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50 For 50 Dinner Celebrates $3.5 Million Raised in Law Student Scholarships

On October 13, 2022, a group of donors gathered first at the law school and then at Pepperdine University President Jim Gash’s (JD ‘93) Brock House to celebrate the successful end of the “50 For 50 Campaign” that began in 2020 amidst a worldwide pandemic. The campaign was the brainchild of Dean Paul Caron and Senior Vice Chancellor and Director of Development Rebecca Malzahn while the two were on a road trip across Texas in 2019.

“I was watching the '30 For 30' series on ESPN that fall. Rebecca Malzahn and I were on a trip across Texas to meet with alumni and friends. I was inspired to suggest '50 For 50': we envisioned gathering support of $50,000 from 50 donors. We did not only deliver on our promise, we got 55 instead and raised $3.5 million dollars!” said Dean Paul Caron at the official plaque dedication.

The evening of celebration began with a presentation of a commemorative plaque that will be displayed in the law school. Dean Paul Caron and Senior Vice Chancellor and Professor Emeritus Janet Kerr (JD ‘78) unveiled the plaque with the names of the 50 For 50 Founding Partners. After the dedication, the guests were taken to President Jim Gash’s (JD ‘93) home for a cocktail hour, dinner, and time of reflection from several distinguished guests. 

It was inspiring to hear from several Founding Partners including Cicely Simpson (JD ‘01), Bill Minick (JD ‘85), and Yuri Milkulka (JD ‘96) on why they believed and invested in Caruso School of Law and our students. Founding Partner Alice Starr joined the event and shared how important student scholarships were to her and her late husband, former dean and Founding Partner, Judge Ken Starr.  

Dean Emeritus and Senior Vice Chancellor Ronald Phillips said, “The 50 For 50 Dinner was a wonderful occasion for celebrating the marvelous accomplishment of raising much-needed scholarship funding for our students, and celebrating the law school's first 50 years. It was also a time of treasured fellowship between alumni and members of their families, and other Caruso Law School friends, along with some of the current and past law school faculty and administration.”

Founding Partner Janet Kerr said “It was a night to celebrate reconnecting as well as establishing new friendships. This group is a group of superstars in law, business, finance, entertainment, sports, publishing - the list goes on. Generosity and giving back was a common theme. I am so happy to be a part of this group.”

About the 50 For 50 Campaign:

In commemoration of the law school’s 50th anniversary in 2019, the $50 million naming gift from Rick and Tina Caruso, and our rise into the ranks of the top 50 law schools in America, 50 of our alumni and friends helped to rise even higher and to reduce even further our students' debt load. Each 50 For 50 Partner provided $50,000 in scholarship support for our students, resulting in an additional $3.5 million in current and endowment scholarship support.

50 for 50 donors