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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

April 9, 2003

Children Honor Father By Establishing UI Professorship In Trial Advocacy

The University of Iowa College of Law will gain an endowed professorship, thanks to the generosity of Richard G. Langdon of Des Moines and Ann V. Ward of Columbia, Mo. Their gift commitment of $500,000 to the Iowa Law School Foundation will establish the Herschel G. Langdon Professor of Trial Advocacy Fund. The gift honors their late father, a 1931 graduate of the UI College of Law.

The Langdon Professorship will enable the law school to further strengthen its program in trial advocacy. As one of the law school's professional skills-training programs, trial advocacy helps students develop and refine skills used to prepare and try civil and criminal cases. Students are given the opportunity to study, learn and practice the art of opening statement, direct- and cross-examination, introduction of exhibits and other evidence, use of expert testimony and closing arguments.

The professorship will recognize distinguished faculty achievement and assist with special teaching, research and professional development expenses.

"We're very pleased to be able to help the college in this way," Langdon said. "Over the years, I was able to try many cases with my father and always admired his work as a lawyer. This gift is simply our way of honoring his name."

Richard Langdon, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, is an attorney with the Des Moines law firm Herrick, Langdon & Langdon, where he joined his father in 1961 and now specializes in both trial work and estate planning. Ann Ward, a former school secretary in Hinsdale, Ill., is now retired and living in Columbia, Mo. While not graduates of the UI College of Law, Langdon and Ward were well aware of their father's love for the university.

"Our father always felt the UI College of Law had outstanding professors," said Langdon. "With the help of these instructors, his graduating class turned out to be an incredible group of lawyers."

Herschel Langdon received his B.A. degree in 1930 and his J.D. in 1931 from the UI, where, as a law student, he served as case editor of the Iowa Law Review. Following his graduation from the law school, he co-founded Herrick, Langdon & Langdon with the Honorable Allan A. Herrick and earned an outstanding reputation as a trial lawyer. In addition to being a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and county, state and American bar associations, Herschel Langdon was a member of the University of Iowa Alumni Association and provided loyal support to the university throughout his career. He died in August 2002.

"Herschel Langdon was a dear friend of this law school. He was very appreciative of his fine Iowa education and he was particularly proud of the many accomplishments of his fellow students in the Class of 1931," said N. William Hines, dean of the college. "He was more than just a great lawyer, and I knew him personally as a terrific person. That his children would make such a gift in his honor is a wonderful gesture of recognition for his strong ties to the UI. Herschel would have been delighted."

The Langdon gift is part of the recently completed $32.8 million "Iowa Law School Endowment Campaign for the 21st Century" as well as the UI's $850 million comprehensive campaign, "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University." The UI campaign will run through 2005 and is being conducted by the UI Foundation. The campaign is raising private funds to help launch educational initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI Foundation is acknowledged by the UI as a preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit the UI Foundation's web site at

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa Foundation, Levitt Center for University Advancement, One West Park Road, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550.

CONTACT(S): Mark V. Wunder, director of development, Iowa Law School Foundation, (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973, Writer: Peter Ylvisaker.