New Era Campaign News: Renowned Legal Educator Beverly Rubens Gordon Designates Historic Planned Gift
Professor Beverly Rubens Gordon '54, a major force in legal education for over 40 years, has designated an unprecedented planned gift to Southwestern. The Beverly Rubens Gordon Endowment Fund will provide a principal amount of approximately $3 million to support three Beverly Rubens Gordon Endowed Chairs. The bequest represents the largest gift from an individual ever received by the law school.
Professor Gordon's gift caps off a series of extraordinary donations that Dean Emeritus Bryant Garth secured for Southwestern during his tenure. These contributions will help ensure that Southwestern continues to provide a top-quality legal education, allowing the school to better support its students and to hire the finest faculty.
"This is a gift of historic proportions for Southwestern," Dean Austen Parrish said, "both in terms of its value and in the stature of our esteemed donor within legal education in California. Professor Gordon has been a trailblazer throughout a career distinguished by outstanding leadership, inspiring passion for the law, and steadfast dedication to her students and colleagues."
Professor Gordon earned her J.D. degree at Southwestern, where she later served on the faculty, and also became involved in the establishment of two other Southern California law schools. After graduating first in her law class in 1954 and becoming a member of the California State Bar, she taught at Southwestern for ten years and founded one of the leading bar review courses. In 1964, she was appointed as the first Dean of Orange University School of Law in Santa Ana, which would eventually become Pepperdine University School of Law. Two years later, she was instrumental in the formation of the Beverly Law School in the Beverly/Larchmont area of Los Angeles, where she served as Dean of Administration and a member of the faculty. The school became affiliated with Whittier College in 1975 and is now Whittier Law School. In the early 1980s, Professor Gordon served as a Visiting Professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, and in 1986 she was honored by the Whittier College Board of Trustees as the law school's first Professor Emeritus.
In the greater higher education community, Professor Gordon chaired or served as a member of evaluation teams for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the California State Department of Education, the State Bar Select Committee to study accreditation standards of California law schools, and the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.
Professor Gordon has received numerous awards for teaching excellence from Southwestern, the Beverly Law School and Whittier Law School. She was honored as Southwestern's Alumna of the Year in 1980 and was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2007.
This major endowment is part of the New Era Campaign as Southwestern begins its second century of educating outstanding lawyers and civic leaders for Los Angeles and beyond. The campaign is focused on generating major support for endowed scholarship funds and faculty chairs, strengthening academic programs and clinics, and enhancing campus facilities.
"Beverly Rubens Gordon has been a cherished friend and advisor to Southwestern for many decades," Dean Parrish commented in his announcement. "We are tremendously grateful for her extraordinary investment in the law school's future."