When law professors talk to deans about deaning, a common refrain is “I might like to be a dean, but I would hate/I could never ask people for money” (and, in truth, I was apprehensive about fundraising when I was appointed interim dean). Now I answer that “advancement” work is one of my favorite parts of this great job. The alumni I meet as I travel across Ohio and the country are an extraordinarily interesting group who have accomplished amazing things, and their generosity and passion for the law school is truly inspiring. I listen to their stories about how Ohio State’s law school changed their life trajectory and helped them pursue a career they cherish. The College has made a difference in their lives, and now they are ready to make a difference in the lives of the next generation. Their excitement about the people and programs at the law school, and their pride in our achievements, is a joy to see. The faith in the College our alumni demonstrate through their generosity is both energizing and humbling. To be entrusted with a personal gift from a graduate is a trust than none of us take lightly.
Many of the professional successes of our faculty and graduates as well as the fantastic programs you will read about in this edition of All Rise are made possible because of alumni giving. The Election Law @ Moritz program, Law and Capital Markets, new fellowships for our recent graduates, the Dinsmore & Shohl Student Commons, and our journals and other student activities would not exist or be as vibrant without your support.
In addition, in the fall we welcomed a new group of first-year students who are talented, passionate, and ready to start their careers. Just as law school enrollment nationwide has dropped by almost 15 percent, this year’s entering Moritz class is the smallest in more than a decade. The generosity of our alumni has allowed us to maintain scholarship levels and programming consistent with previous years, despite the very challenging environment. Now more than ever, alumni support is a differentiating factor among law schools.
Ray Persons ’78 is a good friend and great lawyer who could not have achieved his success without scholarships as an undergraduate and law student. He is the first person to be featured in our “Why I give…” spotlight in the back of this issue. His story is inspiring, as are the stories of so many of our alumni. I would love to learn why you give and am deeply grateful for your support of the law school. All gifts, no matter the size, have a direct impact on our students, faculty, and staff.Tags: Ray Persons