Jentes $1.5 million gift boosts building fund

An outhouse in the middle of Hutchins Hall? Bill Jentes, '56, recounted the story during a fund-raising dinner last month in support of the campaign for a new Law School building and Commons.

William Jentes, ‘56

In his senior year Jentes and some Barrister classmates schlepped the shanty into Hutchins to encourage ticket sales for the Crease Ball, the annual dance sponsored by the Barristers Society. Their slogan: "Don’t sit this one out – get your tickets now."

Jentes joked that maybe the Law School could recycle the earlier marketing campaign to promote participation in the campaign for the new building and Commons. His remark was part of a serious speech about the Law School's need for the building at a dinner last month in Chicago, where he lives.

Jentes, who has served as an honorary co-chair of the Law School’s campaign, hosted the dinner to introduce other Chicago alumni to the expansion and renovation project. Dean Caminker attended to preview the building plans. Jentes has since made a pledge of $1.5 million to the building fund, motivated by his desire to help the Law School with its highest philanthropic priority.

The new commitment continues Jentes' dedication as one of the Law School's most engaged supporters. In 1989 he created the Jentes Scholars Program, which awards full scholarships to nine students annually on the basis of undergraduate achievement and potential to excel at Michigan Law.

In addition, every fall he has taught a seminar at Michigan on complex litigation, his specialty at Kirkland & Ellis, where he practiced for nearly 50 years. Jentes now serves as an independent arbitrator and mediator of major domestic and international commercial disputes.