New Law Scholarship Funds for Students
In an exciting new development for financial aid at Willamette University College of Law, alumna and trustee Mary K. Hughes JD’74 and her husband Andrew Eker have established the Alaska Law Scholarship Fund, with an endowment gift of more than $100,000. This gift was made in recognition of the long history of connections between students and alumni in Alaska and the College of Law. Such alumni connections have included a federal district court judge, a U.S. senator, the longest sitting attorney general in Alaskan history, and countless other public officials and private citizens, who have made a significant difference in the lives and governance of Alaskans. At present, more than 160 attorneys in Alaska received their law degrees from Willamette, and several current WUCL law students call Alaska home. Starting with the fall 2008 semester, the new scholarship will be awarded to select first-year law students who come to Willamette from Alaska. The Alaska Law Scholarship Fund will do much to ensure that WUCL’s historic pipeline of great students from Alaska will continue to flow for generations to come. This new endowed scholarship fund is the law school’s first with a specific geographic preference and the second in the past year to give preference to a specific group of students. In 2007, a series of scholarships were initiated under the banner “Women of Willamette (WOW) Law Scholarship Fund,” which will provide endowed scholarship support to female law students.
The Alaska Law Scholarship Fund was celebrated at a WUCL alumni reception, which was held in Anchorage on April 9th. The WOW Law Scholarship Fund will be celebrated at special alumni events that will be held this spring in Portland, Seattle and Salem.
Increasing the number and size of endowed scholarships continues to be an important priority in the law school’s ongoing First Endowment Campaign. To date, the College of Law and its alumni and friends have raised close to $12 million toward WUCL’s $15 million goal. The beauty of endowed scholarships — like the Alaska Law Scholarship Fund and the WOW Law Scholarship Fund — is that in addition to helping Willamette attract talented law students, the corpus is never spent. Instead, it is invested and grows over time, producing a “yield” that provides the awarded funds. As the fund grows, so do the scholarship awards. — Mike Bennett BA’70 is director of Development and Alumni Relations.
25% by 125! For the 2006–07 fiscal year, which ended May 31, 2007, 16 percent of WUCL alumni made some kind of financial gift to the school. While still far short of the 25 percent participation we seek, this figure represents a new high for alumni participation throughout the past 25 years. As the College of Law embarks on its 125th Anniversary Celebration in the fall of 2008, we encourage more law graduates to join the growing ranks of alumni who are providing annual financial support to the school.
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