Students looking at books in the law school library
ORANGE, Calif., January 20, 2016 — For more than a decade, the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation has been a major supporter of Chapman University’s
Fowler School of Law
, and in particular the school’s law library.  At the end of 2015, the Foundation gave a gift to the law library of $2.78 million, bringing its total of gifts to $5 million.  The Fowler School of Law will recognize this generosity by naming the law library in honor of Hugh and Hazel Darling.

The gift will be invested in a permanent endowment, with income to go to the Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Librarian Chair, which is currently held by Professor Linda Kawaguchi.

“We continue to be immensely grateful to the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation for their ongoing and very generous support of the Fowler School of Law, its programs and its library,” said Tom Campbell, dean of the Fowler School.  “The law library is at the heart of a law school, the nexus of its knowledge and scholarship, providing research assistance, reference materials, instruction to students in doing their own research, and a place to study without distraction.   There could be no more appropriate names to associate with our law library than those of Hugh and Hazel Darling, given their lifelong reverence for language, scholarship and achievement.”

The law school plans a special ceremony in March to dedicate the Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library.  Whenever a gift of an endowed chair is made, Chapman University allows the donor to name a historical individual whose bronze sculpture will be placed on the Chapman campus to inspire students and visitors.  In this case, Richard L. Stack, Trustee of the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation, has asked for a sculpted bust of Sir Winston Churchill, since Churchill was a hero to Hugh Darling.


Born in Tacoma, Washington, Hugh W. Darling (1901-1986) earned his law degree from the USC School of Law in 1927.  His 58 years in active practice of law spanned the modern history of the California State Bar Association.  As president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, he was one of those responsible for publishing the landmark history of that Bar, “Lawyers of Los Angeles.”  For most of his career, he was intimately involved in the development of commercial aviation as an attorney for, general counsel of, and a director of aviation pioneer Western Air Lines, Inc.   He was nationally known as an expert on airline regulation, spending a major portion of his early years in practice in Washington, D.C., representing Western in the development of federally controlled rates and route structure.  Mr. Darling served as Mayor of the City of Beverly Hills from 1960-61 after serving on the City Council.  His appreciation of language and classic literature was grounded in a lifelong dedication to the study of the Bible and to the accurate and concise use of the English language in legal writing.  He was also fluent in Spanish, and studied the Bible regularly in both English and Spanish.

Hazel Darling (1901-1987), the former Hazel Smith, was born in San Mateo, California.   Her family was deeply involved in the California oil business, and Mrs. Darling was a principal shareholder of Berry Petroleum, a company founded in 1909 by her great-uncle Clarence Berry (it is now a subsidiary of LINN Energy). Mrs. Darling was also active in many civic organizations and supported groups seeking the humane treatment of animals.  Hazel and Hugh Darling were married on June 12, 1937 and resided throughout their 49 years of married life in Beverly Hills, California.  On Mr. Darling’s death in 1986, Mrs. Darling created a trust, which on her death the following year became the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation.  The stated purpose of the Foundation is the advancement of education in California with particular emphasis on support of legal education and programs calculated to impart a better understanding and appreciation of the legal system under which we live.


Log In
Open Main Menu