Athens - Anne Proffitt Dupre passed away peacefully on June 22, 2011 following a hard-fought battle with metastatic small cell cervical cancer. Her loving husband, William "Bill" Dupre, and her father, George Proffitt, were with her when she died.
Anne was born to Elizabeth and George Proffitt on October 22, 1952, in Parkersburg, West Virginia. She graduated from Coventry (RI) High School in 1970. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with degrees in history and psychology in 1974. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority.
Following a whirlwind romance, she married Bill Dupre, her husband of 35 years. With little prospect of jobs for Anne in Rhode Island, Anne and Bill moved to West Palm Beach, Fla. where Anne taught fifth grade for five years. But Anne's life would forever change as the result of a casual conversation with friends. Someone posed a simple question: What would you be if you could be anything you wanted? Bill said, "I would be third baseman for the Boston Red Sox." Anne's response was, "I would be a lawyer." Without even thinking, Bill responded, "Well, I can never be a third baseman for the Red Sox, but you can certainly become a lawyer." And so it was.
From the start, Anne found her passion in the law. She attended law school at the University of Georgia where she graduated first in her class in 1988 and served as editor-in-chief of the Georgia Law Review. She served as a judicial clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun following her clerkship with Judge J.L. Edmondson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Anne then practice law with the Washington, D.C., firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.
In 1994, she joined the faculty at the University of Georgia, School of Law where she was a teacher, mentor, and researcher until her untimely death. She left her mark in so many ways. Nationally recognized as an expert in education law and policy, she is the author of speaking Up: The Unintended Costs of Free Speech in Public Schools (Harvard University
Press, 2009), co-author of the casebook Children and the Law: Cases and Materials (LexisNexis), and she has published numerous articles and book chapters.
Anne was also a Senior Fellow for the UGA Institute of Higher Education and the co-director of the Education Law Consortium, which she founded with Dr. John Dayton of the UGA College of Education. As an International Fellow of the university, Anne extended her research to Argentina, where she visited and studied the Argentine federal education law. She published an article based on her research, "Education Transformation: The Lesson from Argentina" in the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. She has been an active participant in the UGA Management Training Institute with Jilin University, located in northern China. She was also part of the U.S. State Department Speaker Program at the University of Zagreb in Croatia, where she conducted a seminar on Ethics in Higher Education.
Anne received the Blue Key Young Alumnus Award presented by UGA's Blue Key chapter. Her love of teaching and dedication to students was acknowledged in many ways. She was honored by law students with the 2011 Faculty Book Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is now the C. Ronald Ellington Award for Excellence in Teaching and the John C. O'Bryne Award for Significant Contributions Furthering Faculty-Student Relations. She also received several campus-wide honors, including the UGA Teaching Academy, UGA International Fellow and the UGA Lilly Teaching Fellowship.
But Anne was so much more than a law professor. Throughout her life, Anne pursued her interests with the same passion that she pursued the law. A brilliant woman, she excelled at everything she did, seemingly without effort. She basically taught herself French through podcasts, language tapes, watching French films, and listening to French music. She devoured books about French history so that when she traveled to France, she could serve as everyone's tour guide. In the last year of her life she read over 100 books, sometimes reading three or four at the same time, all on different topics and from different genres. A true Renaissance woman, Anne could carry on a conversation on just about any topic because she was intense about everything she pursued - knitting, quilting, golf, travel, art, meditation. In the last few weeks of her life, she took up painting. Throughout her illness, Anne maintained her amazing wit and sense of humor; she was optimistic to a fault, always assuming that she was stronger than her disease and that she would beat it.
Anne was preceded in death by her mother, Elizabeth Gates Proffitt. She is survived by her husband, Bill Dupre; her father, George Proffitt; her three "furry" feline children, Cricket, Sugar, and Oliver.
The family would like to thank all of the friends who gave Anne unconditional love and support throughout her illness as well as the nurses from Odyssey Hospice for the tender care they gave her in her final days.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate Anne's life on Sunday, July 3 at 2 p.m. at Bernstein's chapel on Atlanta Highway. Memorial gifts may be made to the University of Georgia School of Law. Send a check payable to the University of Georgia Foundation Hirsch Hall Fund, with a note indicating that the gift is for the Professor Anne Proffitt Dupre Scholarship, to the Office of Development, the University of Georgia School of Law, 225 Herty Drive, Athens, GA 30602.
Online condolences may be offered at www.bernsteinfuneralhome.com. Bernstein Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in charge of arrangements.