Remembering Pamela Shu (’80)

It is with heavy hearts, but with a strong sense of gratitude, that we reflect on the life of Pamela Shu (’80), who passed away on January 12 at the age of 67.

As a member of the John Marshall community, chances are you have been impacted by Ms. Shu in some way. As an alum, you may have run into her at one of the many events she attended, including the annual Freedom Award Reception. As a student, you may have been lucky enough to receive the Pamela Shu Scholarship, which benefits students who need financial assistance to complete their studies. As an attorney, you may have worked with her at the State’s Attorney’s Office or FINRA. If you are religious, you may have been seen each other at church services. As a John Marshall Board of Visitors member, you may have sat beside her during the many years she served on that Board. And if you attended John Marshall in the late 1970s, you may have even been one of her classmates.

A litigator for more than 30 years, Ms. Shu loved to give back to the community and often found herself working in the public sector. Early in her career, she was an Assistant Attorney General and an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney. She spent the remainder of her professional life in regulatory enforcement of the investment industry, working at the National Futures Association and FINRA in Chicago.

After retiring in 2011, Ms. Shu volunteered for seven years at Legal Aid Chicago, where she helped provide free legal assistance to those in need. She also dedicated a portion of her life to the Law School and served on the John Marshall Board of Visitors for 20 years. It was during this time that she established the Pamela Shu Scholarship, in loving memory of her parents, that has helped students during their Law School careers. It was important to Ms. Shu to connect with her scholarship recipients, and she always made an effort to meet with them to offer advice and words of encouragement.

Ms. Shu was an active member of her church, St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Wilmette, Illinois. She and her family attended services there for close to 30 years. Ms. Shu served on the Vestry and Altar Guild and served as a Warden, Sunday School teacher, and youth leader. She co-chaired the Church’s Plant Sale fundraiser and Christian Outreach Commission for many years.

Ms. Shu also worked as a Commissioner of the Wilmette Human Relations Commission and served on the Before-School Foreign Language Committee for Harper Elementary School, where she helped introduce foreign languages to children at an early age. Aside from work and volunteering, Ms. Shu loved to travel the world, attend concerts, study Spanish, cultivate a beautiful garden, and host countless dinners for beloved family and friends.

Born in 1953, Ms. Shu’s family moved from Washington, D.C. to Asia, where she grew up in the Philippines and Hong Kong. In 1966, her family moved back to the United States, where they settled in Skokie, Illinois. She graduated from Evanston Township High School, earned her BA from Northwestern University, and her JD from John Marshall.

A memorial service is planned for April 18, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, 1140 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois 60091.

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