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Diann H. Kim, '83, and John B. Frank, '83

Building Support

Diann Kim and John Frank knew they would make a leadership gift to Michigan Law someday. After all, they met in the Law Library, where Diann was struggling to complete her state and federal income tax paperwork. John strolled by and uttered one sentence: “Do your federal form first.” As he walked away, Diann wondered, who is this guy?

After clerkships for both, they married, and the recessional music for their wedding—in Harvard’s Memorial Church— was the Michigan fight song. They moved to Los Angeles,
where Diann joined Tuttle & Taylor as a litigator, and John became a transactional and corporate lawyer with Munger, Tolles & Olson. Life got busy with two children and two
careers, and John’s eventual move to Oaktree Capital Management, where he is the firm’s managing partner, and Diann’s cofounding of a firm of friends, Scheper Kim &
Harris, a civil and white-collar litigation firm. Throughout, they knew they would express their appreciation to Michigan in a substantial way. Someday.

“Someday” became “now” when two irresistible forces entered their lives—first, Dean Evan Caminker, whom the couple regard as a caring friend with a warm, skillful
fundraising style. “We think very, very highly of Evan,” says Diann. “We felt that he was a partner in this gift.  In every way, we felt that Evan was a great leader and
a really good person.” 

Second, Diann learned she suffers from familial amyloidosis, the same genetic disorder that took her mother. That diagnosis, says Diann, “stops you in your tracks and tells
you that your life is not going to be as you thought.” Four months after a successful liver transplant (an option that was not available to her mother), Diann was back at work.  But, by then, the deck of life was reshuffled, and their priorities changed.

Diann and John have made a gift of $2 million to the building project for which, in recognition, they have named the beautiful bridge from Hutchins Hall to Legal Research.  The gift honors both the dean and their relationship with Michigan Law. “We’re incredibly grateful for all that  Michigan has afforded us,” says John, “and we want to ensure that our experiences, or even better experiences, are available to others.” Diann’s health crisis inspired the couple to make their gift to the Law School “sooner rather than later,” says John, “while we’re still young and can enjoy it.”

Diann and John live in Pasadena, California, with their long-haired dachshunds, George and Bo (yes, that Bo).  They’re tremendously proud of their children, Hannah, a PhD candidate in evolutionary biology at Stanford, and Peter, a website entrepreneur in New York City. Neither, however, is likely to be a lawyer. Diann once put the question to Hannah and got an incredulous, “Are you kidding?”

 
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