Love comes in many shapes and sizes, and no two love stories are the same. The love story that I am about to describe is no different. What is different in this love story is that out of tragedy came the transformational scholarship that is helping people now and will continue to help for years to come.
The love between Larry Levine and Jeffrey Poilé was a love between two very special humans. They met, fell in love, and sadly their beautiful relationship was cut short because of a horrible, horrible, disease, which took the life of one of the pair. Jeffrey passed away from AIDS in 1992.
Jeffrey was a dynamic, handsome, charismatic, and caring human being who lived his short life to the fullest. He and Larry Levine had something special. Love that knows no boundaries. Love that is true and can withstand anything. Their special love withstood a devastating illness, during a time that such love was not accepted by many, which made this situation all the more difficult to endure. Larry chronicled all of this as part of the Legends of Courage oral history project.
Jeff and Larry often had to hide what was truly a beautiful relationship. Before joining the McGeorge faculty in 1985, Larry had worked at Morrison and Forrester, a progressive law firm in San Francisco, where he was able to be his authentic self. However, moving to Sacramento from San Francisco during the mid-1980s, and working at what was then a rather inhospitable place for LGBTQ+ persons, caused him to hide too often the beautiful love between he and Jeffrey. When Jeffrey’s condition took a turn, they realized that Jeff would not recover.
Larry turned to his friends and to Sacramento’s small but dynamic LGBTQ+ community, for support. This coming together of friends, in order to support each other, spurred the creation of SacLegal , the LGBTQ+ affinity group of the Sacramento County Bar Association.
Larry was compelled to come out of the closet in order to support his life partner, Jeffrey, during his last months and days. It was this love and their relationship that compelled Larry to memorialize Jeffrey with the formation of the Jeffrey K. Poilé Memorial Scholarship, the first of its kind, to help students who desire to use their legal education to further the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
Larry , along with countless other donors, have raised more than $818,000 to date in order to support this scholarship that provides approximately $30,000 annually to students who desire to make a difference for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community or who are a part of the community, themselves. “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” is a popular song with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The love that was shared by Larry Levine and Jeffrey Poilé was a splendid thing indeed and now Jeffrey’s memory lives on as a splendid scholarship, which will enable love of any kind to be shared and accepted!
Because Love is Love. Please join us for the Jeffrey Poilé Spectacular Event featuring a Zoom lecture by the ever-engaging Yale law professor Bill Eskridge on Tuesday, November 16 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. PST. Please RSVP to the McGeorge Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend and/or if you’d like to be part of the effort to get the endowment in the Jeffrey K. Poié LGBTQ Civil Rights scholarship to the million dollar mark. .