Spring 2015


1L Summer Funding Gets a Boost from Chris Jeffries, ’74

The Himan Brown Charitable Trust and Lisa and Chris Jeffries, ’74

By Amy Spooner

Lisa and Chris Jeffries, ’74
Lisa and Chris Jeffries, ’74

As a long-time real estate developer, Chris Jeffries, ’74, knows the importance of functional-yet-beautiful facilities in a community, which is why he made a $5 million gift toward the building of South Hall in 2007. 

But he also knows that buildings are only as good as the people and experiences they house, which is why he recently made a $2.5 million gift in support of the 1L summer funding program.

“I wanted my next gift to the Law School to make a difference in students’ lives,” Jeffries says.

Jeffries credits his time at the Law School with making a huge difference in his own life, despite the fact that as a straight-through summer starter, he admits the concurrent two academic years and three summers “were a blur.” 

At Michigan, Jeffries says he gained the foundation that served him well during a five-year career in private practice and more than three decades in the competitive world of real estate. 

“Law School is a unique way of disciplining your mind. Regardless of the subject matter, it gives you a fantastic way to think about problems, not only in the law but in business and life.”

As a founding partner of Millennium Partners, Jeffries has positioned the firm as one of the country’s premier developers of mixed-use properties—from Lincoln Square in New York City to Millennium Tower in San Francisco. Millennium’s portfolio includes hotels in New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, San Francisco, and Boston, as well as luxury condos and office space in those cities. 

The firm’s newest project is Hollywood’s iconic Capitol Records building, which will anchor a new mixed-use and transit-oriented development known as Millennium Hollywood. “I love the creativity that real estate requires,” Jeffries says. “It’s gratifying to create something long-lasting that will impact a skyline, and will contain spaces that impact the way people live.”

With his support of the Law School, Jeffries and his wife, Lisa, are impacting Michigan Law students. By providing summer funding to 1Ls, Jeffries envisions helping students like he once was—with good credentials but not a lot of financial capacity—achieve their goals. 

“Michigan is a fantastic experience, and I’m especially interested in helping students who can’t afford to get through it on their own,” he says. “This gift is going to be successful because it will allow students to have experiences and take positions that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. I have no question that it will be used well and will be appreciated by the recipients.”