with gratitude

The late Suzanne V. Richards, BA ’48, JD ’57, LLM ’59, who died in December 2013, left a $1 million bequest to GW Law to endow a scholarship fund to support need-based grants for law school students. She earned her JD with highest honors while working fulltime, winning the John Bell Larner Award for attaining the highest grade point average in her class and earning election to the Order of the Coif. Her illustrious legal career included many notable achievements. She was named Woman Lawyer of the Year by the Women’s Bar Association of D.C. in 1977 and was elected its president in 1978. She also became the first woman president of the Bar Association of D.C. in 1989 and was named its Lawyer of the Year in 2002. Her generous bequest ensures that others may follow her lead, irrespective of their means.

An anonymous parent pledged $500,000 to fund the dean’s discretionary program and the Inns of Court program during the 2013–14 academic year, and to serve as a challenge match for the Class of 2014’s class gift campaign.

The estate of John (Jack) Stafford, LLB ’62, gave $400,000 to GW Law to establish the John R. and Inge P. Stafford Faculty Research Professorship. The professorship will allow GW Law to advance its health law curriculum and honor Mr. Stafford’s distinguished career in health law. Mr. Stafford was former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Wyeth. He received his LLB with distinction from GW Law, where he was editor-in-chief of The George Washington Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. The law school awarded him its Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award in 1981 and bestowed on him an Honorary Doctor of Civil Laws in 1991. His daughter, Jennifer Stafford Farrow, says that the professorship “ . . .reflects [Mr. Stafford’s] belief that a GW Law education prepares students for practice and helps them to cross borders of separate academic disciplines by encouraging them to engage the world in enterprising and innovative ways.”

Jeffrey Kohn, JD ’84, and his wife, Martha, gave $125,000 to establish the Jeffrey and Martha Kohn Endowed Scholarship. It will support one qualified full-time Juris Doctor student with first preference for those with demonstrated financial need and an interest in labor and employment law, and second preference to a full-time JD student with a demonstrated interest in public interest and social justice. Mr. Kohn is managing partner of the New York office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP and head of the office’s labor and employment practice.

Professor Emeritus Ralph C. Nash Jr., JD ’57, and his wife, Gwendolyn (above, center), pledged $100,000 toward endowing the position of associate dean for government procurement law, a top priority for the law school’s Making History campaign. Recognizing the Nashes’ generosity, Professor Gregory E. Maggs says, “For the co-founder of GW’s Government Procurement Law Program to make such an extraordinary gift bears witness to the depth of Professor Nash and his wife’s commitment to the program.”

Ronald S. Perlman, LLM ’80, has notified the law school of his inclusion of a bequest of $100,000 in his will to benefit the Government Procurement Law LLM Program. Mr. Perlman is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Holland & Knight LLP and a member of the firm’s government contracts group. He is also a founding member of GW Law’s Government Contracting Industry Advisory Board, where he continues to serve. 

A member of the Class of 1969 made a gift of $100,000 to challenge the donor’s classmates to contribute to their reunion fundraising efforts. The class raised $501,424 in gifts and pledges at the time of their 2014 reunion to win the Stockton Bowl, awarded to a Stockton Guard class (comprising GW Law alumni who graduated at least 40 years ago) for the most money raised in its reunion year.

The late Thomas W. diZerega, JD ’56, who died in July 2013, left a bequest of $50,000 to add to the Susan N. and Augustus diZerega Lectureship. Created by Mr. diZerega in 1990 in memory of his parents, the lectureship has brought many prominent speakers to GW Law, including the law school’s annual deploma ceremony speaker.

The Class of 2014 Gift Campaign was a success with 380 participants. Sixty percent of eligible students donated, surpassing their goal of 58 percent participation. A total of $29,000 was raised in a combination of cash and three-year pledges. Section 15 was the overall winner, with 62 percent of the group making donations and 59.5 percent making three-year pledges. Chaired by Professor Spencer A. Overton, the two-month-long GW Law “faculty campaign” in the fall of 2013 inspired 95 percent of the faculty to give to the law school, the same generous percentage as the previous academic year.