Yale Law School Concludes Record-breaking Capital Campaign

Yale Law School has concluded a capital campaign that set all-time records for giving in legal education. The Campaign for Yale Law School, coinciding with a five-year Yale University drive, was prompted by the need to restore, enlarge and modernize the Sterling Law Quadrangle, now over 60 years old, and to fund new programs and curriculum development.

Under the leadership of former dean Guido Calabresi, 1985-1994, and current dean Anthony T. Kronman, the Law School’s campaign goal of $130 million was surpassed by almost 40 percent, for a total of over $180 million. Equally impressive was the scope of alumni participation. Out of approximately 9,600 graduates, 72 percent contributed financially and over 1500 were fundraising volunteers.

Roughly half of the gifts and pledges received are being devoted to restoring the original grandeur of the Law School buildings, modernizing the physical plant, upgrading existing systems, improving accessibility, and expanding the capacity to accommodate new computer, teaching, and research technologies as they become available. The Sterling Law Quadrangle – including public spaces, residential quarters, and gracious courtyards – was one of several Yale buildings designed by James Gambell Rogers and built in the 1920s and 30s. It has not been substantially altered since 1931, when it was first completed. In the meantime the Law School population has doubled, and computers and telecommunications have become essential to scholarship and administration.

The first phase of the building renovation, Ruttenberg Hall, was dedicated in 1994 in honor of Derald H. Ruttenberg ‘40, a pioneering business leader and a generous and far-sighted supporter of the Law School. Ruttenberg Hall houses many of the Law School’s administrative offices and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, a faculty-supervised program through which students offer legal assistance to people who cannot afford private attorneys. Other facilities, including classrooms and dormitory space, will be completed on a graduated schedule through mid-1999.

The centerpiece of the building program is the library. It is undergoing extensive renovation to restore its original elegance, and even more significant expansion to ready it for the demands of the future. Scheduled for completion in the summer of 1999, the new library bears the name of Lillian Goldman, a New York City businesswoman and philanthropist whose generous 1994 contribution was given in honor of her late husband, Sol Goldman.

The remaining campaign funds will be devoted to priorities established under the leadership of deans Calabresi and Kronman. Among these, faculty endowments received especially strong donor support. One notable such gift was a $3.75 million bequest from Pat Herman Winokur, a New York City-based journalist, for visiting professorships to enhance the Law School’s curriculum in especially important areas. This bequest was given in memory of her mother, Florence Rogatz Herman ‘23, who was one of the Law School’s earliest women graduates and for many years a successful New York City attorney. In addition, 17 individual endowed professorships were created in fields as diverse as international law, law and psychiatry, family law, property, and corporate and commercial law.

Donors also favored the Law School’s imaginative and far-reaching loan deferral and forgiveness program, known as the Career Options Assistance Program, which assists in repayment of educational loan debt incurred by students who enter public service and other modestly compensated careers after graduation. Thanks to more than $15 million in such gifts made during the campaign – the largest of which, from the estate of Carol Agger ‘38, totaled more than $5 million – the Law School can now ensure that its graduates are able to pursue rewarding careers regardless of income level.

Gifts for unrestricted use were an essential part of the campaign. Of these, the greatest individual contribution was a bequest of $5 million from the late Robert B. Mautz ‘40, a long-time educator who was for many years the Chancellor of Florida’s state university system. Through other lifetime and testamentary gifts, Mr. Mautz also contributed funds for capital improvements and for the support of younger faculty members.

Honorary campaign chairs were Oscar M. Ruebhausen ‘37 of New York, the retired presiding partner of the Debevoise and Plimpton law firm; the Honorable Cyrus R. Vance ‘42 of New York, former Secretary of State and a partner at the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett law firm; and the Honorable Herbert J. Hansell ‘49 of Washington, D.C., a senior partner in the Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue law firm. Mr. Ruebhausen’s class contributed more than $28 million to the campaign, just edging out the Class of 1940 in combined gifts and pledges.

Estate planning was crucial to the success of the campaign overall; the class of 1937 led the way with a number of significant commitments, including a notable gift from the late Bernard E. Brandes, who before his retirement was a senior partner at the Stroock & Stroock & Lavan law firm. In all, 41 gifts of $1 million or more were received. And of those gifts, 11 were for $2.5 million and more.

“I am honored to have been a part of the most successful capital campaign in the history of legal education,” says Mr. Ruebhausen. “The Yale Law School embodies the ideals of the profession, with a long tradition of public service in both scholarship and practice. It is a pleasure to give something back to an institution that has given us so much.”

Associate Dean Carroll D. Stevens served as chief academic officer for the campaign, and Ralph C. Burr, recently retired as executive director of the Yale Law School Fund, oversaw administrative and volunteer activity.

Dean Kronman attributes the success of the campaign to the strong loyalty of the Law School’s alumni. “No matter where our graduates go and what they accomplish,” says Dean Kronman, “the Yale Law School remains their intellectual home. Both Dean Calabresi and I have been blessed, in this campaign, with alumni who are devoted to this extraordinary place. I am delighted that, thanks to their generosity, we will be able to provide the same matchless experience for generations to come.”

For further information, please contact Elizabeth Stauderman, director of public affairs, 203/432-8464.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325