For most people, this is the most wonderful time of the year. School is out, summer vacation is starting and outdoor activities are in full swing. However, for those of us who work at the Law School Foundation, this is the most stressful time of the year. Today marks the beginning of the end -- the end of our fiscal year that is.
For those of you who don't know, last year was the first time in American law school history that more than 50% of a law school's alumni base participated in its annual giving program. That law school was Virginia. We are proud to lead the country in alumni participation. It's a sign of a remarkably healthy institution and further confirmation of our standing in the very first rank of American law schools. It's also a sign of how much the student experience endures long after graduation.
But getting to or near 50% isn't easy and the last week of the fiscal year is typically the "make" or "break" week.
What's life like for us during the last week of the fiscal year? Well, the days begin early. I am up at 6:00 am and in the office by 7:30 am. I begin calling and e-mailing our alums who work on the east coast until about lunch. Lunch is then brought in to the office so we can't use hunger or lack of energy as an excuse for being away from our desks. After lunch, I contact our alums who work in the Midwest and the mountain states and then end the day with a virtual trip along the west coast.
Our director of Annual Giving, Helen Snyder '87, and Dean Jeffries threatened to roll in cots for the last few days in the event we need to reach out to our international alums to push us over the top.
Every time we move a percentage point closer to our goal, an announcement is made in the hallway and people get excited. Me -- I get up, see if there's any leftover food from lunch and go back to my desk. It's important that we get to at least 50% again. It's something that other law schools notice and envy. It's also something that has come to define the legacy of our retiring CEO David Ibbeken. Well, back to work. If you haven't given yet, you can do so here, otherwise, I'm sure you'll be hearing from me or someone else on our staff.
I think it's kabobs and Lebanese food for lunch today.