The Delaware campus officially kicked off the public phase of “Taking the Lead: The Campaign for Widener,” with a gala Saturday, Jan. 29 that brought 150 people to the Alice and Walter Strine Atrium for a celebration of the law school’s momentum.
In a nod to that momentum, Widener University President James T. Harris III said “It is an appropriate time for us to launch a campaign.” Harris touted the school’s top-notch faculty and its pro bono spirit – particularly demonstrated by the good work of its clinical programs.
“The campaign will help us do even more,” he said. “I think ‘Taking the Lead’ is the perfect way to describe Widener University School of Law.”
The party was held in the atrium and student lounge, which were transformed with dramatic lighting and furniture to look more like a sophisticated Manhattan lounge. Guests walked down a roped red carpet into the event.
The school has set a $12 million campaign goal for the School of Law. It will support endowment, special projects, capital projects and the annual fund.
CAPT. Robert P. Taishoff told the crowd he was honored to serve as chair of the law school’s campaign committee. Taishoff earned his law degree from the Delaware campus in 1989, passed the bar exam and embarked on a highly successful career with the Navy JAG corps, from which he is now retired.
“I can’t think of a prouder way for me to give back to an institution that in many ways allowed me to be the person I have become,” he said.
While speaking, Taishoff noted the campaign was just $17,000 shy of reaching the $7 million mark in pledges and donations. When Law Dean Linda L. Ammons
took the podium after Taishoff, she announced National Advisory Council member Alex Bratic had just stepped forward with a pledge to close that gap.
“We are well on our way and I am convinced more than ever before that $12 million is doable and will be done,” Ammons said.