The Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law has received a $1 million gift from Sherry and Parker Kennedy.

Park Kennedy is currently the chair of the Fowler School of Law’s Board of Advisors and vice chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. He also serves as chairman of First American Financial Corporation.

The focus of the Kennedys’ gift is supporting the work of the Fowler School of Law’s nationally recognized faculty in expanding opportunities for students. The gift establishes several professorships, as well as a specified fund for excellence. This gift is in addition to the Kennedys’ support of the first annual Junior Faculty Works-in-Progress Conference that Fowler Law School hosted last September.

“The Kennedy Family have been incredible supporters of the Fowler School of Law since its founding,” said Matt Parlow, the law school’s dean. “From Kennedy Hall to the Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law to scholarship support for our top students, the Kennedy Family have been extraordinary partners in driving the success of this great law school. Park’s enthusiastic support means a great deal to us. This generous gift expands our faculty’s work in key areas for students and faculty scholarship.”

Park Kennedy commented on the quality of Fowler’s professors.

Parker Kennedy, Fowler School of Law

Park Kennedy

“The Fowler School of Law has an excellent faculty that prepares students for the practice of law through its innovative, practice-ready curriculum,” said Kennedy. “There is a lot of momentum at the Fowler School of Law, and we are thrilled to help expand student opportunities and support and recognize those faculty working with our students.”

This is the second million-dollar gift for the Fowler School of Law in the past year. The law school received a $1.125 million gift in August from alumnus Sam Mirejovsky ’14 and his law partner, James Bergener.

“Million dollar gifts are not very common in legal education, and receiving two in a year is a testament to the belief, support and confidence that our donors have in the important and impactful work that we do here every day with our students,” said Parlow.

Professors Schultz, Kochan, Heller Recognized

Part of the Kennedys’ gift will create the Kennedy Professorship in Dispute Resolution―a five-year term professorship providing recognition to the Fowler School of Law’s competitions program. Professor Nancy Schultz, who oversees the program, will assume this professorship. The gift will provide financial support to create more opportunities for students to participate in local, regional and national competitions.

Another portion of the gift will endow the Parker S. Kennedy Professorship in Law. The endowment will be used to support the scholarly and intellectual life of the Fowler School of Law. As the inaugural Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Professor Donald Kochan will hold this professorship.

Yet another part of the gift will go to support a third professorship―the Kennedy Professorship in Law. This will rotate annually to support a different member of the Fowler School of Law faculty and a new program or initiative. Kathy Heller, who runs the Entertainment Law Program, will hold the Kennedy Professorship in Law for 2018. The financial support with this professorship will be used to facilitate events among alumni working in the entertainment field to help both alumni and current students build connections through networking.

The last piece of the gift will create the Kennedy Excellence Fund, which is dedicated to professional development.

Display image at top/Fowler School of Law Dean Matt Parlow and Park Kennedy in the lobby of Donald P. Kennedy Hall, which was named for Kennedy’s father in 1999.