Graduates give $50,000 back to law school

By Jesse Lewis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Law school graduates donated more than $52,000 to the college this year, more than has ever been donated in the past.

A student gift committee at the James E. Rogers College of Law worked hard to get as much participation by the class as possible.

"Our goal was 50 percent class participation," said Francisco Aguilar, a graduate of the school and member of the committee.

In the end the school received over 80 percent participation by graduates.

"We were able to make it reach and exceed its goal," Aguilar said.

The amount is more than any in the school's history. The gift is also bigger than similar gifts at other law schools across the country including Harvard and USC.

"Our students understand what it takes to maintain our place among the nation's best public schools: private support," said College of Law Dean Toni Maffaro.

"No great public law school achieves this alone it is a public and private partnership in every case."

Of the money collected, $10,000 will be used to permanently endow the Susan S. Barber Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was created in memory of Barber who was fatally injured in a domestic violence incident. Barber would have graduated with this class.

The rest of the donation will be used in the Dean's Faculty Recruitment fund. The fund is used to attract future teachers and scholars to the college.

"The fund is used to get people in. Law schools compete to attract faculty," said Nancy Stanley, the assistant director of development and public relations for the college. "We need to spend money to get out and find people and to offer resources to new faculty."

The donations were motivated by the interaction with James Rogers, the school's largest donor.

Rogers has donated $130 million to the school, which is the reason for the school's name. He speaks to incoming students about the need for donations and where the money goes.

"He motivated people to know how much funding the school needs," Aguilar said.

The committee simply spoke with their classmates and received the donations and the decision to use the money for the causes it chose.

The graduates are asked to donate $100 a year for the next five years until they become established in the working world. After that the students may increase their gift.

"(This class) set the bar high for all who follow them, and honor those who began this class gift tradition," Maffaro said.

"If every alumnus followed their suit our college would soar. As it is, we do miracles with what we have, thanks to graduates and friends who care."