The semester has passed so quickly, as it always does. I write today to share with you reflections on recent activities and to express my gratitude for your dedication to moving UC Hastings forward.
In my travel to see so many of our 19,500 alumni, I have enjoyed learning how their legal careers began under the tutelage of 65 Club members or through our clinical programs. As importantly, they remember the kindnesses that were shown to them by the staff, whether leads for finding a job from the Career Services Office, securing a transcript from the Registrar, or with their housing in the Tower. I also have been delighted that they share such fond memories of editing law journals, competing in moot court tournaments, and, yes, "beer on the beach." They tell me they continue to be close friends with classmates.
I’d like to express appreciation to the many hosts of activities since Labor Day. Our sense of community is crucial to our continued success. I believe it's important to update the staff as I do the faculty, about the activities that fill my schedule. You may remember our graduates as they do you.
Yuri Vanetik ‘98 offered us the use of the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. Seventy-five guests joined us, coming from all over Southern California. I was able to visit with engaged alumni such as Jennifer Keller ‘78, who has achieved much-publicized success in high-stakes civil trials.
Paul Yong ‘88 brought together a group for dinner in San Diego. Among them were Don Cary ‘78, the veteran public defender, and his wife, Mary, whose photo you often see gracing our publicity materials; and Joy Chang ‘05, already a generous donor.
Gerry Hinkley ‘75 convened our first "salon" to present the UC Hastings-UCSF Consortium to our friends in San Francisco. Associate Dean David Faigman and Dr. Naomi S. Bardach of the UCSF faculty spoke about the Supreme Court’s most important decision of its last term, in the health care case.
Brian Johnson ‘80 invited a group for lunch in Salt Lake City. We believe this was the first-ever decanal visit to Utah, where we have more than fifty graduates. Guests included Marina Lowe ‘04, whose father-in-law, Steven Lowe ‘71, is an alumnus as well.
Pat Meyers ‘90 opened his magnificent home in Denver for a reception. Pat, a Foundation Trustee, served as the overall reunion chair in 2010. He was applauded for the success of his newest ventures, not only of Smashburger (coming soon to the Bay Area), but also USA Pro Challenge – already among the leading professional bicycle races in the country.
And right here in San Francisco, our reunions were a wonderful success. We benefited from the philanthropic leadership of Paul Shimoff ‘72, who served as the chair, and the many volunteers who made the events possible. Each class posed as a group for photographs in front of the new UC Hastings backdrop.
Within just the past week, I have visited the law firms Baker & McKenzie; DLA Piper; Gordon & Rees; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; and Keker Van Nest. Over the summer, I met with groups at the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office, and the California Attorney General’s Office.
When I talk to our alumni, many of whom are loyal contributors to UC Hastings, I realize again and again the importance of ongoing outreach to cultivate all of them as potential supporters. When I see them, more than a few remark that they had not had any contact with the law school since graduation. They marvel at the communication nowadays they are receiving, whether through the magazine, digital media, or social networking. Due to the wonderful press coverage of the past year, they boast effusively of their renewed pride in their alma mater.
With all of the positive sentiment, it’s also critical to manage expectations. Because so many people have not been engaged with their law school for so long, we must work hard to turn their attendance at an event into active support for the institution. While we take care to measure the return on investment of resources, including my time, we are mindful that people will be reluctant to come to events if they believe our motivations are solely pecuniary. We need to sustain relationships that are meaningful to our alumni, out of more than nostalgia for their experiences on campus.
I wanted to ensure I expressed appreciation publicly to everyone who works so hard here. There are some staff whom I see daily, by the nature of our work together. There are others with whom I have not had as much of an opportunity to become acquainted. Yet I am reminded by our alumni that their interactions with you form as much of their experience on campus as the content of the classroom.
Thank you for all that you add to our ongoing efforts of institutional advancement.
Frank H. Wu
Chancellor & Dean