Widener University School of Law Dean Linda L. Ammons today announced that the charitable foundation overseen by Delaware campus alumnus CAPT. Robert Taishoff ’89, has committed $1.2 million in support of the newly renamed Taishoff Advocacy, Technology and Public Service Institute at Widener Law.
The endowed gift from the Florida-based Taishoff Family Foundation is the largest ever given to Widener Law.
“We are grateful to CAPT. Taishoff and his family’s foundation for this generous gift,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons said. “Their support of Widener Law will strengthen our ability to educate the next generation of public advocates. Not only do our students benefit, but in the long run, society will as well.”
The gift will be used to:
- Fund new programs and special training for students enrolled through the institute, who are interested in advocacy-law careers.
- Provide fellowships that offer financial assistance to law students studying through the institute, which was formerly known as the Advocacy and Technology Institute.
- Lend support to Widener’s Veterans Law Clinic, which under the direction of Professor Thomas J. Reed provides legal representation to a growing number of disabled veterans as they challenge denials of their medial benefits. The school was one of the nation’s first to offer such a program. The clinic operates on Widener’s law campuses in Delaware and Harrisburg, Pa. and the university’s main campus in Chester, Pa.
- Create a named professorship, which will go to Reed, who will become the first Taishoff Professor of Law.
- Create a visiting distinguished scholar position, to be filled by a lawyer, jurist or social scientist who is undertaking research that improves the quality of advocacy.
The Taishoff Foundation has long supported Widener’s Veterans Law Clinic on an annual basis and the endowed gift ensures its support will continue in perpetuity – for the clinic and programs beyond. It will enable Widener students to combine the theoretical with the practical by gaining
hands-on experience in the practice of law, learning under the supervision of experienced professionals and absorbing real-world knowledge.
“This gift will go far in supporting our efforts to provide programs and experiences that best equip our law students for advocacy careers,” Widener University President James T. Harris III said. “The assistance to our Veterans Law Clinic, in particular, assures that our students will continue to master the law through service to our nation’s veterans. This kind of civic engagement is the hallmark of a Widener education and I thank the Taishoff Family Foundation for recognizing it in this way.”