Briefing Room


The perfect match: Moritz leads university’s Ohio Scholarship Challenge

February 10, 2016 | Alumni

The new Ohio Scholarship Challenge doubles the impact of scholarship gifts of more than $100,000 through a University match on the payout. This unique opportunity is only available for endowed scholarships established through June 30, 2016.

It has been three decades since Steven Goldfarb ’85, a partner at the Hahn Loesher and Parks law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, set foot in Drinko Hall as a student, but he still remembers his first class assignment ever as a Moritz College of Law 1L. That’s because on the day before classes began, he watched the movie The Paper Chase, a coming of age drama about a first-year law student at Harvard University, and his terrifyingly tough contracts professor, Charles W. Kingsfield, Jr., for the fourth time.

Ironically, Goldfarb’s first law school class just so happened to be Contracts, and his professor, Albert L. Clovis, assigned the same textbook that was used in the fictional Paper Chase. “As a consequence, the first case that we discussed was the first case discussed in the movie,” he said with a laugh. “And Professor Clovis was somewhat like the iconic Kingsfield— without the British accent. He was a very impressive, imposing figure and he had so much experience to offer.”

Goldfarb, who co-chairs Hahn Loeser’s litigation area and is a member of the firm’s board of directors, said he has carried that fond memory—and many others—around in his mind since graduation. His experience at the College, he said, “was life-changing.” But despite his best efforts to stay connected to former classmates and professors over the years, life tends to get busy, and those memories fade until something prompts them.

In Goldfarb’s case, it was a call from Associate Director of Development Timberly Ross, several years ago, inviting him to become involved with his alma mater as a donor. The timing, he said, was perfect. Goldfarb’s three daughters had completed their college educations, and he and his wife, Gail, were becoming more involved with philanthropic pursuits in the areas of education, health, and hunger.

He started with the President’s Club, which recognizes personal contributions from individuals who support academics, health sciences, and the arts at The Ohio State University with cumulative annual giving of at least $3,000 each calendar year. Then, this past year, he decided to take part in the Ohio Scholarship Challenge.

Launched in February 2013, the Ohio Scholarship Challenge is a universitywide fundraising initiative that seeks to raise $100 million in general scholarship dollars for Ohio State students by June 30, 2016. It began with a focus on undergraduate scholarships and then, in the past year, expanded to include graduate and professional programs, like the College of Law.

“President Drake has made clear that financial aid and scholarships to reduce student debt are key parts of his strategic vision, with an overall goal of increasing scholarship support by at least $100 million by 2020,” explained Michael C. Eicher, senior vice president for advancement at The Ohio State University. “The expansion of the Ohio Scholarship Challenge to include graduate and professional programs meshes perfectly with that initiative. As we embark on the final year of the But for Ohio State campaign, fundraising for scholarships is a top priority for me and the advancement team.”

Ohio Scholarship Challenge gifts are endowed scholarship funds that last for as long as the University is in existence. To qualify for the challenge, a scholarship must be a new endowed fund of $50,000 or more, and once the fund is established, it must reach $100,000 in five years. The University will match the payout on endowed gifts of $100,000 or more in perpetuity.

Currently, 14 Ohio State law graduates have taken advantage of the match, a number that far exceeds any other university college or department.

It was the matching element of the challenge, which doubles the impact of a gift, which really caught Goldfarb’s attention.

“My wife and I, we view scholarships as being the best way of helping the pursuit of educational philanthropy,” he said. “We wanted to do something that would really be meaningful to us and to students over the course of their lives.”

Goldfarb also persuaded his law firm—Hahn Loeser—to contribute to the challenge by establishing a joint fund with him.

“What’s really important is if other individuals and other law firms can do the same thing. We can provide that opportunity to a lot more students,” he said, “and the more students we can provide that opportunity to, the better law students we will get, the more competitive the law school can stay, and the better it is for alumni and the future of the law school. It’s critical to have a great law school in this state. Ohio State is a great law school.”

For W. Craig Bashein ’86, managing partner of Cleveland law firm Bashein & Bashein, Ohio State was always an important part of his life. His father founded the firm where he now works— the family business—and frequently brought the young Bashein with him on trips to see Ohio State track and field meets and football games.

“I was attracted to the campus. I loved it. And I just felt like it was the right fit for me—I wanted to be part of it,” he said. Bashein went on to attend Ohio State for college and then law school. “My father had a practice that was oriented toward trial work and I think I gravitated to that quickly. After I took my 1L core curriculum, I picked subjects I felt would assist me in preparation for trial, like Civil Procedure II, Federal Courts, and Evidence,” he said.

“The quality of the faculty was incredible, and the students were high quality, but it was an atmosphere that was friendly and cordial. We were supportive of each other and that made a huge difference.”

Over the years, he has remained in close contact with the College, and he currently serves as a member on the National Council, which offers constructive advice on plans and programs of the Moritz College, recognizes the accomplishments of graduates through awards, and serves as an ambassador for the College.

A law degree from Ohio State, Bashein explained, is “a tremendous advantage for students, and because of the appreciation that I had, I’ve attempted to stay involved with the College, both from the standpoint of support as an alumnus, and also by giving opportunities to other students who graduated after me.”

He regularly hires Moritz graduates as clerks and interns, for example, and when he learned about the Ohio Scholarship Challenge, he jumped on board for the opportunity to help students who might not otherwise be able to afford the tuition to attend law school at Ohio State.

“It’s such a great cause, and I’m blessed to be fortunate to be in a position to help. I’ve had a lot of success in my law practice and I want to be able to help pass that along to others,” Bashein said.

“I think the goal for all alumni should be that the university and, in particular, the Moritz College of Law, continue to attract world-class candidates—specifically through the use of scholarships. Believe me, the donors of these scholarships get out of it far more than the recipients. It’s rewarding to help the school for which we are all so grateful.”

For more information on the Ohio Scholarship Challenge, please contact Jeff Hilperts at or (614) 688-8104.