Over the past two years in her role as Interim Dean, Anna Han has gained new insight into the strengths of Santa Clara Law as well as the community that supports it. She has also developed a keen appreciation for the challenges that must be overcome in order to keep the Law School on an upward trajectory and aligned with the school’s Jesuit values. At the intersection of all of these things lie scholarships, a highly versatile tool for expanding access, improving affordability, increasing diversity and promoting excellence.
A little over one year ago, recognizing an industry-wide increase in campaigns to recruit top students to transfer as well as the many adverse consequences of losing students to competing schools, Dean Han envisioned a scholarship that would encourage the Law School’s top performing students to complete their degree at Santa Clara Law. Once fully funded, the Dean’s Merit Scholarship Endowed Fund will provide the financial resources necessary to retain students, improve employment and bar passage outcomes, and reduce the average debt load for graduates, all critical elements in the Law School’s reputation and ranking.
Although the initial introduction of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship concept was impacted by the onset of the pandemic, the Law School’s renewed commitment to prioritize scholarships during the University’s Innovating with a Mission Campaign has given the effort new momentum. With a generous lead gift of $200,000 from alumnae and Santa Clara Law Advisory Board member Dorian Daley JD ‘86 and her husband, Michael Krautkramer, the Dean’s Merit Scholarship Endowed Fund is on a path to success.
“[Santa Clara Law] instilled values and approaches in me that have carried me through my practice and…gotten me where I am here today,” says Daley, executive vice president and general counsel, Oracle Corporation, who received a scholarship as a law student. (See this video interview here.) Daley’s philosophy has always been to “pay it forward,” which is one of the driving forces behind her lifelong support of the Santa Clara University School of Law. As she often tells friends and colleagues, because Santa Clara Law made an investment in her with a scholarship many years ago, she feels an obligation to return the favor and invest in an institution that has provided her with so many professional opportunities.
Setting an inspiring example for the larger Santa Clara Law community, Dean Han and her husband, Dr. Daniel Klein also made a significant $10,000 contribution to this scholarship fund in honor of Anna’s grandparents. “I feel so grateful for my grandparents’ support of me and my work,” said Han, whose faculty office in Charney Hall bears a plaque in their name. “Also, because I am a faculty member here, I feel motivated and responsible to pay it forward to future generations of law students.”
Looking forward, the Dean’s Merit Scholarship Endowed Fund will be featured as one of the pillars of the Law School’s campaign focus on scholarships. “With generous support from other members of the Law Advisory Board, Santa Clara Law’s faculty and staff, and alumni and friends of the Law School, we can fully fund this endowment and provide considerable benefit to Santa Clara Law in perpetuity,” says Steve O’Brien, senior assistant dean for external relations. “If we can retain our top students and simultaneously reduce their law school debt burden, we will place graduates on an accelerated path to professional success as well as help put the Law School on equal footing with some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions.”
To learn more about the Dean’s Merit Scholarship Endowed Fund or other ways to support Santa Clara Law, please contact Steve O’Brien at email@example.com or 408-554-2706 or Ash Farrington at firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-554-5496. To make a gift to the Dean’s Merit Scholarship Endowed Fund or other areas of the Law School, click here.