Giving Through the Years: Laurence Stein L’91 


Our alumni’s generosity underwrites the College of Law’s success. For many alumni, a tradition of lifelong giving is often tied to personal stories and fond memories of their alma mater. And what better time to reflect on their College of Law days than on the occasion of a class anniversary! 
Here, alums celebrating years ending in one share their philanthropic journeys. Tell us yours by emailing us at
Donna (Kenney) Stein L’92 and Laurence Stein L’91
Donna (Kenney) Stein L’92 
and Laurence Stein L’91

Larry Stein is Senior Vice President, Assistant General Counsel, and Business Unit General Counsel for General Re Corporation and its various subsidiaries. He specializes in securities law; transactions and regulation; commercial real estate; commercial litigation; reinsurance and insurance; corporate governance, structure, and regulation; and international regulation and transactions.  

What inspired you to study law?

Watching my father help others. I was struck by how he made a difference in people’s lives with difficult problems. I used to go to his office and saw how his practice and life were very social and there seemed to be comradery among the attorneys and the larger community where they practiced.

What law school memories stand out?

Hanging out in the old law student lounge with classmates, and, when thinking back to classes, Professor Sam Fetters’ quips at students who asked silly questions—I laugh just thinking of moments like that. 

My time as president of the Student Senate and dealing with controversies or trying to make law school better with improvements or social events such as The Libel Show, Barristers Ball, and Halloween Party also stand out. Many other great memories include places I love in Syracuse, such as Pastabilities, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Skaneateles Lake, and Doug’s Fish Fry. 

Most of all, meeting my wife, Donna (Kenney) Stein L’92, there and the great times we and our classmates had top them all.

Did a particular law professor have a lasting impact?

Again, Professor Fetters and, also, professors Rod SurrattWilliam WiecekChristian DayThomas Maroney L’63Travis H.D. LewinSamuel Donnelly, and William C. Banks for their impact and lasting (often humorous) memories. What stands out most is their approach to teaching and supporting students. 

I also loved the extent to which students became friendly with professors outside the classroom at social events, dinners, or the occasional card games held at students’ houses.

When and why did you start to give back to Syracuse Law?

It started while I was still a student. Back then, I wanted to help make the law school experience better for everyone. I volunteered or served in many capacities and enjoyed being part of student organizations. 

When Donna and I started our legal careers and could do more, we gave back for many reasons, not the least of which is the great education we received along with the opportunities that followed. My public grade school education, my undergraduate degree, and my legal education built for me a strong foundation for success, and I want these institutions to thrive and provide the same for others.

Of course, Donna and I also met at law school and had an amazing time in Syracuse. We love the College of Law, Syracuse University, Syracuse, and the surrounding areas and happily support them. Over the years, we have returned to visit often and brought our children as well.

Do you have a message to recent graduates about giving back?

Stay involved and support those who have supported you and contributed to your success. I think it is important for students to keep in mind that no matter how they feel while in school, they don’t know where they will be in five, 10, 20, or 30 years. 

If you want to make a difference and help others, you don’t need to be wealthy or have a special career; you can make it part of your life now. Supporting institutions, charities, and people can begin at any time. It is being part of the community and supporting the community that has meaning. 

Perhaps over time what you do and how you give will change, but the help you provide today and the feeling you get from giving will always be worth it.