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In his time as dean of the School of Law–Newark, John J. Farmer Jr. learned that private funds are the only way public universities can thrive, particularly in a difficult economy. Recently, he made a $250,000 pledge, designated for the school’s most pressing priorities each fiscal year. “The university makes a tremendous investment in its faculty,” says Farmer, who has recently taken a leave of absence from his position as dean to serve as Rutgers’ senior vice president and general counsel. “It’s equally important for faculty to reciprocate and invest in the future success of its enterprise.” Judging by the actions of his colleagues on the law school faculty, he is not alone in this view:

» Saul Mendlovitz,
the Dag Hammarskjöld Professor of Peace and World Order Studies, emeritus, has included a $100,000 bequest intention in his will to establish the Mendlovitz Family Fund. This endowed fund will support students who excel in two courses on international social justice and the humanities that he created and taught.

» Peter Simmons, University Professor and former dean of the school, will create the Ruth and Peter Simmons Law Reform Endowment, a $100,000 trust that will be funded by annual donations and a bequest. Awards will be made to faculty and students whose efforts contribute to the reform of legislative and administrative law and to students and faculty who study the consequences of previously adopted reforms, with an emphasis on New Jersey’s state and local laws.

» Frank Askin NLAW’66, director of the Constitutional Rights Clinic, and his wife, Marilyn Askin NLAW’70, an adjunct professor, recently made a challenge gift of $50,000 to benefit the Frank and Marilyn Askin Fund for Clinical Legal Education, which they established with an initial pledge of $100,000 in 2009 to improve the experiential training law students receive. Alumni Neil Mullin NLAW’79 and Nancy Erika Smith NLAW’80 immediately matched the entire $50,000.

» Two other professors have included the law school in their estate plans. Paul Tractenberg, who established and codirects the Rutgers Institute on Education Law and Policy, has named the institute in his will. Stuart Deutsch, former dean and current acting senior associate dean, University Professor, and director of global and international programs, has planned for a bequest gift to the school.

Originally published in Rutgers alumni magazine. Photography by Bill Blanchard.

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