Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

December 16, 2011
Graduate Class Gift Campaign Continues

Members of the 2012 graduating class are continuing with the program established last year to support students following in their footsteps. The Graduate Class Gift (GCG) is a great way for those embarking on the next stage of their legal career to make a gift to Southwestern in honor of their graduation, with proceeds benefitting Public Interest Grants (unless otherwise specified). Fourth-year evening student Kate Lawrence developed the program in 2010 with Joan Bautista, Southwestern's Director of Institutional Advancement.

"This program is an excellent way to build on school pride and get students to start thinking about giving back during their last year of law school," said Lawrence, who previously served as Associate Director of Reunion Giving at her alma mater, Scripps College. "This is so important because statistics show that giving during that first year (after finishing school) turns it into a habit. Contributing to the Graduate Class Gift is a way to start the appreciation right now."

Last year, the GCG Committee attained 49 percent participation and raised $14,000. The GCG Committee is aiming to get 100% of the graduating class to make a gift before Commencement in May - and any students (no matter what year they are in) who make a gift of $100 have the opportunity to join the Dean's Circle at the Young Leader level. The Dean's Circle is normally reserved for donors who make gifts of $1,000 or more annually, but as Young Leaders, those students will have access to exclusive Dean's Circle networking events during the coming year. Other gift levels include the Graduate Year level (minimum gift of $20.12), and the Participation level (minimum gift of $1.00).

Graduate Class Gift Student Committee Members and Alumna Supporter
(from left) Jane Cho '12, Jessica Verano '12, Judith L. Jacobs '94 and Kate Lawrence '12 at the recent Public Interest Law Week Casino Night

"I joined GCG because I want to give back to the school," Jessica Verano '12, Co-Chair of the 2012 Graduate Class Gift Campaign, said. "In addition, I want to encourage my fellow students and future alumni to also give back to the school. Further, what our class decides to give sets the tradition for future alums - I want to make sure we continue a tradition of giving."

A gift at any level is important and makes a difference. In fact, the true focus and goal of the Graduate Class Gift is participation. Alumna Judith L. Jacobs '94 has once again generously offered a $10,000 matching gift - she will match any donation from a graduating student (even $1) up to $10,000 (if a student decides to join at the Young Leader level, she will match it with $200).

"The Graduate Class Gift Committee has been the backbone of the program," Bautista said. "Without student support from the start, there would be no way of launching the program. Also, the $10,000 matching gift from Judi Jacobs has been a real driving force in increasing participation. Students are encouraged with a major backing like that, and she sets a great example for our students."

So far, the 2012 campaign has received approximately 30 donations and has collected more than $2,500. Click here to make a gift online (select "Graduate Class Gift" under Gift Designation). Students may also contact the Institutional Advancement Office to complete their gift over the phone or in person. Questions may be directed to the Institutional Advancement Office or any of the committee members listed below.
The 2012 Graduate Class Gift Committee consists of Stefan Ali*, Lorenzo Callendar*, Kevin Cauley, Jane Cho (co-chair), Natalie Djabourian, Kathy Khommarath, Kiyomi Kowalski, Kimberly Repecka, Hannah Sweiss, Jessica Verano (co-chair), Shannon Wainwright, Antwoin D. Wall, Lisa A. Wesolowski, and Michelle Won. (*2013 Shadow - these students graduate in 2013)