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Faegre & Benson Gives Law School Gift of $750,000

OCTOBER 23, 2009—The law firm of Faegre & Benson LLP, through the Faegre & Benson Foundation, has made a $750,000 gift commitment to the University of Minnesota Law School. It has designated that $500,000 of the gift go to create and endow the Faegre & Benson Scholarship Fund and that $250,000 go to create a new Faegre & Benson Business Initiatives Fund.

A core purpose of the Scholarship Fund, says Michael A. Ponto ('89), a firm partner and officer of the Faegre & Benson Foundation, is to enhance the Law School’s ability to recruit a diverse student population on a par with other top law schools.

Faegre & Benson’s gift qualifies for the University of Minnesota President’s Scholarship Match Program, whereby endowment payout is matched dollar-for-dollar in perpetuity. The impact of the firm’s scholarship gift thus is equivalent to that of a $1 million gift. A separate scholarship fund established by the firm in 1979 will be added to the new Fund.

The firm’s $250,000 gift to the Faegre & Benson Business Initiatives Fund will enable the Law School to pursue a number of initiatives aimed at partnering more effectively with the business community and strengthening its business law program. The flexible structure of the Initiatives Fund will allow the Law School to respond strategically to evolving needs and opportunities.

The prestigious firm, with 500 partners worldwide, has teamed with the Law School on many fronts for years. Thomas G. Morgan, chair of Faegre & Benson’s management committee, notes that this major gift recognizes the important and leading role that the Law School plays in the Twin Cities community.

The $750,000 gift commitment brings Faegre & Benson’s total gifts to the Law School since 1979 to nearly $1.6 million. In addition, the firm’s lawyers have made generous individual gifts.

"We are deeply grateful to the outstanding leadership of the firm and the Faegre & Benson Foundation for responding to our critical need for scholarship funding and facilitating important strategic initiatives that we would be hard-pressed to pursue without such generous philanthropic support," says Dean David Wippman. "The Law School is proud to earn the confidence of Faegre & Benson and to be affiliated with one of the top law firms in Minnesota and the country."

Portrait of Mike Ponto

Michael Ponto ('89)
Faegre & Benson

Portrait of Tom Morgan

Thomas Morgan
Faegre & Benson