Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Jo Ann and Mike '77 Carpenter Endow Full-Tuition Scholarship

Jo Ann and Mike CarpenterLike so many futures, Mike Carpenter's was launched in the office of associate dean emeritus for student affairs, Jack Henderson. It was on that day in 1974 that Dean Henderson and a young, aspiring law student of modest means from a small town in West Virginia came to an understanding. The student would attend The Ohio State University College of Law and the college would provide him a scholarship to do so. Thirty years later, the agreement reached that day is launching a new generation of opportunity through the creation of the Jo Ann and Mike Carpenter full-tuition scholarship.

Mike Carpenter joined the 1L class that fall and immediately made his presence known. A top student throughout his academic career, Mike graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law near the top of his class as a member of The Order of the Coif. Because of the scholarship he received, Mike was able to graduate debt free.

Following graduation, Mike joined Lane, Alton & Horst, a mid-size Columbus litigation firm. Mike feels that joining that firm was one of the best decisions of his career, allowing him a depth of litigation experience he otherwise might not have acquired elsewhere. Through numerous trials and proceedings, Mike honed his litigation skills.

Some years later, Mike was recruited to join the Columbus office of Jones Day, in large part because of that litigation experience. At Jones Day, Mike worked tirelessly to build the practice of the office, primarily in the area of commercial litigation, becoming a partner there in 1985. Along the way, Mike was named the firm-wide head of recruiting and associate evaluation. His top recruits included outstanding young lawyers who would go on to serve the federal judiciary, hold elective office, and lead major corporations.

Always looking for the next challenge, Mike left Jones Day in 1994 to set up his own litigation boutique. Today, the 20 lawyers at Carpenter & Lipps LLP comprise one of Columbus ' finest litigation firms, representing clients such as American Express, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, and Textron.

But there is much more to Mike Carpenter than his practice and career. Conversations with him typically focus more on his children and wife than they do on the practice of law. His oldest daughter Aly, and her husband who met at Georgetown, will begin their study of law as 1L's at the University of Pennsylvania . Daughter Rachel is currently in New York City with the leading marketing firm in the country. Son Michael, Jr. spent part of the summer before beginning his education at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, visiting all eighty-eight counties in Ohio for his high school senior project.

Jo Ann and Mike met as junior undergrads at Ohio State, and married after graduation in 1974. After teaching school for three years, Jo Ann "retired" to focus her attention on raising their children, and carving her own niche as an active volunteer in the Columbus community, heading up such major charity events as The Childhood League's Merry-Go-Round and The Columbus Academy's Antique Show. She also is a past member of the Pleasure Guild of Children's Hospital and The Junior League of Columbus.

Mike and Jo Ann Carpenter are known in the community as a generous family. In addition to their long-term, very loyal support of The Ohio State University, they are active benefactors of The Columbus Academy and their church, St. Matthew's Catholic Church in Gahanna, Ohio . Recently, however, the couple turned their sights to the Moritz College of Law. Mike readily admits that one of the most influential periods in his life was the time he spent in law school. It is the full-tuition scholarship that provided him and his family the foundation from which to build a wonderful life. He would like to provide that same foundation for future generations of Moritz students. To that end, he and Jo Ann created the Michael and Jo Ann Carpenter Scholarship. This fund will provide an in-state, full-tuition scholarship to a student entering the Moritz College with high academic credentials and the highest LSAT. This scholarship is renewable assuming the recipient continues to succeed academically.

Mike and Jo Ann view their scholarship not only as a way to help a future attorney, but also help the law school. Full-tuition scholarships are a powerful tool in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest students. And the Carpenters' are as committed to securing the excellence of the Moritz College of Law as they are to everything else they've undertaken: family, community and profession.

The Generosity of Jo Ann and Mike and so many others continues to have an incredible impact on the future of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. It is this spirit that the College hopes to capture during the final stage of the Investing in Momentum Campaign.