George Mason University Law School Receives $50 Million Bequest

George Mason University Law School Receives $50 Million Bequest

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, has announced a gift of more than $50 million to the Antonin Scalia Law School from the estate of the late Judge Allison M. Rouse and Dorothy B. Rouse.

The largest gift in the university's history will create a permanent endowment in support of thirteen new faculty chairs. The law school at George Mason, which currently has forty-four full-time faculty, was named for the late U.S. Supreme Court justice in 2016 in recognition of commitments of $10 million from the Charles Koch Foundation and $20 million from an anonymous donor. According to the university, the Rouses' bequest is the third largest reported gift ever to a law school in the United States. 

A World War II veteran, Judge Rouse received his law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law, worked in the San Mateo County District Attorney's office, and in 1971 was appointed an associate justice of the California Court of Appeals in San Francisco. He retired from the bench in 1988 and worked for a decade as a private judge and arbitrator before his death in 2005 at the age of 86. His wife, Dorothy, who also earned her law degree from USF, died in May 2018 at the age of 93.

"We are grateful for this generous gift from Mrs. Rouse," said Scalia Law School dean Henry N. Butler. "Judge Rouse and Justice Scalia were both appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan, and Mrs. Rouse was an enthusiastic fan of Justice Scalia. Mrs. Rouse was proud to leave a legacy that supports the lasting scholarship and jurisprudence of Justice Scalia."

"The Rouses' gift is a major investment in the intellectual capacity of the Scalia Law School and will enable Mason to recognize, recruit, and retain outstanding faculty members — many of whom are among the most astute legal minds in the country," said university provost David Wu. "These endowed faculty chairs will further strengthen our ability to provide top-notch legal education for our students."