Local & Regional
1:56 pm
Tue January 12, 2010

Gift to TU

Tulsa, OK – The Chapman Charitable Trusts announced a major gift benefiting The University of Tulsa College of Law during an event held Tuesday at the law school.

The gift has established the Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair for the College of Law and will fund a major renovation of John Rogers Hall that will allow future facility upgrades.

"The Chapman Charitable Trusts have been a bedrock of support and a continual source of opportunity to TU for more than 50 years," said TU President Steadman Upham. "They have provided essential funding for our programs, facilities and for an expanding family of faculty and scholarship endowments."

The Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair for the College of Law honors the legacy of John Rogers Sr., a former trustee of the Chapman Charitable Trusts and influential figure in the history of TU, the College of Law and Tulsa. During a seven-decade legal career that began in 1914, Rogers served as general counsel for the Chapman-McFarlin-Barnard interests, founded the Rogers and Bell law firm, was named Tulsa's Man of the Year in 1945, and was elected to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1951.

Rogers played a vital role in the growth and progress of TU, where he served on the Board of Trustees for 34 years. Additionally, he was instrumental in establishing the TU College of Law and served as dean for seven years without drawing a salary. John Rogers Hall, which is home to the TU College of Law, is named in his honor.

The Chapman Charitable Trusts have long supported the TU College of Law, including gifts that established the Chapman Distinguished Chair in Law (currently held by Judith Royster) and the Dean John Rogers Scholarship for Law that provides financial assistance for 15 or more law students each year. Additionally, Chapman endowments support the operations of John Rogers Hall and the Mabee Legal Information Center, and provide for vital acquisitions for the law library.

"I am pleased we could establish this endowed faculty position in honor of John Rogers," said Sharon Bell, individual trustee of the Chapman Charitable Trusts, member of the TU Board of Trustees, and TU College of Law alumna (JD '85). "He is now remembered with an administrative chair, a group of scholarships, and through the home of the law school, John Rogers Hall. Such a diversified tribute is a fitting response to the deep affection that he had, not only for TU, but for the entire community as well."

The earnings generated by the newly announced endowment will ensure that the College of Law will be able to secure and support talented leadership by providing salary compensation for the sitting dean. The endowment also will support research and other professional activities.

Additionally, the gift will fund asbestos abatement in John Rogers Hall, which will allow the university to proceed with further facility upgrades that were previously not possible.

"This gift will allow us to reallocate salary funds at a moment when every dollar is especially dear," said Janet K. Levit, dean of the TU College of Law. "Endowing the chair assures that the College of Law will have permanent resources to attract and retain future leadership. It helps ensure that our work today becomes the foundation for progress, for building positively upon our rich history and continuing John Rogers' legacy of institution-building."

Levit becomes the inaugural Dean John Rogers Endowed Chair for the College of Law. She was named the TU College of Law's 17th dean on July 10, 2008. A widely recognized scholar in the areas of international law and international commercial law, Levit first served as a visiting assistant professor at TU from 1995 to 1997 and later joined the TU law faculty as an assistant professor in 2002. She became a tenured faculty member at TU in 2004.

Levit earned her law degree in 1994 from Yale Law School. She earned a master's degree in international relations from Yale University and an undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Following law school, Levit served as a law clerk for the Honorable Stephanie K. Seymour, then Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.