NYU Law exceeds expectations for $400 million capital campaign

The NYU School of Law’s $400 million capital campaign, “Where We Stand,” begun in 2002 and launched publicly at the 2005 Weinfeld Gala, reached a successful conclusion at the 2010 gala on March 1 in the New York Public Library’s iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue.

More than 400 guests convened to celebrate the Law School’s achievement in raising $415,064,515 to fund student scholarships and public interest work, increase the number of faculty and chaired professorships, and support faculty-run centers and institutes at NYU Law. The Law School also succeeded in doubling its annual fund from $3.1 million to $6.2 million in the course of a seven-year campaign that stressed the values of opportunity, community, and leadership.

Dean Richard Revesz reflected on the campaign in his remarks. “Many thought, $400 million? Is that possible? Could we do it? Are we crazy? The answer to all three of those questions is a resounding ‘yes.’ I stand here before you today to announce that we did it. You did it. Our campaign raised more dollars per year than any other law school campaign ever. Thank you! Our Law School community is over 40,000 strong, spread across six continents, and if I could, I would thank each and every member of our community personally.”

Enumerating the ways in which the funds have enriched and expanded NYU Law’s activities, Revesz thanked many members of the Law School community, including Jeannie Forrest, associate dean for development and alumni relations. Forrest took her turn at the lectern next, and invited Kenneth Raisler ’76, vice chair of the campaign steering committee, to join her.

Raising $400 million, Forrest observed, fell into a category the corporate world calls “big HAGs,” or “hairy audacious goals.” Recalling when she came to NYU Law, Forrest said she had been daunted by the task, but remarked of Revesz, “I’m thankful he saw through me to the possibilities. His reply personified him: ‘I need you to start today.’”

Raisler spoke to the campaign’s broader goals: “Our intent was not simply to raise money. Our intent was to make a legitimate difference in the fabric of legal education and guide this law school’s upward trajectory.” Forrest and Raisler recounted the stories of four students whose lives were changed by their experiences with NYU Law professors. Their point was underscored by an end-of-campaign video featuring members of the Law School community, which followed the remarks.

The evening concluded with remarks from NYU Law Board of Trustees Chair Anthony Welters ’77, chair of the campaign steering committee. Thanking the committee’s vice chairs—Raisler as well as Florence Davis ’79, Wayne Perry (LL.M. ’76), and Eileen Sudler ’74—Welters said, “Our sights were high, our campaign team indomitable, and this great institution’s alumni the most generous in the world.” Welters also acknowledged the leadership of his predecessor, Lester Pollack ’57, who chaired the Law School’s board when the campaign began.

Speaking of the past two years as “a period when people were focused on protecting their resources, limiting their commitments, and hunkering down for the long haul,” Welters said, “We are fortunate to have trustees who said there is something more important than hunkering down.... [NYU Law] is a global community... [that] has come together to accomplish some extraordinary initiatives. A community who believes it can make a difference in the daily lives of real people across the globe.”

Video

Where We Stand: 2010


Posted on March 2, 2010