Condolences for Leonard G. Schifrin

Carol Prosl posted on 2/24/21

At a sad time we send caring thoughts to you, Karen, and your family. Carol, Beth, and Karen Prosl


Mr. and Mrs. Eger posted on 2/22/21

Karen, Barbara and Waldemar (Wally) Eger send our condolences to you and your family.


Patricia Newman posted on 2/21/21

Dear Karen, I’m sorry for your loss. F Y I :Professor Schifrin was Jimmy’s very favorite. He was an Econ major so had others to compare. Take care, Tricia



marlene davis posted on 2/20/21

The earth was a happier place because of Len's presence.


LInda and Jack Rice posted on 2/19/21

Dear Karen and Family, Jack and I hope that good memories will sustain you at this challenging time. We will always remember Len's enthusiasm for youth soccer. We enjoyed watching many games with him when both of our sons played in the early years of youth soccer in Williamsburg. Le was also a wonderful story teller and that also made the games interesting. Peace and Hope.


David Feldman posted on 2/19/21

Len was one of the senior leaders of the department when I arrived in 1989. I learned a lot from my conversations with him. One small example... To this day I will slyly remind my students not to write a kitchen sink answer to my very specific questions, i.e. don't put everything you memorized about a topic down on a blue book page hoping that some of it might just be part of a correct answer. I think he called it a garbage can answer. Len also taught me a lot about being a good department citizen and community citizen. He was one of a kind!


Barbara Levine posted on 2/17/21

Dear Karen and Family I was so saddened to read about Len’s passing. He was always so kind and inquisitive whenever we spoke. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Barbara Levine posted on 2/17/21

Dear Karen and family, I was so sorry to read of Len’s passing. Ken was always so kind and inquisitive whenever we spoke. Please know I am thinking about you. Barbara


Cheryl White Voliva posted on 2/17/21

I’ve known Len since 1967 when my family moved to Williamsburg and we became neighbors in Kingswood. As a teenager, I used to babysit for Jay and Gail. I’ve always enjoyed bumping into Len and Karen around town through the years. I had no idea he led such an accomplished life although I’m not surprised. He was one of a kind! We have been Facebook friends for years and would always comment on each other’s posts. My deepest condolences to Karen, Jay, Gail and David and their families. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.


Derika Wells Mercer posted on 2/17/21

Teacher. Advisor. Mentor. Friend. When I went off to college, I was planning on majoring in sociology and French. My sophomore year my dad ‘strongly encouraged’ me to take an economics course. That microeconomics class in the fall of 1988, taught by Professor Len Schifrin, not only changed the trajectory of my college years; it provided me with a lifelong friend. Len Schifrin could be terrifying in the classroom. If you weren’t prepared for class, he would ask you to leave. If you were late, he said “That’s one. You get three then you are out.” (Years later I came to know how much he loved baseball.) Thus I was always prepared and never late. For the first time in my life, I was forced to study and do more than regurgitate memorized information. He would say “Don’t waste my time by dumping everything you know in a bluebook (the garbage can effect) hoping the answer is in there somewhere.” I spent a lot of time in Morton Hall and often Len and I would talk about subjects other than economics. One afternoon, he asked me who my senator and representative were back in Kentucky. I had no idea. He said, “The next time I see you, you should know that.” Since this was before google, I called my dad that night to find out! I took several more classes with him and during my senior year one of my classes met at his house where I got to meet his wonderful wife Karen. Looking back, I realize how blessed I was to be invited into their home, an opportunity that not many college students get. Thanks to the internet and social media, Len and I have been able to stay in touch. I visited him and Karen whenever I was close to Williamsburg. I was able to introduce my family to them, and during one visit, we discussed the value of a liberal arts education. That discussion sticks with me as my children are choosing their own college paths. Most recently we had been communicating about my involvement in the protests for racial justice. He would email me his thoughts about my experiences, always relating to an economic theory. On one of my FB posts, he commented, “Your courageous involvement makes me proud to have been your teacher and now for you to have been mine. I thank you for that. Thanks for proving that for me it has been never too late to learn.” At 19 years old, I could never have imagined that my choice in a college advisor would have such a profound effect on my life. Professor Schifrin, thank you for being my teacher, my advisor, my mentor, and my friend. I will miss you.


Karen Joyner posted on 2/17/21

Wow. I still remember Mr. Schifrin's huge Econ 101 class from 40 years ago - including his transparency projector where he put up cartoons or Yoda in the middle of a lesson. RIP


Fred Federici posted on 2/17/21

In my freshman or sophomore year at W&M, I attended one of Prof. Schifrin’s lectures, but I then had to change my schedule and take the same class with a different professor. While I liked the new professor, I found that I had learned more in one hour in Prof. Schifrin’s class than I had in several days in the other class. Prof. Schifrin made no bones about holding his students to the highest standard. But he was also a fair and kind person. I learned this because I later had the great fortune of being among the W&M students that Prof. Schifrin taught in the summer of 1986 in Cambridge, England. Prof. Schifrin worked hard to make the classes he taught that summer memorable, which included arranging for our group to travel deep into the earth in a working coal mine. While Prof. Schifrin had earned the right to be addressed as “Doctor Schifrin,” as one of his students who had the greatest respect for him, I always thought the title of “Professor Schifrin” was the more meaningful title, as that was a title that he earned as a teacher of the highest rank. My sincere condolences to your family and to the William & Mary family at large.


Kate Slevin posted on 2/15/21

Bob and I were so sorry to learn of Len’s recent death. We knew him as both a neighbor and W&M colleague (Kate). He was an exemplary scholar and a much respected teacher of generations of students. An often repeated story among faculty was this: on the last day of class when students were given course evaluations Len would stride out of the lecture hall with these words to the students “By the way, arrogance is spelled with two r’s!” I once asked him if the faculty lore was true and he laughed heartily and said “Something like that.” Over the decades that I knew Len I learned that his tough exterior belied a kind heart. He was one of a kind. W&M is a better place because of Len Schifrin. His standards were high and he made no excuses for them. Condolences to Karen, David and his other family members.