
To Aunt Bev, Robert and Marion - I am so saddened at the loss of (my beloved Uncle) Hans. He lived life to the fullest...and was both respected professionally and loved and admired personally. He was so generous to all of us in the family...never hesitating to share of himself...never hesitating to open his homes to us for wonderful family celebrations. I will, and I know my girls Sierra and Jordyn will, cherish wonderful memories of our times with him. We love and miss you all and send you our sincerest condolences.
January 09, 2012
Beverly and family,
Our heartfelt condolences to you at this sad time. Be assured of our love and prayers as you grieve, remember and give thanks for the life of Hans and the precious relationships you shared individually and collectively.
Blessings and hugs,
Michelle (Shelly)Robbie
Stephanie Gershgol
Daniel Gershgol
January 09, 2012
If you attended the Columbia Law School during the past fifty years and did not encounter Hans Smit, then you did not go to Columbia. Hans Smit can well serve as an emblem for the law school and all that it represents. An outstanding teacher, Hans Smit was the most imposing and impressive instructor that I have ever known.

His greatest lesson as far as I am concerned was perhaps his first. He related to the class the Latin motto inscribed over the entrance to the law school's former home Kent Hall: "Law is the art of the good and the just." This maxim and that lecture have remained with me ever since.

Many years later I had the pleasure of taking a course at the Harvard Law School and met a man who was said to be the role model for the character of Professor Kingsfield in the novel/movie The Paper Chase. During our conversation the man asked me if there was a Kingsfield-like instructor during my time at Columbia. I said yes and he is a Dutchman who stands about 6'2".

A few years after that I told Hans Smit this story, he smiled and corrected me. It turns out Professor Smit is actually 6'4".

He will be properly remembered as a well-regarded authority on international law and a leader in the field of international arbitration. But for those of us who were so fortunate to have him as a teacher, he will be recalled as a supportive mentor who helped countless students navigate their path in the law. After all, it was Hans who gave future Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg one of her first jobs out of law school at a time when our profession was far less receptive to women attorneys.

For his efforts on both sides of the Atlantic he had been knighted by the royal family of the Netherlands and earned the respect and admiration of all of those he has taught and helped for all these many years.

Hans Smit was a very rare man. He will surely be missed and I thank him for touching my life.
January 09, 2012
If you attended the Columbia Law School during the past fifty years and did not encounter Hans Smit, then you did not go to Columbia. Hans Smit can well serve as an emblem for the law school and all that it represents. An outstanding teacher, Hans Smit was the most imposing and impressive instructor that I have ever known.

His greatest lesson as far as I am concerned was perhaps his first. He related to the class the Latin motto inscribed over the entrance to the law school's former home Kent Hall: "Law is the art of the good and the just." This maxim and that lecture have remained with me ever since.

Many years later I had the pleasure of taking a course at the Harvard Law School and met a man who was said to be the role model for the character of Professor Kingsfield in the novel/movie The Paper Chase. During our conversation the man asked me if there was a Kingsfield-like instructor during my time at Columbia. I said yes and he is a Dutchman who stands about 6'2".

A few years after that I told Hans Smit this story, he smiled and corrected me. It turns out Professor Smit is actually 6'4".

He will be properly remembered as a well-regarded authority on international law and a leader in the field of international arbitration. But for those of us who were so fortunate to have him as a teacher, he will be recalled as a supportive mentor who helped countless students navigate their path in the law. After all, it was Hans who gave future Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg one of her first jobs out of law school at a time when our profession was far less receptive to women attorneys.

For his efforts on both sides of the Atlantic he had been knighted by the royal family of the Netherlands and earned the respect and admiration of all of those he has taught and helped for all these many years.

Hans Smit was a very rare man. He will surely be missed and I thank him for touching my life.
January 09, 2012
As a student at Columbia Law School i was at first intimidated by his dutch accent, his imperious teaching style. As i got to know him better he turned out to be an excellent professor who loved to spar intellectually with his students. He also had a softer side as well. After my last class with him before graduating (the course was Advanced Civil Procedure - an intimate seminar-type course that i chose solely based on the professor, as i had no interest in litigation) I found a note in my student mail box that said "Congratulations! you have won the Hans Smit prize for excellence on the final exam. please come by my office to claim it." Law school prizes are generally endowed by big donors and are listed on a central registry. They are generally not given out for small classes such as advanced civ pro. I inquired and discovered that no such prize actually existed - he apparently made it up. When i went by his office he informed me that he wanted to take me and a significant other out for dinner - and that he would be joined by his wife. My fiance and i had a lovely dinner at a restuarant of my choosing (i chose a kosher one - and heard no complaints from Hans - although given all the talk in his class about French restaurants, i am sure it was not his first choice). It was a memorable evening for me.
January 09, 2012
He was a wonderful teacher who engaged the minds of his students. Even though it is over forty years since I had the pleasure of being his student, his effect is with me still. He was a giant. I shall miss him. His family is in my prayers.
January 09, 2012
We will never forget the first time we met Hans. He was quite a presence in his beautifully restored mansion on Riverside Drive, a true lord of the manor. We shall miss his energy, his intellect, and his wonderful generosity.
January 09, 2012
Professor Smit greatly enhanced the reputation of the Law School of my day as a place with faculty consisting of brilliant scholars with strong, engaging personalities and influence beyond the walls of the building at 116th and Amsterdam. I didn't get to be in his class on Civil Procedure, but everyone knew him. I recall sitting at his table at one of our reunion dinners, where he just embodied the energetic master of his life. I also recall that he played some unusual sport -- water polo? -- no doubt with vigor.
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