Extending a tradition of philanthropy

Board of Trustees member Lynne L. Pantalena, JD ’85, makes $3 million gift for named chair at School of Law

February 21, 2024

Lynne Pantalena

Lynne L. Pantalena, JD ’85, of Chicago, still remembers the enduring, impactful lectures of law professors Marty Margulies, Sandy Meiklejohn, and Mary Moers Wenig.

While Pantalena was a student in the School of Law, those lessons in criminal law, contracts, taxation, and other areas were at once wonderful and a bit frightening.

“I was petrified, but I’ll tell you what, law school really pulled me out of my shell,” she said. “It was a big growth opportunity. I found my voice and my vocation. If the law school can do that for me, it can do it for other students, too."

Pantalena’s growth has continued steadily since her days in law school.

After several years in private practice, she joined Connecticut Bank and Trust, now Bank of America. Pantalena traveled throughout the country in her capacity as a wealth strategy executive at Bank of America Private Bank before she retired.

“This law school provided me with great opportunities. I’ve traveled, met interesting people, and worked in a field I truly love,” Pantalena said. “My two favorite aspects of my career were helping families realize their legacy goals through planning, and mentoring newer attorneys so that they too could have this positive impact on their clients. I want to give back to the school that set me on this path.”

Today, Pantalena’s voice and her philanthropy speak volumes.

After a generous gift a decade ago to support student scholarships and name the School of Law’s library, Pantalena has made a $3 million commitment to fund a named faculty chair. The inaugural holder of that chair will be Professor Neal Feigenson, who specializes in the psychology of jury decision-making and the use of visual evidence.

“Lynne has been involved in the Law School and University since she graduated in 1985 — as a donor, engaged supporter and leader," said President Judy Olian. “She has been clear in her gratitude for the professors who had such profound impact on her development, and has been generous to the Law School in multiple ways over the years. With the creation of the Lynne Pantalena Chair, Lynne celebrates the transformative impact faculty can have on a student’s life journey, as it did on hers.”

For Feigenson, a member of the School of Law faculty since 1987, Pantalena’s investment in teaching is both unprecedented and transformative.

“Her generosity toward the law school is simply remarkable,” Feigenson said. “I am grateful and just overwhelmed by this honor. I consider myself privileged to have worked with the so many exceptional colleagues on the Quinnipiac law faculty who have contributed so much over the 35 years I’ve been here.”

Pantalena shares that same appreciation for the School of Law faculty.

“Quinnipiac is a great law school with a faculty who really care about students. It’s important that we support the school for future generations,” said Pantalena. “Quinnipiac’s emphasis on the ‘whole lawyer serving the whole client’ resonates with me. I see the positive impact the school has had not only on its students but also on the clients and the communities they serve. I am going to do whatever I can to help further that mission.

“I don’t think most people realize the kind of impact they can have. I started with donations of $25 a year,” Pantalena added. “If I can do it, anyone can do it. It’s that important to me. I want to set the stage for other people to join me.”

For School of Law Dean Jennifer Brown, Pantalena is a significant leader, an important role model, and a dear friend of the law school.

“In my 10 years as dean, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with many accomplished alumni of our law school. Few can match Lynne Pantalena’s love for Quinnipiac and generosity of spirit,” Brown said.

“She has shared not only her treasure with us, but also her time and her talent. She has mentored students and graduates, participated in panels and programs on professionalism, and contributed her perspective and experience to the university’s Board of Trustees,” Brown continued. “Why does she do all this? Because she genuinely, actively seeks to make Quinnipiac the best possible school we can be.”

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