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James Milligan, Law School Admissions Dean, Dies
James Milligan

Columbia mourns the passing of a devoted and beloved member of its community, James Milligan, Law School dean of admissions, who passed away Jan. 7.

Milligan's life was intricately woven into that of Columbia campus life. In addition to his long service to the University, his wife, Karen Blank, is dean of studies at Barnard College, and his son, Ned, graduated from the College in May 2004.

Milligan spent the first few of his 25-year tenure at the Law School as admissions director. During his years there, Dean Milligan saw a dramatic rise in the number of applications to Columbia. In the academic year 2003-2004, he and his staff received more than 8,350 applications, which they whittled down to 375 places. Milligan read a sizeable portion of the total files and read all of the files of admitted students. In late August, just before the semester began, he read the files of all enrolled students to reorient himself with the new crop of first-years.

"Jim was an integral part of our community for a quarter of a century," said Law School Dean David M. Schizer. "He viewed our students as his children, remembering details about their files for decades after they graduated. He was a wonderfully talented admissions professional and a loyal and dear friend. On a personal note, I am deeply grateful for the support and friendship he showed me during my first semester as dean."

Milligan also served as a trustee of the Law School Admissions Council and on many of its committees. He also served as chairman of Columbia University Community Impact, a nonprofit group that coordinates volunteer social service by students and other members of the Columbia Community.

Published: Jan 07, 2005
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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