Tuesday, June 16, 2020

To the Students, Alumni, Faculty and Friends of Iowa Law:

As alumni of the University of Iowa College of Law, we join Dean Kevin Washburn in recognizing the painful and unjust history of systemic racism in our country and his call for Iowa Law to be part of the solution.  We stand with the Dean, the College of Law’s Black Law Student Association, its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and the numerous other Iowa Law student organizations, and affirm that anti-racism is an important part of our work and that diversity, inclusion and equity are among our core values.

The mission of the Iowa Law School Foundation is to support the College of Law in its goal of educating Iowa Law students to make the most of the challenges and opportunities presented to them in a society built upon the rule of law and governed by our nation’s Constitution.  The challenges ahead loom large, but so do the opportunities for meaningful change.  Today, we recommit our Foundation to supporting the Iowa Law students, the Dean, and the faculty as they undertake the hard work of examining the College of Law from an institutional perspective and identifying ways to build a more diverse and inclusive community.  We welcome news that the incoming class at Iowa Law will be the most diverse in recent history, and look forward to creating opportunities for engagement with faculty and students on the important issues of race and inequality.  We also recommit ourselves to finding ways to ensure that the hundreds of Black and other diverse alumni who have graduated from Iowa Law remain a part of this community of excellence, and feel truly valued and supported by it.

A law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law has bestowed on each of us unique skills and privileges – for advocacy, scholarship, leadership, and philanthropy, to name just a few.  The ILSF Board of Directors encourages all Iowa Law alumni to reengage with and support the College as it grapples with difficult subjects and, as Dean Washburn put it, strives “to be a force for good at a time when our country needs it.”  As a tangible expression of the ILSF’s commitment to Iowa Law at this moment in our country’s ongoing, difficult conversation, the Board of Directors is making a gift of $20,000 to the newly-created Alexander Clark, Jr. Award, established by alumna Winnie Uluocha during her 3L year to commemorate Iowa Law’s first African-American law graduate in 1879.  Funding of the Award defrays the expenses of students of underrepresented groups who visit the College of Law on recruiting trips.  Dean Washburn’s June 13, 2020 message to the College’s alumni and friends contains links to several other funds and awards related to Iowa Law’s focus on recruiting and supporting a diverse student body.  We stand with Iowa Law in that mission and encourage our fellow alumni to join us in supporting it.  


Members of the Executive Committee, Iowa Law School Foundation:

Robert D. Beach (JD 1973)
H. Mitchell D’Olier (JD 1972)
Maja C. Eaton (JD 1984)
Angela L. Fontana (JD 1989)
Karin M. Nelsen (JD 1993)
Kim J. Walker (JD 1979)
Robert E. Youle (JD 1976)