Campaign Updates


Memories of Law School Inspire Van Wagenen Scholarship

Paul Van Wagenen

Inspired by how a much-needed scholarship helped make the dream of law school a reality, UW School of Law alumnus Paul G. Van Wagenen '73 has made a gift establishing The Paul G. Van Wagenen Endowed Scholarship.

"One of the oldest existing endowed scholarships at the law school is named for William Wallace Wilshire," said Van Wagenen, retired chairman and CEO of Pogo Producing Company in Houston, Texas. "I received one of those scholarships, and now I can assist a new generation to get a good legal education."

Immediately after graduating, Van Wagenen joined the law department of Exxon where his experience in oil and gas exploration included contract and transactional work, joint ventures, litigation, and federal administrative law and governmental relations. He joined Pogo Producing Company five years later to head the legal department and rose to the position of chairman and CEO.

Now retired, Van Wagenen credits much of his success to "the good legal education I received at the law school."

"For more than 60 years, the Wilshire scholarship helped so many students," he said. "Now I can continue in that tradition."


Endowment Established for UW School of Law Library

Jerry and Lucille Curtis photo goes here

UW law school alumnus Gerald (Jerry) Curtis '53 and his wife, Lucille, have made a bequest that will establish a generous endowment to support the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library. Once realized, funds from the Gerald N. '53 and Lucille Curtis Law Library Endowed Fund will provide discretionary support for the law library.

Jerry Curtis received two undergraduate degrees from the UW, in addition to his law degree. Following law school, Jerry worked at the Boeing Company and in the senior-housing business. Later, he went on to establish Curtis Construction. He is a long-time supporter of and contributor to the law school.

"It is my hope that this gift will help the law library continue its prominence as one of the West Coast's foremost legal resources," he said.

"We are grateful for the generosity of the Curtis family," said Associate Dean for Library & Computing Services and Professor of Law Penny Hazelton. "The law library serves as the single-most important legal resource for the law school community and the region. The Curtis Law Library Endowed Fund will ensure the continued enrichment of the library's outstanding services and collections for future generations. As legal information and libraries continue to respond to 21st century-user needs, the Gallagher Law Library will stay on the forefront of innovation with the Curtis family gift."


Endowed Professorship Honors UW Law Dean Emeritus Hjorth

Ron HjorthDean Emeritus & Garvey Schubert Barer Professor Ron Hjorth

Generous gifts from alumni and friends of the UW School of Law have established the Dean Emeritus Roland L. Hjorth Endowed Professorship in recognition of Hjorth's 45 years of leadership and service to the school. The announcement of the professorship was made at Hjorth's retirement celebration on October 2, 2009.

Hjorth, the school's 12th dean, is noted for raising both public and private funds for the construction of William H. Gates Hall. He was a beloved dean who guided faculty, students, alumni, and friends to reaffirm the School of Law'shistoric commitment to a diverse faculty and student body.

The purpose of the Hjorth Endowed Professorship is to attract and retain distinguished faculty in the law school.

Gifts to help grow the Hjorth Professorship fund are still being accepted and can be made on-line.


Gift to UW School of Law Establishes Innovation Fund

Linden Rhoads

A generous gift from Linden Rhoads, the Vice Provost of UW TechTransfer, established a discretionary dean's innovation fund at the UW School of Law to encourage important thinking and dialogue on cutting-edge questions of law and policy. The Linden Rhoads Dean's Innovation Fund recently sponsored Three Degrees, an internationally-renowned UW law student-led climate change conference that addressed human rights.

As the Vice Provost of UW TechTransfer, Rhoads leads the unit of the University that seeks to commercialize discoveries made from research conducted at the UW. She is a veteran executive in the Seattle high tech community, working with a number of successful Seattle-based startups, including ChiliSoft, Singingfish.com, AdRelevance, GBI and Nimble Technology.

A graduate of Smith College, Rhoads majored in Geophysics and later attended the UW School of Law, where she focused on intellectual property. She has been an active member of the UW community, serving on the board of the Washington Technology Center, the Dean's Advisory Board at the UW Law School, the steering committee for the UW Law School Capital Campaign and the campaign committee for the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering.


Barer Gift Provides Capstone to $70 Million Campaign

Alta and Stan BarerA $4 million pledge from UW Regent and law school campaign chair Stan Barer '63 and his wife, Alta, brings the total raised for the School of Law'scampaign to more than $70 million. The Barers announced their gift, which will lead to the creation of the Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services, at law school Alumni Recognition Banquet on May 22, 2008.

"This extraordinary gift from the Barers is a wonderful capstone to the School of Law'ssuccessful $70 million campaign," said UW President Mark Emmert. "In addition to serving as chair of the Board of Regents, Stan is also a great friend and champion of the law school. This gift ensures that the UW will continue to produce leaders in the international human rights arena and provide a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and, most importantly, global legal education. We're very grateful to Stan and Alta for their vision and generosity."

"It is my and Alta's hope that the Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services will provide legal roadmaps for the establishment of enforceable duties and the resultant enjoyment of rights for the receipt of basic health care, educational and economic opportunity wherever those problems are most pressing in the globe," said Stan Barer. "It is a lofty goal but one that is close to our hearts and can no longer only be addressed by medicine and science."

American Bar Association President Bill Neukom congratulated the Barers and the law school on the gift. "The Barer Institute for Law and Global Human Services will surely enhance and extend the rule of law to communities in this country and throughout the world," said Neukom. "As we would expect of the Barers and the School of Law, this is a thoughtful and far-sighted initiative which will pay rich dividends."

The Institute, which will involve an interdisciplinary effort based in the law school, will study and promote the effectiveness of legal frameworks as essential elements in achieving goals for human health, education, and social and economic well-being in developing countries.

"The law school is fortunate to be the recipient of this generous gift from Stan and Alta," said law school Interim Dean Greg Hicks. "Their gift recognizes the School of Law'slong history of addressing international human rights and our faculty expertise in international law."


GordonDerr honors Peter Buck '73 with gifts

Peter Buck '73The Seattle land use and real estate law firm of GordonDerr LLP recently honored UW law school alumnus, and former Buck & Gordon partner, Peter Buck '73 with the creation of the Peter L. Buck Public Interest Law Association (PILA) Grant in Environmental Law.

"The Peter Buck Grant is a generous endowment that will support and fund public interest legal work with an environmental focus for years to come," said PILA co-president Stephanie Kotecki. "We appreciate the dedication to public interest and the support for law students evidenced by this gift, and are honored to administer the grant."

The GordonDerr gift, which will provide one full PILA grant each year to a UW law student for projects that relate to the environment, is in honor of Buck's passion for helping young lawyers, as well as his expertise in environmental law.

"Pete has always enjoyed mentoring students from the law school, and GordonDerr (formerly Buck & Gordon) has a great history of supporting PILA," said Jay Derr, friend and former partner of Buck. "GordonDerr is proud to carry on this tradition."


Shellan Bequest to Support Mediation Programs

Prof. Julia Gold and The Hon. Gerard Shellan

A pioneer in alternative dispute resolution, The Honorable Gerard M. Shellan may be off the bench, but he continues to hear cases as a mediator and an arbitrator. He has heard more than 3750 cases, everything from marriage dissolution to construction matters, and remains one of the most sought-after mediators in the United States.

In talking to law school students from Professors Julia Gold and Alan Kirtley’s classes, he stressed the importance of mediation. Not only does mediation make the court system more efficient, but clients benefit, in time and money, from a respectful process and the successful resolution of their issues. Judge Shellan also emphasized that today’s lawyers need to understand how to prepare for mediation, as opposed to preparing for a trial.

Shellan, who graduated from the law school at Columbia University and retired after a long career on King County Superior Court, strongly believes that mediation is a critical component of the judicial system and that students need a solid foundation in the practice and principles of dispute resolution. To this end, he recently included a $250,000 bequest and a gift of real estate property in his estate plan to support arbitration and mediation education at the UW School of Law. This newest gift is in addition to the $200,000 charitable remainder unitrust he funded in 1993 to benefit the law school. For Gold, director of the Mediation Clinic, this stable funding will allow the clinic to provide services to more people in the community while giving law students important hands on experience with clients.

“Alternative dispute resolution is now an equal part of the judicial system and handles more cases than public courts,” Judge Shellan told the students. “The Mediation Clinic is giving us new lawyers who are prepared for this component of our court system.”


Law Firm Annual Challenge

Gates HallThe Law Firm Annual Challenge (LFAC) was created to give alumni an opportunity to reconnect with their alma mater, to promote meaningful participation in the life of the law school, and to strengthen the Husky network within the legal community. The challenge will serve as the foundation for an organized and mutually beneficial partnership that will sustain and grow the UW School of Law for the betterment of the Puget Sound legal community and beyond. Twenty-seven law firms are participating in LFAC this year, and more than 80 law school alumni have already made a pledge to this year's campaign.



More Support for Students First From Costco Excutives

Two Costco executives recently made gifts to the UW School of Law to support the Students First campaign.

Joel Benoliel '71Joel Benoliel '71, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Costco, and his wife Maureen recently endowed a scholarship fund for law students in financial need. The Benoliel gift will provide a three-year award given annually to a first-year student beginning in September 2008. The latest gift from the Benoliels follows two other scholarships they created, one first awarded in 2006 and the other first awarded this year.

Benoliel has been actively involved in the law school for several years. He is currently a trustee of the Washington Law School Foundation, serves on the law school’s Capital Campaign Committee, and is a volunteer for the Law Firm Annual Challenge. He has been on the Dean’s Advisory Committee and was part of the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee.

Jeffrey Brotman '67, Jim Siniegal, and Greg Hicks In addition to the Benoliel gift, Costco co-founder and law school alumnus Jeffrey Brotman was honored with a gift in his name by Brotman’s long-time partner and Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal and his wife, Janet. Funds from the Sinegals gift will be slated to help financially needy law students who are first-generation college graduates, come from underserved areas of our region, or have demonstrated a strong desire in working with underrepresented populations.

Brotman, who received his J.D. from the law school in 1967, has served as a UW Regent since 1998 and is a board member of the UW Foundation. In 1998 Jeffrey and his wife, Susan, were recipients of the UW Recognition Award and, three years later, he received the School of Law's Outstanding Alumnus Award.




Joe Diamond '31, First Law Grad to Give to UW's Students First Program

Joe Diamond's 100th birthday

Just weeks prior to his passing on March 3, 2007, three days shy of his 100th birthday, Joe Diamond along with his wife Muriel made a $100,000 gift to the School of Law to create the Josef and Muriel Diamond Law Student Scholarship. This is the first gift to the law school as part of the UW Students First campaign and, because the donation qualifies for matching funds, (equal to 50% of the contribution), the gift is considerably enhanced. The fund will provide need-based scholarships to students seeking a J.D. from the School of Law and was made in honor of Josef Diamond and his lifelong passion for the law.

Dog Race Graph

LFAC Campaign Participation
Washington law firms and their UW School of Law alumni have made a strong start in this year's Law Firm Annual Challenge.

Last updated 10/7/2014