Carmen Ramirez, a beloved member of the Loyola Law School family, has passed away after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 63 years young.
Over the course of her more than 40 years of service to the law school, Carmen became the friend, confidant, counselor, and cheerleader for thousands of us. Blessed with an electric smile, infectious optimism, and boundless energy, Carmen was the embodiment of the Loyola ideal to be a person for others.
Carmen’s service at Loyola Law School spanned the leadership of seven deans. Originally an Administrative Clerk in the Registrar’s Office, it did not take Carmen long to ascend to positions of leadership. She went on to become Associate Director of Admissions, and then Director of Alumni Relations, a position she was born for. Over the years, she developed friendships with thousands of alumni with whom she shared a deep love for the law school. Carmen retired on Oct. 1, 2020, as Executive Director of Advancement.
On the occasion of her retirement, Carmen summed up her experience as follows: “Over the past four decades, I have seen the law school grow from a two-building campus to an entire city block. I witnessed computers make their way to LLS. I had the opportunity to experience the complete life cycle of alumni – from applicants to students to alumni (and on one occasion to LLS dean and then LMU president).”
“Carmen was not just a witness to the law school’s development. She played an essential part in bringing the law school to where it is today,” said Dean Emeritus Victor Gold. “Her uncanny ability to develop and foster relationships was essential to the law school’s growth.”
Carmen leveraged those relationships to gain support for many of LLS’ flagship events and programs, including the annual Alumni Grand Reunion, the “50 at Albany” campus celebration weekend, countless Swearing-In and Commencement ceremonies, the installation of Dean Michael Waterstone, and many more.
Seven deans looked to Carmen for advice on alumni and advancement issues. Always a familiar and welcoming presence at LLS functions, she was quick with an introduction and the go-to person to solve every problem. Unfailingly upbeat and welcoming, the only way to cross Carmen was to disregard your event seat assignment!
“Carmen was the dearest of colleagues and friends,” said Dean Michael Waterstone. “She welcomed me to Loyola when I came as a junior faculty member, worked with me when I was an Associate Dean, and was patient and generous with me when I became Dean. Apart from optimism, talent, and kindness, Carmen’s superpower was building relationships. The depth and breadth of her relationships with faculty, staff, students, and alumni was breathtaking. She defined the best of who we hope to be. I will miss her greatly.”
A champion of equity and inclusion, Carmen helped establish alumni affiliation groups, including the Latino Alumni Chapter. She worked to establish the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Public Service Award, which is bestowed during an annual fundraiser benefiting LLS’ African American Scholarship Fund. And she established the Alumni Mentor Program to help smooth the transition for first-year students of all backgrounds.
A dedicated social justice warrior, Carmen was responsible for many of the Alumni Office’s volunteer opportunities that make the world a better place. She helped organize Attorneys for Others events to give back to the community. Carmen organized Adoption Day, an annual event where alumni help underserved members of the community complete their adoption paperwork. Carmen’s fundraising efforts helped make possible LLS programs like Young Lawyers, the Summer Institute, and our many clinics. There are few parts of Loyola Law School that Carmen did not touch and improve.
Carmen is survived by her husband of 46 years Raul, her daughters Evette and Desiree, her son Raul Jr., her son-in-law Virgil, daughter-in-law Nikole, and her grandchildren Xavier, Valerie, Nathan, Olivia, and Sophia. Always the Loyola ambassador, Carmen saw to it that she and several members of her household became LMU Lions.
In her parting message to the LLS community on the eve of her retirement, Carmen waxed nostalgic: “When I think back on my years at Loyola, I will remember the beautiful campus, but I will treasure the people that make Loyola the great law school that it is: the staff and faculty. Thank you all for being supportive colleagues. I have been blessed to be part of the Loyola community, and I will remain grateful that my path crossed with yours.” And we, Carmen, are blessed that our paths crossed with yours.
Viewing & Rosary
Tuesday, June 20, 4-8 p.m.
Rosary beings at 6 p.m.
Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary
6338 Greanleaf Ave, Whittier, CA 90601
Wednesday, June 21, 10:30 a.m.
St. Bruno Catholic Church
15740 Citrustree Rd, Whittier, CA 90603
Rite of Committal
Immediately following funeral Mass
966 N. Portrero Grande Dr, Rosemead, CA 91770
In lieu of flowers, the Ramirez family asks friends and loved ones to support the scholarship created in Carmen's honor: The Carmen Ramirez Endowed Scholarship.