In February 2016, USD announced “Leading Change: The Campaign for USD,” a $300 million comprehensive campaign focused on fundraising in five critical areas: capital projects, scholarships, program and faculty support, and the endowment. During the Campaign for USD, the School of Law aims to raise $31.5 million in support of scholarships, academic programs and infrastructure.
Leading the law school campaign are David S. Casey Jr., ’74 (JD), committee chair, and Virginia C. Nelson, ’79 (JD), vice chair. Also serving on the law school’s executive committee are Stephen P. Doyle, ’84 (JD); Michael B. Kaplan, ’72 (JD); John (Jack) R. McGrory, ’81 (JD); Paul E. Robinson, ’73 (JD); the Honorable Lynn Schenk, ’70 (JD); Ronson J. Shamoun, ’03 (LLM), ’02 (JD), ’98 (BA); and Vickie E. Turner, ’82 (JD).
The campaign committee is dedicated to making long-lasting change for the School of Law; its members are committed to engaging new alumni and donors, while identifying programs that they can support that match their passions, background and interest areas. Nelson, for example, has been especially committed to promoting awareness of the Legacy Endowed Scholarship Program. This program highlights the importance of endowed scholarship funding, ensuring long-term support for the law school and enabling the legacy of the donation to live on in perpetuity.
“This type of scholarship is the most efficient and worthwhile way that donors can provide benefits to as many deserving students as possible, for as long as possible,” Nelson said.
Since the campaign’s start, privately funded and endowed named scholarships at the School of Law have increased from 34 to 89—the campaign committee is now committed to reach at least 100 named scholarships before the end of the campaign. Recently established named scholarships include awards to support and promote diversity and LGBT Q rights, to enable students to pursue public interest opportunities and to support women interested in business law. The donors funding many of these scholarships have also designated that the awards be made to students with demonstrated financial need and to reduce the burden of law school debt.
The campaign’s goals also include updating the law school’s technology and facilities, ensuring USD ’s legal clinics and centers continue to receive the critical funding they need to make positive change in the community, creating professorships to recruit and retain top faculty, and supporting innovative teaching and programs to train students for the changing job market.