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Sharing Success: Law Alumni Fund Scholarships

Emory University School of Law alumnus C. Robert Henrikson 72L (above) and his wife, Mary Henrikson, have given another $2.5 million in scholarship funding to help defray the costs of an Emory legal education for minority students. The couple established a minority scholarship endowment at the law school 10 years ago and gave $1 million to that fund in 2007. Their new gifts are increasing student diversity and—combined with support from many other alumni and friends—building a culture of philanthropy at Emory Law with the power to realize the school’s vision for excellence in legal education, research, and practice. 

Private support for Emory Law reached $28 million during Campaign Emory, and the momentum continues. Dean Robert A. Schapiro’s top priorities for ongoing philanthropy include increasing unrestricted giving to the Law School Fund for Excellence, which helps fund scholarships, interdisciplinary studies, exceptional programs, and practice opportunities. 

The Henriksons are among the leaders in providing scholarship support, and their $2.5 million donation is the largest individual gift in the law school’s history. Of the total amount, $1.5 million will go to the C. Robert Henrikson Endowed Scholarship Fund created in 2002. The remaining $1 million will provide additional student support and serve as a challenge grant for matching gifts to the Law School Fund for Excellence. 

“We established this scholarship fund at my alma mater so that, in addition to receiving an outstanding education, Emory Law students will benefit from an inclusive environment that values diversity and leverages differences,” says Henrikson, former chair, president, and CEO of MetLife Inc. and a member of the Emory University Board of Trustees. Emory Law named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 2006. 

Business executive Facundo Bacardi 96L, who has pledged $1.5 million to fund scholarships and to support the Law School Fund for Excellence, said the culture of Emory Law reflects his family’s belief in philanthropy and community service. “My father taught my brother, sister, and me at an early age that if you are successful at what you do and your family is fortunate, it feels good to share that with others,” he said. 

Bacardi is chair of Bacardi Limited, which has a long history of philanthropic investment. In his third year at Emory, he made a gift to name Bacardi Plaza, which serves as a student meeting place and a venue for law school events. That gift also helped fund the construction of the Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library. In 2010 Bacardi provided a lead gift to endow a scholarship named for Professor Nathaniel Gozansky, who retired in spring 2012 after 45 years of teaching and mentoring students. Bacardi’s latest pledge supports the Gozansky endowment and honors the memory of the late Professor David Bederman, an international law expert who taught at Emory Law for 20 years. 

Alumna Donna Yip 04L also honored Bederman’s legacy with a campaign gift to Emory Law. “He made an investment in me,” she said. “He was such a great mentor.” Gifts to the David J. Bederman Fund at Emory Law support a lecture series, a student fellowship program, and the creation of a professorship in international law. 

Another alumni leader, John Latham 79L established the Latham Law Scholarship Fund endowment, which will provide support to students with demonstrated financial need. A partner in Alston & Bird in Atlanta, Latham hopes to make additional gifts to the endowment over time, and he encourages his classmates and other Emory Law alumni to create their own scholarships. 

“In a just society, it is important for all qualified people to have access to a great education. This is how we will move toward a true meritocracy in America,” said Latham, who chairs a firm-wide committee on diversity and is a frequent panelist at seminars on increasing diversity in the legal profession. 

Among many other gifts and pledges to Emory Law during Campaign Emory is an endowment that Linda Kagan 89L established for the Kagan-Horowitz Practice Society Premiere, a program offering students the opportunity to learn from attorneys in more than 20 practice areas. A bequest from the estate of Patricia Collins Butler 31L will fund scholarships at the law school. One of Emory’s first three female law graduates, she was a 1997 Distinguished Alumna and a recipient of the Emory Medal. And the class of 2010 made the largest class gift in Emory Law’s history with a $107,025 investment in the Loan Repayment Assistance Program and in clinical programs at the school. 

To learn how you can support Emory Law, contact Joella Hricik at 404.727.9172 or


Emory University School of Law Volunteer Campaign Chairs: 

Philip S. Reese 66C 76B 76L and Chilton D. Varner 76L