By Jordan Poll October 4, 2017
The Quad is not only renowned for its prestigious alumni, faculty, and students, but also for its beauty—particularly its striking Gothic-style architecture. Its likeness to a certain magical school of witchcraft and wizardry, made famous by the Harry Potter series, is the theme of this year's Nannes 3L Challenge. "It is the first thing people say when they enter the Quad, especially when they first walk into the Reading Room," said 3L Kaylie Springer, symposium editor for the Journal of Law Reform and co-chair of the Nannes 3L Challenge Committee. "The majority of the committee consider themselves die-hard Harry Potter fans, as do most people I have met here at Michigan Law, so we wanted to play off the persona that a lot of us already experience here at the Law School. It is truly a magical place."
Each fall, 3Ls partake in the Nannes 3L Challenge in order to spread awareness of private support by celebrating, participating in, and teaching one another about the vital role it plays in the Michigan Law experience. Through the Challenge—which was conceived and is funded by John Nannes, '73, a partner in Skadden Arp's Washington, D.C., office—students pledge to make a gift to the Law School in each of the first four years after they graduate. In exchange for each student's pledge, Nannes will give $250 to their chosen Law School student organization(s). "His commitment to this institution and its students inspires me," said 3L Nathan Montalto, co-chair of Student Funded Fellowships and the Nannes 3L Challenge Committee. "Everyone should take the Challenge and be involved to help make sure the benefits of a Michigan Law education remain and, ideally, become more available.”
Building awareness of the Law School Fund's importance is another key goal of the Nannes 3L Challenge. The Law School Fund, which is the Law School's annual source of expendable support, sustains many aspects of Michigan Law life, including scholarships, summer fellowships, experiential learning opportunities, faculty recruitment and retention, and student organizations. The Nannes 3L Challenge seeks to introduce soon-to-be alumni to the prospect of philanthropy in hopes that they continue the time-honored tradition as so many have before them. “Private support plays an important role in keeping the Law School running effectively—it accounts for one-third of its funding,” said 3L Phillip Turner, co-chair of the Nannes 3L Challenge Committee. "To know that I can help another generation of social activists, judges, and legal theorists by funding a scholarship or scholarly research through my private donations is so worthwhile. I have had an amazing experience at Michigan Law and, whether in time or cash, I already plan on giving back.”
The Challenge is not only a race to convince the most friends to commit and provide their favorite organizations with much-needed funding. It also is one more platform for old rivalries to come out of the shadows and compete for both bragging rights and the title of "best section." And, in honor of this year’s theme, students who sign up for the Challenge can assign points to the Hogwarts house of their choice. Will Gryffindor triumph over Slytherin, or will Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw be victorious?
“It’s hard to plan for tomorrow let alone two years, but that’s what makes the Challenge different from traditional alumni giving. Even if you can’t give a million dollars, every little bit is important because it supports causes we all believe in. We encourage students to be a part of that,” said Springer. “No matter what organization you support or the career you see yourself in the future, everyone has that same love and appreciation for the Law School. This is our school. We want it to continue to be the same place that we know and love and have spent the last three years.”
This year's Nannes 3L Challenge runs October 2–13. Nannes Challenge committee members will be available during lunchtime in Aikens Commons to answer questions and accept signed Challenge forms. In addition to Montalto, Springer, and Turner, this year's Nannes committee includes 3Ls Laura Beth Cohen, Eric Fleddermann, Lakshmi Gopal, Sally Gu, John He, Asma Husain, Calyssa Lawyer, Baihan Li, Shirin Makhkamova, Omotunde Okesanya, Erin Pamukcu, Austin Perry, Priya Purohit, Christian Robertson, Aurora Mayté Salazar, Jackie Stolzenburg, Ian Williams, and Andrea Xu, and 2Ls Daniel Ackerman, Joshua Goldman, Akash Patel, and Hannah Rubashkin.
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