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The last place you'll find Matt Nolan is on the sidelines. Of anything. School, extracurricular activities, work—Nolan has thrown himself completely into whatever he has taken on.
Fortunately for Michigan Law, Nolan has become one of the school's most dedicated young fundraisers and a generous donor in his own right. His current goal: For his class of 2006 toset a record reunion giving total for five-year classes.
"Alumni have a crucial responsibility to help keep Michigan Law what it is and to make it better," says Nolan. "Without alumni support, that would be impossible. If each of us steps up and does only a fraction of what we're in a position to do, we can collectively propel the Law School toward even bigger and better things, just as past alumni have done for us."
A native of Muskegon, Michigan, and drum major of his high school's state championship-winning marching band, Nolan came to U-M as a freshman and briefly considered the marching band before entering student politics. He was elected to serve as student body president in 2001–2002, his junior year, a tumultuous time in which he spoke to 15,000 students at a campus vigil on the night of the 9/11 attacks, fielded media questions on the University's affirmative action case, and sat on the search committee that hired U-M's current president, Mary Sue Coleman, the only student to do so.
"I was very fortunate and grateful to be a part of all that," Nolan says. "Each of those experiences has helped shape me."
When he came across the street to Michigan Law, Nolan approached law school with equal verve, singing bass for the Headnotes, helping run Res Gestae as executive editor, serving as commissioner of the bowling league, being elected president of the Federalist Society, and participating in other student
organizations. He co-chaired the first-ever student-led Nannes 3L Challenge initiative and the most successful to that time, garnering $50,000 for the Law School Fund.
Nolan went on to practice corporate law in Kirkland & Ellis's Chicago office, and in 2010 returned to Michigan to take an in-house counsel position with Dow Corning in Midland. In addition to working on a variety of legal matters, he recently was elected director and secretary of Dow Corning's political action committee and trustee and secretary of the company's foundation. "Dow Corning has been a place of great opportunity for me so far," he says.
Since law school graduation, Nolan has led his class's committee of class agents, urging fellow '06 grads to give to the Law School Fund and now to set a new reunion giving record.
A fellow class agent, Mandy Legal, '06, says, "He always sets ambitious goals, and we often meet them." When they do, "I attribute a large part of that to Matt's efforts."—BF
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