Former dean honors late husband, also a dean, with scholarship

Day of Giving was Sept. 27, it’s a day to celebrate our donors and to educate students about how alumni contributions of time, talent and treasure help current student and enrich the University. This is the last of three stories we are running this week to mark Day of Giving.

Cynthia Zane and Stephen MazurakStephen A. Mazurak became interested in the law while an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska. He worked at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Lincoln, Neb., and it was the less-than-impressive way the company handled a strike that sparked a lifelong passion of labor and employment law.

After practicing law for a decade, he joined the faculty at University of Detroit where, over the course of 35 years he taught contracts and labor law, served as acting dean and dean before retiring in 2015.

It was at Detroit Mercy that he met Cynthia Zane, who was dean of the College of Health Professions & McAuley School of Nursing at the time.

“He was the new dean of the School of Law and we were at a meeting and I thought, ‘wow, who is this new dean? He’s so engaging and he had a wicked sense of humor,’” Zane said. Not much later, the two represented Detroit Mercy Law at a community dinner and decided to drive together. The rest, Zane says, is history. They were married for 25 years when he passed away in January.

“First off, he was absolutely brilliant,” Zane said. “When he was in law school, he was married and had a baby and graduated first in his class. He was just an amazing, caring, ethical, humble man, an extraordinarily involved parent and we had a combined 12 grandchildren who without a doubt were the joy of his life. They will forever treasure the Grandpa Steve chocolate milk toasts while eating cookies.”

After Zane’s husband died, she received several notes from Mazurak’s former students telling her what a difference he had made in their lives.

It’s part of the reason Zane created the Stephen A. Mazurak Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“We both had scholarships when we were in school,” Zane said. “So both of us know how important it is for students to have financial support.”

The scholarship is designated for second- or third-year Detroit Mercy Law students who demonstrate financial need or academic merit and a declared interest in labor law.

“I think this a great way to honor and celebrate him at a law school he deeply loved and to which he gave so much of himself.”

To support the Stephen A. Mazurak Endowed Scholarship or to create a scholarship in your name or the name of someone you love, call 313-993-1250.

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