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JAN. 24, 1945 -- APRIL 11, 2005

Loyce Stewart, director of affirmative action efforts at the University at Buffalo, died Monday in her Buffalo home after a long illness. She was 60.

Born Loyce Thomas in Jersey City, N.J., she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the New York Institute of Technology and a master's degree in American studies from UB.

From 1978 to 1982, she was deputy executive developer of Economic Opportunity Council on Long Island. In 1983, she became president and chief executive officer of Artfocus Consultants on Long Island.

Ms. Stewart moved to Western New York in 1989. From 1990 to 1992, she was director of international protocol and community relations for the World University Games held in this area.

In 1992, she joined UB as associate director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Administration. She had been director since 1999.

She had a leading role in the work of the President's Task Force on the Status of Women at UB.

Ms. Stewart also worked with the UB Faculty Senate and campus leaders to develop a comprehensive sexual harassment policy, which was issued in 2000.

She also mentored a number of minority students in the sciences, arts and law.

"Working with students gave Loyce the opportunity to pass on her philosophy of social justice to them and to anyone they happened to encounter," said Ms. Stewart's life partner, Masani Alexis DeVeaux, an associate professor of women's studies at UB.

In addition to Ms. DeVeaux, survivors include a daughter, Lori of Rochester; her mother, Edith Ben Ali Thomas of Maryland; three sisters, Cheryl Jones of Tennessee, Dr. Michelle Thomas of Washington, D.C., and Donna McGruder of Maryland; her former husband, Michael of Auburn; and three grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Blessed Sacrament Church, 1035 Delaware Ave. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.


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