University of San Diego School of Law Announces the Completion of its First Endowment Campaign

SAN DIEGO, January 25, 2008 – The University of San Diego School of Law announced today that it raised more than $11 million to complete the school’s first-ever endowment campaign. The three-year campaign doubled the size of the law school endowment and will allow the school to continue to compete with other nationally ranked institutions by providing financial incentives designed to attract accomplished faculty and the best and brightest students.

Endowments grow in value through sound investments, providing a major source of supplemental income for their beneficiaries. Instead of depending entirely on revenues generated from tuition to fund its annual budget, the law school’s growing endowment will allow the school to make significant long-term investments in its faculty, students and academic programs.

“When we launched this campaign in 2004, the challenge of raising $11 million in endowment funds seemed a daunting task,” said School of Law Dean Kevin Cole. “It was the persistence of a committed team of volunteers from the school’s Board of Visitors and Law Alumni Board of Directors as well as the unwavering efforts of our own development office that led to our success.”

A committee of prominent alumni and friends dedicated many hours of service to secure 44 gifts ranging from $50,000 to $2 million. The endowment campaign committee was led by Thompson Fetter, ‘67, of T. Fetter & Co., Inc. and included John M. Carson, ’88, of Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP; Dennis J. Doucette, ’86, of Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps; Professor C. Hugh Friedman of the University of San Diego School of Law; John R. Henkel, ’77, of Linden Root Dickinson Foundation; Steven R. Hunsicker ,’75; James C. Krause, ’75, of Krause Kalfayan Benink & Slavens, LLP; Gerald L. McMahon, ’64, of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek; Virginia C. Nelson, ’79, of the Law Offices of Virginia C. Nelson; Michael J. Rider, ’83, of Callaway Golf Company; and Michael T. Thorsnes, ’68, of Thorsnes, Bartolotta, & McGuire.

“The stature and reputation of USD School of Law has grown far beyond its standing when most of us graduated and, in turn, has enhanced our careers and the value of our degrees,” explained the campaign Chairman Thompson Fetter. “This is a new era in funding and through the generosity of our donors, we will continue to build this strong, private law school.”

Alumni support of this campaign was unprecedented in the school’s 53-year history with more than 75 percent of the major gifts to the campaign are from alumni donors. Gifts to the law school from this endowment campaign fall into three categories: scholarships, endowed professorships and general operation funds. Some gift highlights include:

The Honorable Lynn Schenk and Professor C. Hugh Friedman

Program in Public Policy and Social Change

Professor of Law C. Hugh Friedman and alumna Lynn Schenk, ’70, the first female congresswoman to represent San Diego in the U.S. House of Representatives (1993-95), have pledged $2 million to fund both a professorship and an educational program. The endowed professorship in corporate, business or securities law will be held either by a permanent or visiting professor.

The gift will also fund the Honorable Lynn Schenk and Professor C. Hugh Friedman Program in Public Policy and Social Change. The program will bring politicians, academics and other public figures knowledgeable about the legislative process and the impact law and legislation have on social change to USD School of Law.

Friedman joined the law school as an adjunct professor in 1958, just four years after it opened. He is the founding chair of the law school’s Board of Visitors, holds an honorary degree from the law school and currently teaches corporations, business planning and securities regulations.

Schenk, a 1970 graduate of the law school, is a 2002 recipient of the University of San Diego’s Author E. Hughes Award for Career Achievement and the law school’s Distinguished Alumni Award. She was in the cabinet of California governors Jerry Brown and Gray Davis. As a White House Fellow, she was a special assistant to former vice presidents Nelson Rockefeller and Walter Mondale.

Friedman and Schenk say the USD School of Law is where they want to make a lasting impact. Both are committed to giving back to the community that has given to them.

“We couldn’t think of anything better than to give to USD School of Law,” Friedman says.

Stanley Legro Professorship in Environmental Law

Having formerly served as the country’s chief environmental enforcement officer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, Stanley Legro has a long and distinguished background in environmental law. Legro has generously established the Stanley Legro Professorship in Environmental Law with a $510,000 donation to the USD School of Law.

The Stanley Legro Professorship in Environmental Law allows the law school to bring distinguished professors to campus in the field of environmental law. The inaugural holder, Richard B. Stewart, visited the law school to teach a seminar in international environmental law in the spring of 2007 and has returned to teach again in spring of 2008. Professor Stewart, an internationally recognized scholar in the field, is the John Edward Sexton Professor of Law and director of the Center for Environmental and Land Use Law at New York University Law School.

Legro believes the field of environmental law will continue to grow in importance both in the law and in our everyday lives. Although not an alumnus of the University of San Diego School of Law, Legro explained, “I was also attracted to make a significant gift in this field because of the extremely able environmental law faculty already at USD School of Law and the opportunity to help build on what they have already accomplished.”

Michael A. Connor-Horizon Group Endowed Scholarship

With his $50,000 pledge to create the Michael A. Connor-Horizon Group Endowed Scholarship, Michael Connor, ’96, is the youngest alumnus donor in the law school’s history.

Connor attended USD School of Law thanks in part to a generous scholarship, and it is in that way he wanted to give back. As an admittedly “intense” law student, he excelled academically and learned to love business transactional law.

“I felt like I got a lot of support at USD School of Law,” says Connor. “The professors there were top-notch academically.”

Today, Connor owns and manages Horizon Law Group LLP and Horizon Strategy Partners LLC. Both businesses thrive on work with entrepreneurial clients. To perpetuate the field of business transactional law, Connor has designated his scholarship for a law student who has shown an interest and proficiency in that area of legal practice. He feels businesses transactional law is important and the best way to stimulate the practice is to create a scholarship at USD School of Law.

For more information about the scholarships and endowed professorships mentioned in this press release as well as more information about the endowment campaign, please contact Associate Director of Development Abbey Stephenson at (619) 260-4692 or

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego School of Law is a center of academic excellence focused on preparing its students for legal practice in the new century. One of the most selective law schools in the country, the School of Law’s nationally recognized faculty create a demanding, yet welcoming environment that emphasizes individualized education. USD law school graduates consistently score higher than the state average on the California Bar Exam and go on to practice law throughout the country and abroad, forming an influential network of alumni. The USD School of Law is one of only 80 law schools in the country to have a chapter of The Order of the Coif, the most distinguished rank of American law schools. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949. Please visit the Web site at for more information.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.