In Fall 2015, then-J.D. Class President Dustin Osborne L’16 and the Class of 2016 launched the College of Law’s first-ever Class Act! campaign, buoyed by the support of College of Law Board of Advisors Member Alan Epstein L’74.
A University-wide senior class giving campaign, Class Act! encourages students to make their first-ever gift to the University a symbolic amount in honor of their class year—$20.21, for the Class of 2021. We hope these gifts will be the first of many more as our students graduate, join our alumni family, and build their careers.
Five years later, the tradition continues, and—as with other aspects of the student experience at the College of Law—it grows in innovative ways.
A Historic Class Gift, and a New Participation Record for LL.M. Students
In spring 2020, the University suspended the Class Act! Campaign, in deference to students and in recognition that they were facing unforeseen financial and personal challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By that point, led by then-3L Class President Aubre Dean L’20 and the Class Act! Giving Committee, J.D. students had achieved a 32% giving participation rate.
Monetary gifts by students to any law fund of their choosing qualify for their Class Act! participation. Usually, most students elect to designate their gifts to the Law Annual Fund or the Scholarship and Financial Aid Fund. But this year—making the best of an unusual situation— students voted to pivot their focus from a campaign of individual gifts to a class gift using funds raised collectively by the class earlier that year.
This new gift was earmarked for ’Cuse Law Cares, an emergency fund for College of Law students adversely impacted by the pandemic. For their part, the LL.M. Class of 2020, led by Betania Allo LL.M.’20, had already achieved a record breaking individual Class Act! giving participation rate of 97%.
All these achievements have been recognized on the Class Act Giving Wall in the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Commons in Dineen Hall. We are grateful for the generosity and philanthropic leadership of both the J.D. and LL.M. classes.
Class of 2021: A Tradition Reimagined
As of November 2020, the Class of 2021’s campaign is already well underway. The class voted to expand the scope of its campaign by adding new options for giving: donations of basic needs items to Hendricks Chapel and/or donations of casebooks to the Law Library for use by future law students, along with the traditional monetary gift.
The class will recognize these new giving options along with the traditional philanthropic gifts in its Class Act! participation rates. This is new territory for Class Act!, driven by students’ desire to leave a unique and meaningful legacy.
Best wishes to the Class of 2021 for a successful campaign!