CONTACT: MARK WUNDER
Director of Development
College of Law
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973
Release: Nov. 14, 2000
Gift to UI College of Law endows chair in intellectual property law
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Blair and Joan White of Wilmette, Ill., have funded an
endowed chair at the University of Iowa College of Law. Their gift, made to
the Iowa Law School Foundation as a part of the Iowa Law School Endowment
Campaign for the 21st Century, will create the H. Blair and Joan V. White
Chair in Intellectual Property Law.
"Blair and Joan White's generosity will enable the College of Law to
recognize an outstanding scholar who specializes in intellectual property
law," said N. William Hines, dean of the UI College of Law. "Endowed
chairs are critical to helping us attract and retain the quality of faculty
that make Iowa a leader in legal education. The creation of this chair sends
a clear message that the college is committed to recognizing faculty excellence
in research and scholarship in this increasingly important field."
Funding endowments for faculty chairs is one of the four key priorities
of the law school campaign, which continues to progress toward its $25 million
goal. Other campaign priorities include creating endowments to support merit-
and need-based scholarships, the Iowa Law Library, and curricular and co-curricular
H. Blair White earned two degrees from the University of Iowa, his J.D.
from the Iowa Law School in 1951 and a B.A. degree in liberal arts in 1950.
White recently retired from partnership in the well-known Chicago law firm
Sidley and Austin, where he was a top litigator and served a number of years
as managing partner. He visited the College of Law in October 1997 as a part
of the Daum Visiting Professionals Program and is a member of The Presidents
Club, which recognizes the university's most generous contributors.
"Iowa provided me with tools of incalculable value that helped me succeed
and grow in my profession. It is a great source of enjoyment for my wife and
me to be able to pay back some small part of that debt," said White of
the $1.5 million contribution. "I also feel that with the advent of the
Internet, intellectual property has become an even more relevant and critical
field of law, and I'm glad to be able to help the UI Law School build its
strength in this area."
Joan (Van Alstine) White completed a B.A. degree in sociology at the University
of Iowa in 1951. The couple dated as students at the UI, then re-met and married
later when both were living in Chicago. They have two sons.
Mark Wunder, the UI Foundation's director of development for the College
of Law, said, "Endowing a faculty chair is an effective way to enhance
Iowa's margin of excellence. It allows the college to attract or retain top-flight
faculty who, in turn, draw strong students to the law school. It speaks well
of the UI College of Law when graduates remember their alma mater so generously."
Earnings from the Whites' $1.5 million endowment will be used to support
the activities of the chair recipient and provide an annual salary supplement
to finance research, travel, computer equipment, and other materials that
are critical to enhancing the research and teaching of intellectual property
law at the College of Law.
The UI Foundation, the university's comprehensive fund-raising organization,
is the preferred channel of support for contributions to all areas of the
university, including the Iowa Law School Foundation. UI Foundation staff
work with alumni and friends to generate funds for scholarships, professorships,
facilities improvements, equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.