The best indication of the impact of one’s gifts is to meet those who directly benefit. At the Southeast Michigan Scholarship Dinner on April 21, 2015, beneficiaries and benefactors had the chance to get to know each other, share stories about their Michigan Law experiences, and talk about why they give and what those gifts mean.
Held at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan, the dinner was hosted by Dan Sandberg, ’84, who endowed the Daniel Sandberg Scholarship Fund in 2008. “I feel lucky that I was able to go to Michigan, and I wanted to share that experience with someone else,” said Sandberg. “It seems silly to me that a qualified student should have to miss the opportunity to attend Michigan just because they can’t afford it.”
In addition to time for informal conversation, the evening featured remarks from two scholarship students: 2L Alexandra Reed, a Darrow Scholarship recipient from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and Jessica Shaffer Weightman, a 3L from Washington, D.C., who received the Thomas J. Donnelly Scholarship and the Diane Lynn Kaye Memorial Scholarship. “I knew Michigan Law was the only place I wanted to be, and scholarships shaped so many aspects of my experience here,” said Shaffer Weightman, who wants to pursue a career prosecuting domestic violence and sex crime cases. “My scholarships gave me the financial freedom to pursue my career ambitions at the same time that my husband is in medical school, and to find the area of the law that I’m most passionate about. They also gave me a deep connection to the Michigan Law community and a sense of responsibility to give back to that community.”
With a $70 million student support goal in the Victors for Michigan campaign, scholarship donors are more important than ever, Dean Mark West told the audience. “Our ability to offer scholarships, summer fellowships, and loan repayment assistance is critical to maintaining Michigan’s position as a top law school. So I am grateful for the alumni around the world—and the alumni, family members, and friends in this room—who have made gifts in support of our amazing students.”—AS