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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 programs.

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.