Fleming '51 Supports Students First
“I knew when I was seven-years-old that I wanted to be a lawyer,” said Don Fleming from his house overlooking Lake Washington. “I don’t know why, but I just knew.”
Fleming went to the UW in 1939 where he majored in pre-law and business. After graduation, like many of his generation, he fought during World War II in Europe. When Germany surrendered in 1945, he was redeployed to the Pacific Theater in Manila.
Because of his legal interest and background and a long wait for transportation home, Fleming was assigned to the U.S. Court of Claims and later was appointed as a Commissioner of Claims (at field grade). His wife Marjorie joined him in the Philippines where he was assigned to a branch office on the Island of Panay. He returned to Seattle to study law in 1948.
It wasn’t easy being married and a student.
“I worked all kinds of odd jobs while in law school,” he recalled, “and made about 50 cents a hour, a good deal then.”
Before his retirement, Fleming was a partner in Le Sourd, Patten, Fleming, and Hartung, where one of his first big cases lasted five years, went through five different superior courts and withstood two Washington Supreme Court challenges.
Now retired after a long career in estate and tax planning, Fleming is the second alumnus to participate in the UW’s Student First campaign which added a 50% match from the university to his $100,000 gift. The Donald D. Fleming Endowed Scholarship will help financially needy law students.
When asked why he endowed this scholarship, Fleming replied, “I feel like the University of Washington has given me everything I’ve needed to make a good life. I spent eight wonderful years there. I met my wife in Parrington Hall and got married two years later. I enjoyed the practice of law for more than 50 years. I was never sorry for one minute.”