UVA Law Reaches $400M Campaign Goal Early

February 27, 2024
Photo of the law school during a nice blue day

Fueled by an $11 million donation, the UVA Law School has met its “Honor the Future” fundraising goal early. (Photo by Emily Faith Morgan, University Communications)

Thanks to an $11 million boost from an anonymous donor, the University of Virginia School of Law has met its $400 million goal early in the University’s Honor the Future capital campaign.

Though the campaign is ongoing, the money already raised marks the third-largest total in the history of any law school, at $401 million. Nearly 16,000 donors have contributed to the campaign, including 70% of alumni. The Law School Foundation, which led the fundraising effort, exceeded the goal 15 months early.

“This milestone is a testament to the deeply felt dedication of our generous alumni, who want to build on their own experiences at the Law School and pass them on to future generations,” said Dean Risa Goluboff, who helped launch the campaign and served as dean throughout it. “We are so thankful for their efforts, the work of the Law School Foundation and our alumni volunteers in contributing to this landmark moment.”

$100M+ In Scholarships For First-Generation Student | Learn More About What It Means to Be Great and Good in All We Do
$100M+ In Scholarships For First-Generation Student | Learn More About What It Means to Be Great and Good in All We Do

The campaign centered on people first, with an emphasis on financial aid, faculty support and unrestricted funds.

“Campaigns are an opportunity to broaden participation and grow the endowment – and we have,” said Luis Alvarez, a 1988 School of Law graduate and president and CEO of the Law School Foundation. “But most of all, campaigns are when we assert our values. Our fundraising priorities are about people – students and faculty – and every dollar we have raised will go to support them. That is the heart of who we are and what makes UVA Law so special.”

Along the way, the campaign made it possible for the school to fully fund summer public interest grants with donor funds; support the Roadmap Scholars Initiative; establish more than 75 scholarship and loan forgiveness funds; create more than 125 new unrestricted endowments; establish more than 225 endowed funds; and fund a dozen professorships.

Honor the Future campaign members pose for a photo

Honor the Future campaign co-chairs J. Warren Gorrell Jr. ’79, Dasha Smith ’98, Catherine M. Keating ’87 and David C. Burke ’93 stand with Dean Risa Goluboff at a campaign kickoff event in May 2018. (Photo by Tom Gogill)

The campaign drove greater investment in loan forgiveness, allowing all graduates who earn less than $100,000 to be eligible for benefits.

J. Warren Gorrell Jr. is a member of the Class of 1979 and co-chaired the campaign. He called the result “an incredible team effort.”

“It says so much about the Law School that we did this with 70% participation,” Gorrell said. “It’s a real tribute to Risa that we’ve been able to do this under her leadership. We met our goal 15 months early – that’s a testament to the Law School Foundation staff as well.”

Gorrell also praised the efforts of campaign co-chairs Catherine M. Keating, a 1987 graduate, David C. Burke, Class of 1993 and Dasha Smith, Class of 1998. He also praised honorary co-chairs Bruce A. Karsh, Class of 1980 and Martha Lubin Karsh, Class of 1981, who kicked off the campaign with a gift that made them the Law School’s first $50 million donors.

Bruce and Martha Karsh pose for photo

Bruce A. Karsh ’80 and Martha Lubin Karsh ’81 helped launch the campaign with a gift that made them the Law School’s first $50 million donors. (Photo by Tom Cogill)

“It’s a great indication of how special Virginia is that when the anonymous donor learned that we were $10 million away from reaching our goal, [the donor] said ‘I’ll take care of that,’” Gorrell said. “That sort of stand-up attitude is incredible and a great tribute to our law school and is consistent with the approach that so many of our alumni have taken.”

Donations made to the Law School Foundation will still add to the campaign total until it officially ends on June 30, 2025. Foundation staff emphasized that every gift counts, noting more than 27,000 gifts under $100 were made during the campaign, totaling more than $1 million.

Since the campaign began on July 1, 2016, the Law School’s endowment has grown more than $360 million, to $831.4 million as of June 30, 2023.

Media Contact

Mary Wood

Chief Communications Officer University of Virginia School of Law