Closing Argument

Issue: Winter 2022

Letter from the Dean Summer 2021

Dear S.J. Quinney College of Law alumni and community,

With a collective sigh of relief, we welcome the end of the academic year and salute our amazing students, faculty and staff for their resilience and perseverance during trying times. A year ago, we were trying to adjust to life in a pandemic without a clear sense of what the future held. Although there is still some uncertainty in our lives today, I think we have all felt a sense of hope for a return to “normal”.

When I joined this wonderful community two years ago, I couldn’t have foreseen the challenges that awaited all of us. We have all learned to adapt and learn new skills (although I still sometimes forget to unmute myself on Zoom calls). During all of challenges, I have been so impressed that we have maintained a sense of compassion and concern for each other. I am so grateful for the support that each of you have given. Our law school family is strong and caring. We have grown and we have lifted each other up. I appreciate the numerous calls and emails from many of you, asking what you could do for the law school and our students.

This spirit of caring has been very evident in the area of giving. In spite of the pandemic and uncertainty, we have had a very successful fundraising year, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends. Our contributions are up by roughly 29% over fiscal year 2019, for a total of $3.9 million. As impressive as this sounds, it doesn’t begin to reflect the meaningful stories behind the donations. For example, we have a large group of donors and organizations that has raised $150,000 to honor the legacy of Judge Dee Benson. The yearly Benson scholarship will help instill his values in the hearts and minds of future generations of law students (see the giving section for more information on this scholarship).

Last fall I had the opportunity to meet with William and Caroline McQuade (’87) as they established an endowed scholarship as a way to show appreciation for the opportunities afforded to them through William’s legal education (class of ’87). They represent so many of our wonderful alumni who are helping future generations of law students.

Of course, we are also recognizing the 20th anniversary of the law school’s naming gift from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation. This transformational gift has truly lifted the college into the national spotlight and enhanced our margin of excellence. This issue of Res Gestae has additional information regarding this wonderful celebration and our opportunity to recognize the legacy of Joe Quinney.

Again, my deepest appreciation to each of you for the impact you have on the law school, students, and your communities. At the end of the day, it is the spirit of caring and generosity that truly makes the SJQ community so special. It is my great pleasure to associate with you and I look forward to having the opportunity of gathering with you in person soon.