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Two Law Alumni Issue $100K Scholarship Challenge
The funds will help support students who would otherwise struggle to pay their tuition.
Crediting the generous donors who made their own legal education possible, two University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law alumni have issued a $100,000 challenge to help raise new scholarship dollars for financially needy law students.
Wayne Howard and Michael Trauscht announced the dollar-for-dollar matching grant offer at the Law College Association’s 34th Annual Appreciation Dinner this weekend. The two will match donations made to new or existing scholarships through July 25.
The alumni, who both live in the Phoenix area, became friends while studying at the College of Law and eventually went on to work at various jobs together during and after their years at the UA.
Trauscht, who graduated in 1973, is now a personal injury lawyer. Howard, who graduated in 1972, is a retired attorney.
Both said 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 challenge comes at a time when national law organizations and law schools are grappling with the impact of mounting student debt.
Last fall, College of Law Dean Toni Massaro announced a five-year initiative to raise $1 million in new scholarship dollars.
The scholarship campaign is a component of a three-part campaign, called “Our Promise to the Future,” designed to transform the UA's College of Law before the enrollment of its "century class" in 2012. A scholarship donation of any amount made before July 25 can be credited toward the challenge.
“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 they don’t believe that a professional education is within their reach," she added. "We need to create a support system that allows them to envision and attain their highest educational goals.”