ITHACA, New York, April 17
A bequest from the estate of Doris Arthur has established the Doris R. Arthur and Walter W. Arthur ’55 Scholarship for Cornell Law School.
After Doris Arthur passed away in April 2011, the Law School learned it was the main beneficiary of her estate. This gift was humbling, for no one currently at the Law School had a relationship with either Doris or Walter Arthur. Leroy Schober, the attorney who drafted Doris Arthur’s will in 2003, noted that prior versions also made this bequest. “Doris instructed me to include that clause,” Schober said. “She and Walter had decided some time back that they would leave their assets to Cornell. They had no children.”
Schober was the Arthurs’ friend as well as their attorney and Walter’s legal colleague at the firm of Dudek & Schober, which later become Dudek & Arthur. He remembers Walter as “an unassuming, a very modest person” who was nevertheless “very proud to have gone to Cornell.” As a WWII veteran—he served as a navy pilot—Walter attended Cornell on the GI Bill of Rights and with financial support from the Law School.
At Hartford Hospital in 1999, Walter met Reverend Timothy Gilbert who was serving as chaplain. Eventually the executor of Doris Arthur’s will, Gilbert has given us a glimpse of the Arthurs’ life. They lived simply but comfortably in Enfield, Connecticut, in a modest, ranch-style house. Doris worked as an accountant and Walter, after he retired from legal practice, taught law at Manchester Community College and was beloved by his students. The Arthurs traveled the world and furnished their home with items they discovered in foreign lands. They were devoted to one another and their marriage lasted more than fifty years, until Walter’s death in 2001.
Doris and Gilbert remained close after Walter's passing. Gilbert remembers Doris as a “devoted, caring” friend who readily expressed admiration and respect. Of the Arthurs’ bequest, Gilbert said, “Walter had received financial help when he was in school, so they decided that they would give back to Cornell for the help they had once received.”