Chapman University’s law school has received the second largest reported gift ever to a U.S. law school – a $55 million donation from prominent real estate developer Dale E. Fowler ’58 and his wife, Sarah Ann. The law school will be named The Dale E. Fowler School of Law. A private ceremony will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, to commemorate the naming, featuring keynote speaker former Secretary of State George Shultz.
“It has been very gratifying to come to know Dale and Ann Fowler,” said Chapman University President James L. Doti. “As I reflect on their business successes and even more their transformative philanthropic contributions not only to Chapman but to higher education, I am even more proud that the Fowler name will forever be connected with our law school. They both represent the ideals of Chapman’s guiding spirit, Albert Schweitzer, as embodied in his quote: ‘Search and see whether there is not some place where you may invest your humanity.’”
The naming of The Dale E. Fowler School of Law will be formally announced by President Doti on Sept. 10 at the law school. The event will feature Shultz, one of only two individuals in U.S. history to serve in four Cabinet positions within the government. While the formal ribbon-cutting is not open to the public, media are invited to attend.
Dale E. Fowler is an Orange County native and Chapman alumnus. An entrepreneur from the beginning, Fowler began his real estate career while finishing his college studies, and built a successful business in industrial property development. Dale and Sarah Ann have been married for 52 years. They have three children and 10 grandchildren and divide their time between residences in Massachusetts and Southern California.
“My wife and I are overjoyed to have made this gift to the law school at Chapman,” said Fowler. “As a Chapman alumnus, I’m honored to be able to have an impact on generations of students to come. We are also proud that our son Jeffrey and daughter Kathryn are graduates of Chapman University, evidencing the continuity of our family’s relationship with the university. We are enthusiastic about the law school’s commitment to creating a positive atmosphere for business in all its realms of influence,” Fowler continued.
“This is one of the greatest gifts to any law school in the history of the United States; our best research has determined that this is the second largest reported single gift to an American law school,” said Tom Campbell, dean of the law school. “For our law school, it is the most definitive statement possible that we are here to stay and to prosper. After a start only 18 years ago, the law school now to be known as The Dale E. Fowler School of Law will take its place among the established, long-range focused law schools in the country. Because of the exceptional generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Fowler, we can now make long-term plans for how we will continue to provide top quality legal education many years into the future. With the infusion of this remarkable gift, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law can reinforce its commitment to practical legal training, to hiring new professors from the top ranks of academics and practitioners across the country, and to helping make the cost of law school more affordable for its students,” Campbell said.