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The Campaign For The University of Minnesota Law School

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."

Co-chair Bill Dolan led the effort to mark the occasion with a special class gift. "As much as we wanted to celebrate our experience at the Law School, we also wanted to give back in ways that will make a positive difference for both current and future Law students," he says.

As the April 19, 2013, reunion celebration approached, the guest list continued to grow, with class members making travel plans from locations all across the country. The class invited Dean David Wippman and faculty from their era to attend. Professor George Christie and Professor John Cound were also added to the guest list.

Class of 1963: A 50th Reunion and a Record-Setting Class Gift


When the doors opened for dinner at the Minneapolis Club, 35 alumni were in the room—47 percent of the living and reachable classmates. "The turnout from our class was remarkable," Lebedoff observes. "It was so much fun to reconnect with each other after 50 years—it was a remarkable evening."

"The spirit of '63 will be a positive factor at the Law School for a very long time," notes Dolan. "Collectively, our class committed more than $3.4 million to our alma mater, a new record for a 50th reunion class. Some gifts have been made already, while others will come from our estates and retirement plans in the future."

"I am so proud of '63," he says. "We enjoyed a great 50th reunion and we made a significant investment in the future of the Law School."