UCLA School of Law has received a transformative $10 million gift — the largest single gift in the school's history — enabling the law school to meet and exceed its ambitious $100 million fundraising goal well ahead of its original five-year schedule. The Campaign for UCLA School of Law was publicly launched in 2008 to increase private resources for student scholarships, to attract and retain faculty, and to support centers and institutes that inform law and public policy.
The $10 million gift from 2009 Public Service Alumnus of the Year Lowell Milken '73, a leading philanthropist and pioneer in education reform, establishes the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy. The institute's creation is the culmination of a three-year process of exploration initiated by UCLA Law leadership with Milken to develop initiatives in business and law that will serve students, faculty and the greater community through innovative research, hands-on skills training and real-world problem-solving.
UCLA School of Law dean Rachel F. Moran noted that the Lowell Milken Institute will draw on the school's existing strengths in business law and policy, including its premier faculty and outstanding students, as well as its long tradition of interdisciplinary collaborations.
"In line with the goals of the Campaign for UCLA Law, Lowell's generosity will enable us to initiate a range of curricular innovations, further critical research and provide financial support for students, who will become our nation's future leaders in business law and policy," Moran said.
An expanded curriculum and enhanced training in real-world transactional skills will aid not only students but the broader legal and business communities, she added.
The gift serves as the capstone of the law school's record-breaking campaign which, in addition to the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy, led to the creation of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, the Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy (which had previously been a program), the Michael T. Masin Scholars Fund, and the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Endowed Fund in Support of Public Interest Law. The campaign also funded the school's A. Barry Cappello Courtroom, the Bruce H. Spector Conference Room and the Bernard A. and Lenore S. Greenberg Endowed Law Review Fellow Fund.
According to Moran, private philanthropy throughout the campaign more than doubled the number of endowed chairs at the law school, including four chairs endowed by longtime supporters Ralph '58 and Shirley Shapiro, and UCLA School of Law had the highest rate of growth in alumni giving of any top 20 law school, as participation rates soared to more than 30 percent. Key to this success was the Law Firm Challenge, which broke new records every year under the leadership of its founding chair James D. C. Barrall '75, as well as the recently created Reunion Challenge.
"As our record growth in giving demonstrates, our alumni have rallied together in unprecedented numbers under the leadership of Campaign chairman Ken Ziffren '65 and a team of dedicated volunteer leaders," Moran said. "They've demonstrated their commitment to UCLA School of Law's long-standing traditions of excellence, innovation, access and service. This critical campaign and the transformative gift from Lowell Milken show that our students, alumni and friends share the vision and values that define us as a great public law school, and their ongoing support will help us to overcome the often dour predictions prompted by the state and national budget crisis."
Private philanthropy is vital to preserving the long-standing tradition of serving the community and the greater good, a commitment integral to the mission of both the law school and the UCLA campus.
"This generous gift will deepen UCLA Law's already strong impact on the vibrant Los Angeles legal and business communities and help prepare students with the training they need to meet the challenges of today's global and entrepreneurial economy," said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. "Through groundbreaking research, as well as symposia and conferences, the Lowell Milken Institute will facilitate the kind of sustained dialogue with policymakers and practitioners that is UCLA's hallmark as a public university."
Alumni and philanthropists increasingly are recognizing this imperative.
"At a time when our state's great universities are under significant financial pressure and constraints, it is incumbent upon those of us who benefited greatly from our educational experiences within the UC system to help support the outstanding work of these universities," said Milken, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received the School of Business Administration's Most Outstanding Student award. At UCLA School of Law, he earned his degree with the distinction of Order of the Coif and UCLA Law Review.
As chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation, Lowell Milken's dedication to education reform has been informed by more than three decades of education research, policy and practice, as well as firsthand visits to thousands of classrooms. Milken created the Milken Educator Awards in 1985, the nation's most prominent teacher-recognition program. In 1999, he founded TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, a proven, comprehensive school reform now active in 13 states to attract, develop, motivate and retain the best talent for the American teaching profession. He also was instrumental in the establishment of High Tech Los Angeles, a public charter high school that engages students through self-directed learning, collaborative projects and real-world internships.
An international businessman, Milken is co-founder of Knowledge Universe, the world's largest early childhood education company. Headquartered in Singapore, Knowledge Universe operates worldwide with more than 38,000 employees. Milken is also chairman of London-based Heron International, a worldwide leader in property development.
About UCLA School of Law and the Campaign
Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training, and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession.
In April 2008, UCLA School of Law publicly launched the $100 million Campaign for UCLA School of Law — the largest fundraising effort in the school's history — to increase funding for student scholarships and to attract and retain a world-class faculty. The campaign also seeks funding to expand academic courses and support law school clinics, centers and programs that inform law and public policy.
For more information, visit www.law.ucla.edu.