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Alumni Duo Issues $100,000 Scholarship Challenge

Crediting the generous donors who made their own legal education possible, two Arizona Law alumni have issued a $100,000 challenge to help raise new scholarship dollars for financially needy law students. Wayne Howard (‘72) and Michael Trauscht (‘73) announced the dollar-for-dollar matching grant at the Law College Association’s Annual Appreciation Dinner. They will match donations made to new or existing scholarships between now and July 25, 2008 up to $100,000.

Howard and Trauscht became good friends at the College of Law and worked at various jobs together during and after law school. Trauscht is now a successful personal injury lawyer. Howard is a retired attorney. Both live in metropolitan Phoenix. Both men, however, say their eventual success was anything but certain.

Trauscht describes his childhood on Chicago’s hardscrabble southside as “a place where I couldn’t even imagine the life I lead now. I worked hard to get out and make a life for myself, but along the line there were people who were generous with their time and money, and I wouldn’t have made it without them.” Howard said that his family was also of modest means, and that he “always believed that I could achieve anything if I just got the chance to try. Scholarship donors helped make those chances for me and I am grateful.”

The Trauscht/Howard challenge comes at a time when national law organizations and law schools are grappling with the impact of mounting student debt. Last fall, Arizona Law Dean Toni Massaro announced a five-year initiative to raise $1 million in new scholarship dollars. “We need a GI bill for the 21st century, to make sure that a law school is accessible and affordable to all qualified students,” Massaro said, “Many times, our students are already carrying significant undergraduate debt, and don’t believe that a professional education is within their reach. We need to create a support system that allows them to envision and attain their highest educational goals.” The scholarship campaign is a component of a three-part campaign, called "Our Promise to the Future," designed to transform Arizona Law before the enrollment of its ‘century class’ in 2012.

A scholarship donation of any amount made before July 25th can be credited toward the challenge. Donors can direct contributions  to a longstanding scholarship, one of the new endowed scholarship funds created this year to honor distinguished lawyers and Arizona Law professors, or a general scholarship pool. Donors may also create an endowed scholarship in their own business or family name, or in honor of another. Questions involving scholarship contributions should be directed to Jonelle Vold, Assistant Dean for Development, at 520-621-8430. Make an online gift here.

Posted:04/30/2008

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