This year’s Weinfeld Gala—an annual NYU Law tradition giving thanks to alumni who give back—was celebrated against the dramatically violet-lit backdrop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur.
After an appreciative welcome from Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations Nick Vagelatos and an introduction by David Tanner ’84—attending his first Weinfeld Gala as chair of the Law School’s board of trustees—Dean Trevor Morrison expressed gratitude to the gathered supporters of the Law School’s Weinfeld Program.
The night was also an opportunity for Morrison to provide an update on NYU Law’s successes in the past year, including those in service of the Law School’s strategic plan. “We lead the way as a preeminent institution engaged in the world’s most consequential issues, providing students with an unparalleled education that prepares them for careers that make an impact,” he said.
His remarks about strides made in innovation, affordability, and diversity brought the most enthusiastic applause from the audience—especially when Morrison noted that with 38 percent identifying as students of color, the current 1L class is the Law School’s most diverse ever.
Morrison then introduced Board of Trustees member Charles Klein ’63, this year’s recipient of the Weinfeld Award. Instituted in 1989, the award honors the legacy of Judge Edward Weinfeld LLB (1921), LLM (1922) by recognizing alumni and friends whose generosity exemplifies his dedication and commitment to the Law School.
Referring to Klein as the architect of the Law School’s Law and Business Program, Morrison said that “Chuck’s dedication to our community is truly second-to-none.”
Klein, escorted to the stage by his son and fellow board member Andrew Klein ’08, gave NYU Law much of the credit for his success as co-founder of private equity firm American Securities, saying he learned the invaluable skill of “how to think” at the Law School. He had warm words for his family, singling out his wife, Jane Klein, as well as the family built by the NYU Law community. He was accompanied back to his seat by a standing ovation.
A highlight of the evening came with Morrison’s announcement that, just one year after formally launching the Lead the Way campaign to raise $450 million, the Law School has already reached 73.3 percent of that goal. The generosity of the Law School’s Weinfeld Program members and other supporters makes it possible, as Morrison put it, to “recruit top students to NYU Law, provide them with a first-rate legal education from our stellar faculty, and inspire them to give back. It’s a wonderful cycle, and one that makes NYU a special place.”
Posted April 15, 2019. Updated September 3, 2019: Charles Klein passed away on August 30, 2019.