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Class of 1990

Richard A. Sandman ’90 M.Div.


Richard Sandman, 46, died of a heart attack on April 30, 2008, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. At the time of his death, he was in private practice as an immigration lawyer.


Richard was born January 26, 1962, in Columbus, OH, and lived in Dayton and then East Peoria, IL, where he completed high school.  He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 and entered the Yale Divinity School that fall. 


During an internship year while at YDS, Richard worked with the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries in New York.  After graduating, he served as a caseworker for an HIV/AIDS housing program of the Jewish Board for Family and Children Services in Brooklyn, New York, and obtained a degree in social work from Hunter College, City University of New York. He was a therapist with the Greenwich House AIDS Mental Health Program.


In 1999, Richard returned to the University of Pennsylvania to attend the School of Law. While in law school, he interned with the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., and the Federal Trade Commission in New York City. He received his J.D. in 2002.


He worked for two years in corporate law and then turned to the public interest sphere. He served as a staff attorney for El Centro Hispanoamericano in Plainfield, NJ, from 2004 to 2006, and then began his immigration law practice in New York.


A number of YDS alumni -- Anna Choi '89 M.Div.; John Denaro '91 M.Div.; Nancy Erickson ’89 M.Div.; Alfred Grindon '88 M.A.R., '89 M.A.; Carri Patterson Grindon ’92 M.Div.; Mark Melchior ’90 M.Div.; and Sandy Sorensen ’90 M.Div. -- were at Richard's side in his final days and/or joined his family and many other mourners at memorial services in Chicago and New York.


Richard is survived by his parents, the Rev. J. Robert Sandman and Olgha Sierra Sandman of Oakbrook, IL; siblings Robert, Linda, and Rodney Sandman and their children; and a host of beloved friends.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Middle Collegiate Church for the Richard Sandman Memorial Fund to support the immigrant and LGBT communities and sent to Middle Church, 50 E. 7th Street, New York, NY 10003.