Cornerstone Club

WHAT IS THE CORNERSTONE CLUB?

The “Cornerstone” in Cornerstone Club symbolizes the birth of the first national public University. More specifically, it references the laying of the Cornerstone of Old East on October 12, 1793, the University’s first building to be constructed.

Nearly a century later, October 12 was declared Carolina’s birthday and is celebrated to this day as University Day. Old East was declared a national Historic Landmark in 1966. Today, a renovated Old East is used as a residence hall for students. 

The Cornerstone Club’s mission is to continue this tradition by ensuring Carolina Law remains truly great, and truly public. The Cornerstone Club provides critical funding to the dean to address Carolina Law’s most immediate needs and highest funding priorities.

WHY CAROLINA LAW?

Carolina Law educates lawyers and graduates leaders.

Carolina Law prepares outstanding lawyers and leaders for the bar, the bench, all public and private law settings and public service. We are also producing community leaders who are serving on the boards of non-profits, on town councils, on committees within churches and schools. Carolina Law produces the glue that binds communities together. 

Carolina Law has a strong history of producing great leaders within this state. Among those leaders are Terry Sanford, Julius Chambers, Susie Sharp, Bill Aycock, Dickson Phillips, Henry Frye, Bill Friday and Elizabeth Gibson. 

North Carolina is a state that’s always relied on lawyer-leaders, and the vast majority of them have come from Carolina Law – whether they’re in private practice, serving in the legislature, helping build the economy, prosecuting lawbreakers in the courtroom, defending the innocent, or advocating for changes that make the world a fairer, better place for everyone.

WHY NOW?

Accessibility/Scholarship

Carolina Law is losing talented students who want to come to Carolina simply because we aren’t able to offer the scholarship packages peer schools are offering. If Carolina Law is to remain both a great law school and a great public law school, we must find new ways to attract students, support them while they are in school, and send them on to rewarding careers of service and professional fulfillment.

We can’t continue to rely on tuition revenue and public support as we have in the past. We must increase the success of our annual fund through private donations. These unrestricted dollars fund the scholarships we need to attract and recruit talented future Tar Heel lawyers.

If we are able to offer competitive scholarships, we can attract students with higher LSAT scores and GPAs which ultimately helps us move up in the rankings.

Carolina Law’s tuition has gone up 78% since 2009. Our median student debt is right around $100,000. A decade ago it was practically non-existent.

Our in-state tuition is $23,550 and out-of-state tuition is just over $40,000. Affordability used to be a huge advantage for us but other public law schools that today are ranked higher than Carolina now charge lower tuition than we do. If our tuition is to remain among the lowest, we have to lean much more heavily on private support in the future. Our future lawyer-leaders should not be making decisions that aren’t in their long-term interests just because of money.

WHY $10,000?

Reinvest in your degree by standing up for the value of a great and affordable legal education.

11,000 living Carolina Law alumni have the power to elevate our alma mater through private donations. The Carolina Law Annual Fund goal for 2016-17 is $1.2 million. It is not only a reachable goal—we can surpass it.

We have the opportunity to support the ongoing excellence that is synonymous with a Carolina Law legal education. With $10,000, we can transform the life of a student and enhance the impact of a professor. With $10,000, we can increase scholarship amounts, create new experiential learning opportunities and provide the career development resources needed to attract the nation’s most promising students and faculty. Carolina Law has a proud tradition of offering a superb legal education at far lower cost than other national prominent law schools. This is a great challenge at a time of diminishing state support.

In 2016, Carolina Law Annual Fund surpassed $1 million for the first time in the school’s history. We need to build on that momentum.

WHAT ARE MEMBER BENEFITS?

Exclusive benefits for an elite group of donors

Special Events, dinners with the Dean and faculty members, as well as basketball and football tickets are just a few of the exclusive benefits for Cornerstone Club members. Special acknowledgement and member recognition are also among the perks.

By giving at the Cornerstone Club level, donors will help move Carolina Law to its fiscal year 2017 goal of $6.5 million, and its overall campaign goal of $70 million.

HOW CAN I MAKE MY GIFT?

Gifts can be made in a variety of ways.

Gifts can be made between July 1 and June 30, by check, monthly bank or credit card draft, or stock transfer for inclusion in this year’s totals. Couples’ gifts can be combined, and corporate matching gifts may also be included. 

Members may structure their gifts in a variety of ways. Unrestricted support is currently the most critical need at UNC School of Law. These gifts will help the dean fund his top priorities, while simultaneously growing the endowment as a part of the University’s overall campaign. Members may also choose to designate their gift to a specific fund if that is preferable.

NEXT STEPS

Please give serious consideration to this level of commitment. If you want to make a difference at your law school, Louise Harris or Dana Dubis with the office of advancement, will follow up with you to confirm your commitment.

By joining the Cornerstone Club, you will be invited to a celebratory weekend in Charleston, S.C. hosted by Martin and Carol Brinkley. Save the date of May 19-21, 2017. Invitations will be extended on March 1, 2017.

FINAL THOUGHT

One person makes a difference but a group of Tar Heel lawyers can make an impact. Together we can make sure Carolina Law stands for both accessibility and greatness. We can preserve the Carolina tradition of being elite without being elitist.

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106