Suze Deitch hails from a celebrated Northeastern family, with four generations attending the university during the past 100 years. As the number of alumni in her family has grown, so has the university, transforming from a one-room classroom in the YMCA into an internationally-recognized research institution. Throughout her longstanding association with Northeastern, Suze has remained committed to all of its students and in particular, those in the School of Law.
The common thread connecting Suze to Northeastern is her grandfather, Reuben Gryzmish, L’12, H’69. The son of a German-born cigar manufacturer, Gryzmish attended the original evening law program at the YMCA and became a successful entrepreneur and industrialist who led many businesses including the Hotel Corporation of America (later Sonesta Hotels); Plymouth Rubber Company; Truitt Brothers Shoe Corporation; and Alles & Fisher Cigar Company. His cigar factory was located at 716 Columbus Avenue and by mere coincidence, the building is now owned by Northeastern University. Suze recalls fondly how as a young girl she ran through the hallways of the building, then filled with the aroma of drying tobacco, and remembers her grandfather sitting at a large old-fashioned roll top desk in his first floor office.
When limited university resources forced the School of Law to temporarily close in 1956, Gryzmish—along with university president Asa Knowles—led the way in rebuilding the school throughout the next decade. In appreciation for his efforts and philanthropy, Northeastern dedicated Ethel G. and Reuben B. Gryzmish Hall in 1970, where portraits of the couple still greet visitors to the building.
Suzie Deitch and her PILS scholar.
Following in the footsteps of her grandparents, Suze has steadfastly supported Northeastern for over twenty five years. In 2003, she and her husband, Larry Deitch, established the Susan and Larry Deitch Public Interest Law Scholars Fund. The fund provides scholarships to one student in each School of Law class who intends to pursue a career in public-interest law. Recipients must be in good academic standing and demonstrate a strong commitment to the field, and upon graduation, they are expected to work in the public sector for at least five years.
The Gryzmish family’s ties to Northeastern have only grown stronger through subsequent generations. Suze’s uncle, Benjamin Schulman, a longtime friend of the university, established the David B. Schulman Scholarship and the David B. Schulman Lectureship in the late 1980s in memory of his son, David Schulman, a criminal justice major. University alumni in the Gryzmish family include Suze’s brother Bruce Shpiner, MBA’73, a College of Business Administration alumnus; her cousin, Karen Schulman Stocker, L’74, a graduate of the School of Law; and two of her nephews—Steven Shpiner, BA’07 and Matthew Shpiner, CJ’10—have joined the ranks of Northeastern alumni, ensuring that the family legacy continues well into the 21st century.