Recently retired Hennepin County District Court Judge Mark Wernick and his wife, Nancy Entwistle, have made leadership gifts to establish the Judge Mark S. Wernick and Nancy Entwistle Public Interest Scholars Assistance programs at the University of Minnesota Law School and William Mitchell College of Law.
Early in her law career, Paula Richey (’76) found herself at a loss when asked for legal advice regarding an issue that involved the governing council on an Indian reservation. "I realized this client needed someone more knowledgeable than I was about the interrelationship of tribal, state, and federal law," she said. Richey reached out to public interest attorneys in her community, but her search yielded few who could help. The experience stuck with her—and over the years, both she and her husband, S. Walter Richey (’63), had other occasions to observe and compare the experiences of people who were able to engage competent legal counsel and those who were not. It left both of them deeply cognizant of the need for attorneys with the skills and, equally important, the inclination to represent underserved communities.
A fellowship for University of Minnesota Law School students studying human rights has been established in the name of prominent Iranian lawyer Mehdi Eftekhari, who died in 2013 at age 93. His daughter, Nazie Eftekhari, and son, Amir Homayoun Eftekhari, created the fellowship in their father's honor.
An Anonymous Donor Gives Back
March 25, 2014
As a former member of the Law School Board of Advisors, this donor understood how the student experience was moving away from the former economic model: low tuition, subsidized by funds from the state of Minnesota. As the state removed itself more and more from the equation, students were asked to make up the difference, causing dramatic tuition increases. Today, money for scholarships is essential to the Law School's ability to recruit a talented and motivated 1L class every year. "These aspiring lawyers are facing serious challenges in paying for Law School," the donor says. "The obvious response is that students are taking on more loans—and I want to help mitigate that debt load."
Class of 1963: A 50th Reunion and a Record-Setting Class Gift
February 24, 2014
Committee members Bill Dolan, Terry Fruth, John Karalis, Jon Lebedoff, Bob Minish and Harry Walsh knew that the 50th reunion of the class of 1963 would generate enthusiasm among their fellow alumni. They also knew that they needed to reach out to every member of the class personally to build momentum for this milestone celebration. "We divided up the list and went to work," says co-chair Jon Lebedoff. "Every classmate for whom we had a phone number was called in the months leading up to Spring Alumni Weekend. As the conversations unfolded, our friendships were renewed and it was clear that our 50th celebration was going to be a very special event for our class."
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Makes $500,000 Gift to Law School
December 10, 2013
The law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. has made a $500,000 gift commitment to the University of Minnesota Law School. The gift will be used to create and endow the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Distinguished Scholar Fund, which will strengthen the Law School's ability to recruit, support, and retain outstanding faculty members.
John P. Sheehy Scholarship
July 16, 2013
Warren and Nancy Dunn's endowment of the John P. Sheehy Scholarship honors their son-in-law, who died April 14, 2012, at age 57. Their daughter Kathleen Dunn Sheehy (’84) was appointed a judge of Minnesota's Fourth Judicial District Court on May 30, 2012.
Robina Foundation Pledges $9 Million to Law School
May 30, 2013
With receipt of almost $9 million from the Robina Foundation, the University of Minnesota Law School has received one of the largest gifts in its history. The gift will be divided evenly to support two Law School programs: the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice and a new University of Minnesota Law School Center for New Americans, an immigration law center. Together, these gifts will support work that has the potential to help millions of people.
Marvin Borman Memorial Scholarship
May 14, 2013
Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand LLP has made a gift to fund the Marvin Borman Memorial Scholarship in honor of their colleague who died September 12, 2012, at age 89. In a Star Tribune obituary, writer James Walsh called Borman "a spirited, committed, roll-up-your sleeves guy."
Unrestricted and Scholarship Giving
February 1, 2013
Lynn Truesdell (’61) and Carol Truesdell's generosity is rooted in shared values, gratitude, and understanding of nonprofits' needs. They are dividing their GENERATIONS gift between three-year Law School scholarships, matched by the Robina Foundation's Scholarship Match Program, and unrestricted funds.
Jacob E. Pritzker Disability Law Fund
December 4, 2012
Fred Pritzker (’76) and Renee Pritzker are surrounded by Golden Gophers, and that's just the way they like it. More than half of the lawyers they have hired at Pritzker Olsen in Minneapolis are Law School graduates, described by Renee as "bright, capable, enthusiastic lawyers who have served our clients and our firm well."
Doing More With What You Have
December 3, 2012
When our alumni and friends discuss charitable gifts to the Law School, they often say they wish their gifts could be larger. In truth, there are numerous ways to do more if giving is carefully planned. Some of the most straightforward gift-planning methods are including the Law School in life insurance or retirement plan beneficiary designations or bequests through estate plans. The Law School, together with your own professional advisors, can help you assess your philanthropic goals and determine what, how, and when to give to maximize your philanthropic intent.
Walter Mondale: New Scholarship
September 6, 2012
A portrait of Walter Mondale (’56) hangs in the Dorsey & Whitney Foyer. The building is named in his honor. To date, he has achieved the highest-ranking government position, vice president, of all his fellow alumni. To say he has a presence at the Law School is an understatement. His presence is not just figurative; it is often physical as well. Walter Mondale is a committed member of the Law School community. He gives freely of his time, serving on the Cabinet for the Generations Campaign, sharing his thoughts in a forum on his newly published memoir, and participating in many additional events. He has been generous to the Law School in other ways, too.
Mooty Family: Unrestricted Giving
August 8, 2012
David Mooty (’78) and Jeanne Hirschey Mooty (’79) met as students at the Law School. Their chance encounter seemed destined to be, and 34 years and 4 children later, they're still sharing interests and experiences.
Class of 2012: Unrestricted Giving
July 9, 2012
Continuing a tradition that began last year, the Class of 2012 made individual five-year pledges to the Partners in Excellence Annual Fund their class gift to the Law School. Led by Anne Fuchs and Jenna Cieslak, the class achieved an impressive 48% participation rate—more than double the general alumni participation rate of 18%. Their hard work and generosity set the bar high for the entire alumni community.
The University of Minnesota Law School has received a $3.5 million gift from the Robina Foundation to support a new Public Interest Scholars Program. The program is intended to create a seamless path from admission to full-time employment for students interested in public service careers.
Scholarship Support: Rachel Brass
April 16, 2012
After graduating from the Law School in 2001, Rachel Brass (’01) clerked for then-Chief Judge James Rosenbaum (’69) (District of Minnesota), a period in her life that shaped her both personally and professionally. Reflecting on her clerking experience she says, "I don’t know that there can be any more formative phase in a young lawyer's career than clerking for a judge." She came away with two important lessons: a passion for the written word and a commitment to maintain balance between personal life and work.
Strategic Initiatives: John Mooty and Bruce Mooty
January 9, 2012
John Mooty (’44) and Bruce Mooty (’80) practice law at the same firm—Gray Plant Mooty of Minneapolis. The pair also spends a lot of time together outside the office. And now the father and son have teamed up to create the John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law and Business.
Joseph Sullivan (’67), Phil Garon (’72), Jim Chosy (’89), and Julie Chosy (’90) took different paths after graduating from the Law School, pursuing a business career, working at a Minneapolis firm, laboring as in-house legal counsel, and clerking for a federal appeals court judge. But all four achieved success, credit the Law School as a critical component, and see donating to the Partners in Excellence Annual Fund as an important way to continue a tradition of superior legal education.
Jean Hanson (’76), Daniel McDonald (’85), Ralph Strangis (’60), and Harvey F. Kaplan (’64) are all establishing new scholarships to ease the financial burden for current and future students.
Student Support: Jim and Julie Chosy
December 9, 2011
Jim (’89) Chosy and Julie Chosy (’90) are the kind of people any community would be lucky to have, believers in the "it takes a village" philosophy of community support. They look for ways to give back however they can, whether through volunteerism or financial gifts, and the Law School is the fortunate beneficiary of both.
Student Support: Sam Heins and Judge Diana Murphy
December 5, 2011
Human rights fellowships are just one facet of experiential education available at the Law School. Among the many alumni who are committed advocates of human rights work, two are Sam Heins (’72) and Judge Diana Murphy (’74). Each of them, recognizing the importance of private contributions to the Law School, decided to make a donation toward human rights fellowships. These fellowships offer students the opportunity to promote social justice through practical training and hands-on experience.
Ronald and Kristine Erickson Business Program Gift
November 28, 2011
Not every Law School graduate is a practicing attorney. Some prefer to enter the business world. That’s the case with Ronald (’60) and Kristine Erickson (’72), a couple who are partners in the private investment firm of Queenwood Capital Partners. "There’s an entrepreneurial DNA that runs through this family," Kris says.
Elliot and Eloise Kaplan Scholarship Fund
November 18, 2011
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi partner Elliot Kaplan (’61) believes that "The loss of public funding calls for all of us to step forward to do all we can to ensure that students can afford the excellent legal education provided by the University of Minnesota Law School." Recently he and his wife, Eloise, took that step forward by establishing an endowed scholarship fund, the Elliot and Eloise Kaplan Scholarship Fund.
"We wanted to respond as leaders in this commitment," says Lowell Stortz, President of Leonard, Street and Deinard P.A., of the $500,000 gift commitment by the firm and the Leonard, Street and Deinard Foundation to the Law School’s GENERATIONS Campaign. "The economic climate and the need to support our valuable educational institutions make it even more important to support the Law School now, and we are sure that others will follow suit."
Melvin R. Mooty Scholarship Fund
August 2, 2011
The Melvin Mooty family has deep connections to the University and the Law School. Melvin Mooty, his wife, Sally Mooty, son Paul Mooty, and daughter Mary Mooty Kileen all studied at the maroon and gold. MELVIN (’51) and PAUL (’85) focused on law, Sally on public education (B.A. ’56), and Mary on business (M.B.A. ’94).
Lee Mitau (’72) and Karin Birkeland (’87) have enjoyed successful careers since graduating, Mitau as executive vice president and general counsel at U.S. Bancorp for the past 16 years and Birkeland with Faegre & Benson and the University of Minnesota’s general counsel office before turning her attention to family matters and volunteering. "We both owe our careers and good fortune to the legal education we received at the University of Minnesota," says Mitau.
University of Minnesota Law School Launches Campaign
April 15, 2011
The University of Minnesota Law School announced a $70 million fund-raising campaign at its Spring Alumni Weekend reception on Friday, April 15. The campaign is projected to run for a five-year period.
Robina Foundation Supports New Institute and Scholarships
April 13, 2011
The Law School recently received the largest gift in its history: a grant of $8.75 million from the Robina Foundation. The grant will be used to support creation of the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice and to advance the Law School's goal of addressing students' financial burden.