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Director of Development
Iowa Law School Foundation
UI College of Law
UI Foundation News
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

New merit law scholarship awarded in UI College of Law

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Leif Gustafson of Mediapolis has been awarded the first Mason Ladd Merit Law Scholarship at the University of Iowa College of Law. The $6,000 award covers law school tuition for one year.

The scholarship, named in honor of the late Mason Ladd, former UI College of Law dean, was established through the Iowa Law School Foundation by Robert J. Loots and Mary Ladd Loots of Mequon, Wis. Robert Loots graduated from the UI with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1953 and a J.D. in 1958. Mary Loots, a daughter of the late Mason Ladd, earned a bachelor's degree in history from the UI in 1953. After graduation Robert joined a Milwaukee, Wis. law firm, which is now von Briesen, Purtell and Roper, s.c. His law practice is concentrated in corporate law and estate planning.

Mason Ladd graduated from the UI College of Law in 1923, then practiced as a trial lawyer in Des Moines. He joined the UI College of Law faculty in 1929. As a Thayer Teaching Fellow, he received an S.J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1935. He served as dean at the UI from 1939 until his retirement in 1966. He then became founding dean of the Florida State University College of Law. Mason Ladd died in 1980. Robert and Mary Ladd Loots established an endowed merit law scholarship fund to celebrate the centennial of the birthdate of Mason Ladd in January 1998 and to recognize his "lasting impact on the lives of his students and the UI College of Law."

The scholarship will be awarded annually to a first-year law student who is a native Iowan, possesses outstanding academic credentials and character, and reflects Mason Ladd's enthusiasm for the practice of law.

Leif Gustafson earned a bachelor's degree at Arizona State University. He enrolled at the UI College of Law in fall 1997 and was at the top of his class after the first semester. Gustafson received the Ladd award April 17 at a dinner attended by the Loots family, current and former faculty of the UI College of Law, and members of the Iowa Law School Foundation Board of Trustees.

"By establishing this scholarship, we hope to enhance the ability of the UI College of Law to recruit the finest students from Iowa and to honor Mason Ladd's life and achievements as law teacher, dean, and scholar," Robert Loots said.

The Loots gift is the eighth named endowed scholarship fund established during the Iowa Law School Endowment Campaign for the 21st Century, which will raise funds for student scholarships, the law library, enhanced technology, program support, endowed faculty chairs, and distinguished professorships.

The Iowa Law School Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private gifts to the UI College of Law. The foundation works with alumni, law firms, friends, and corporations to assist them in providing support to the college's students, faculty, and programs. The University of Iowa Foundation, the UI's campus-wide fund-raising organization, serves as the channel of support to the Iowa Law School Foundation by providing professional and technical support services.