Columbia University has announced a $15 million gift from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation to endow a full-tuition scholarship program and clinical professorship and increase public service opportunities for deserving law school students.
The largest single grant in the law school's history includes $7 million to establish and endow the Greene Public Service Scholars program, which will provide full-tuition scholarships to help outstanding students prepare for careers in government, the nonprofit sector, academia, social entrepreneurship, or community development; $5 million for the Greene Scholarship Challenge fund, a first-of-its-kind matching scholarship fund designed to encourage donors to endow named scholarships; and $3 million to endow the Greene Clinical Professorship, which will result in additional opportunities for students to learn and practice essential legal skills as part of their clinical education.
"This gift affords our superb Columbia Law School students greater opportunities to pursue a public service path," said Columbia University president Lee C. Bollinger. "It also allows more of our students to participate in clinical offerings, while also strengthening the teaching and mentorship provided by our world-class law faculty."
In addition to his career as a lawyer, real estate investor, and philanthropist, Brooklyn-born Jerome "Jerry" Greene was a longtime supporter of Columbia Law School before his death in 1999 at the age of 93. In 1990, the school named its flagship building after Greene and posthumously awarded him the Medal for Excellence, its highest honor, in 2009.
"The foundation is proud to continue Jerry Greene's support of Columbia Law School, which he credited for his success in business," said Christina McInerney, who succeeded her mother, Dawn Greene, as foundation president and CEO in 2010. "With this gift, we hope not only to make a Columbia Law School education more accessible to the best and brightest students, regardless of background, but also to cultivate legal minds whose focus is to serve their communities and fight for social justice."