By Amy SpoonerMarch 14, 2016
A stroll through the Robert B. Aikens Commons and the Kirkland & Ellis Café, or past the donor wall in South Hall, is an obvious way to see the impact of private support at the Law School. However, gifts from alumni and friends permeate all aspects of life at Michigan Law. Philanthropy Awareness Day, which takes place on Tuesday, March 15, reminds the community that life at Michigan Law would be very different without the generosity of others.
Most people know that the Law School and the University of Michigan are in the middle of the Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign, which is the largest in the School's and University's history. But not as many people know how campaign gifts make the institution stronger—or how past gifts and annual support of the Law School Fund create a lasting impact, says Mike Dubin, assistant dean for development and alumni relations.
"Our donors' generosity is reflected in the activities of our clinics and student organizations, in our students who have received scholarships, and in our faculty's research and innovative teaching methods, as well as in our physical campus," Dubin says. "Philanthropy Awareness Day helps our community see the connection between daily life in the Quad and the support that makes it possible."
Gifts from alumni and friends account for approximately one-third of the Law School's operating budget and, in addition to student scholarships and fellowships, they help fund faculty professorships, facilities, speakers, student organizations, and much more. With the Law School more than halfway to its goal in the $200 million Victors for Michigan campaign, Dubin says it's more important than ever for the Michigan Law community to understand how philanthropy makes much of the Law School experience possible. "We all talk about the sense of community at Michigan Law, but it's important to understand that community is life-long. Michigan Law graduates are incredibly passionate and generous, and they deserve our appreciation for their loyalty." The first step toward gratitude, he says, is to understand all the ways private support makes a difference.
During Philanthropy Awareness Day, signs posted throughout the Law School will highlight the ways private support impacts the Quad, such as the fact that more than 700 students are receiving scholarship support or summer funding from alumni gifts this year. Development and alumni relations office staff will be on hand to offer treats and "I Benefit" stickers to students. "We hope students will see that alumni and all of us at the Law School are invested in their success," says Janice Glander, executive director of annual and reunion giving. "Therefore, we hope students will carry on the tradition and do their part after they graduate."
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