Pepperdine University School of Law has announced that Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar of Laguna Beach, California, have endowed the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics with a generous $5 million gift.
Director of the institute and the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law, Robert Cochran, said the endowment will enable the institute to further investigate the nexus between law, religion, and ethics, in addition to providing students and faculty the opportunity to explore these areas through interdisciplinary seminars, conferences, and symposia.
"Herb and Elinor Nootbaar's generous gift will enable the institute to send students around the world to work with human rights and religious freedom organizations. It will also enable us, through conferences, courses, and scholarly projects, to explore the insights that religious faith and ethical values can bring to law and the lawyer's work," said Cochran.
The Nootbaars are agribusiness consultants and remain involved in H. V. Nootbaar and Co., based in Capistrano Beach. Herb is the former corporate vice president of Ralston Purina Co. and the former president and CEO of Taylor Milling Corp. and West Coast Wharf and Storage Co. He has had a long and distinguished career in the agriculture industry and is past president of the Los Angeles Grain Exchange, the California Grain and Feed Association, and the National Grain and Feed Association.
Herb and Elinor are active in numerous community organizations such as Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church, Rotary International, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Boy Scouts of America. Over 34 charities have benefited from the couple's generosity.
The Nootbaars are champions of Pepperdine University, the School of Law, and Dean Ken Starr. Within the last year, they have contributed to the endowment of the School of Law's William French Smith Memorial Lectures and have endowed the dean's office, and most recently, the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics.
The institute is organized to sponsor conferences addressing a broad range of issues including morality and the practice of law, bio-ethical legal issues, constitutional religious issues, religious lobbying, law and poverty, and international human rights.
A ceremony to officially name the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics will take place on November 8 at the School of Law, in Malibu.