Dear Alumni and Friends:
It is hard to believe that I been through one full calendar year at Touro Law Center. The past year has been busy and exciting as I have had the opportunity to develop a deep appreciation for the people and programs that comprise Touro Law from alumni to students, faculty to staff, and our host community on Long Island. It has also been an incredibly challenging time for legal education and our Law Center is not immune. While our fundraising for scholarships, programs, and endowments has risen dramatically, we still have a way to go to realize the goals and aspirations we share for our Law School. In the last year we have secured a major gift to fund the second Distinguished Chair in our history; our named endowed scholarships have grown from 4 to 16; and gifts to the Restricted Annual Fund for clinics, institutes and fellowships have allowed us to initiate and build new programs that will directly benefit our students and our community. But, despite our early success in raising these new funds, like other schools we must be able to meet the increased competition for quality students, address retention issues, work to decrease unsustainable student debt, and identify new resources to implement critical curricular reforms. These needs will also necessitate a careful reallocation of precious budget resources. We need your help and support today more than ever before in order to ensure a sustainable future. While our events and fundraising activities in general have done well – contributions to our Unrestricted Annual Fund continue to lag behind that of our competitor schools. We have to come together to change this. A gift directly to the Unrestricted Annual Fund is essential to our future - here’s why:
The Unrestricted Annual Fund:
• Allows us to allocate funds to where they are most needed – whether that is scholarship assistance or help for students preparing to take the bar exam. For example, $1,500 funds a commuter scholarship for one student or funds a bar tutor for at-risk students.
• Allows us to continue to create successful and innovative academic endeavors. For example, $4,000 enables a student to be designated as a Fellow at our Center for Innovation, Business, Law & Technology where they can work with emerging start-up companies or gain a deeper understanding of corporate compliance issues.
• Helps to expand our law library collections through targeted digital and hard-copy acquisitions.
• Provides for a myriad of on-campus enrichment programs impossible to sustain with a shrinking budget. Every $100 helps to ensure our students can access writing workshops, honors programs and other events.
• Helps to create opportunities for a new generation of Touro students by exposing them to the exceptional educational experience that you encountered while at Touro Law.
We must provide more scholarship assistance and summer public interest fellowships for our students – that would go a long way toward mitigation of debt load, and I believe more scholarship assistance could help us in the area of student retention. One of my primary goals is to raise significant funds for new scholarships. Toward that end we have raised nearly $500,000 to date for this fiscal year – toward our $1,000,000 scholarship goal. In fact, we have raised more than $2,500,000 since the start of our fiscal year toward a $6,000,000 fundraising goal – but very little of that incredible sum is allocated to the unrestricted annual fund. And that’s why we need your help.
A Final Word:
I am sensitive to other pressures on your philanthropic dollars – however, I am asking that you seriously consider making a gift to our Unrestricted Annual Fund. A donation to the Unrestricted Annual Fund allows the Law Center to put your gift to use directly where the need is most pressing to enable us to fund the vital activities that make our Law Center the vibrant community it has become. While I hope that you will be as generous as you can, a gift of any size will help us to increase our percentage of alumni giving which sends a positive message to potential corporate and foundation donors as well as to members of the general community who we also ask to make an investment in our Institution.
If you were called during our Phonathon and said you would consider a donation – now is the time. If you received a previous Appeal and put it aside, always meaning to send something – now is the time. Now is the time to make that first time gift – or that repeating year-end annual gift.
I look forward to working with the entire Touro community to continue our growth in stature and prominence. Your support and input is never taken for granted. It is something I very much appreciate. Please let your voice be heard; contribute to our success. Thank you for your consideration.
Best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy new year.
Patricia E. Salkin
Dean and Professor of Law