Dean Jennifer Brown donates $100,000 to School of Law

March 01, 2021

Headshot of Jennifer Brown

In a year dominated by a global health crisis and economic hardship, faculty and staff at Quinnipiac School of Law were infused with the spirit of philanthropy to make gifts beyond their annual donations to support the legal education of their students. One professor described his gift as the largest of his career.

Moved by their collective generosity, Dean Jennifer Gerarda Brown was inspired to make the largest donation of her life as well. She and her husband, Yale Law School Professor Ian Ayres, recently donated $100,000 to the law school.

“My colleagues’ powerful words conveyed to me how deeply they care about students’ well-being and success, and how much they are willing to put on the line to demonstrate this care,” she said. Brown characterizes her gift as both for today and tomorrow. “It recognizes the darkness we’re experiencing right now, but it is also hopeful for a brighter future,” she said.  

A portion of Brown’s gift will be combined with the money raised by faculty and staff to support student needs today.

“I continue to be amazed by the courage and tenacity students have shown as they keep doing the work that needs to be done, even in the face of such challenges,” Brown added.

Another portion will be saved for the second half of 2021 and 2022, enabling students, faculty and staff to restart projects and participate in conferences, competitions or other meetings disrupted by COVID-19.

“I want to respond to needs that are evident and known, while also giving the law school the capacity to take up the opportunities that we believe and hope will emerge on the other side of this pandemic,” she said.

Brown joined the Quinnipiac School of Law faculty in 1994 and became a full professor in 1996. In 1997, she was named the founding director of Quinnipiac’s Center on Dispute Resolution, a role she held until 2013, when she became dean of the law school. She also served as interim executive vice president and provost of Quinnipiac from June 2019 to August 2020.

She remarked that she has been overwhelmed by the response from faculty and staff during this most difficult of years: “Faculty and staff have demonstrated their commitment through untold hours of meetings, deliberations, one-on-one phone calls and Zoom sessions, faculty workshops and trainings, bike rides and virtual happy hours, and dozens of other unseen ways of supporting students, both academically and emotionally.”

“Our faculty and staff are truly dedicated, and they mean it when they say we’re here to educate the ‘whole lawyer’ — even if our physical separation from each other makes that especially difficult right now,” Brown said.

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