Alum pioneers financial

He said he didn’t want any publicity from it, but a million dollars is hard to keep quiet.
“I’m a shy fellow,” Irving Shapiro said.
After a distinguished career as a lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department and CEO of the chemical company Dupont, University graduate Shapiro donated $1 million to the Law School to create an endowment fund for students in need of emergency loans.
The fund is the first of its kind at the Law School, but the concept is decades old. In fact, Shapiro himself benefitted from an emergency loan before he graduated in 1941.
“In those days, nickels were hard to come by,” Shapiro said. “Law school tuition was $48 a quarter then, and I thought that was outrageous.”
He received a $200 interest-free loan from the dean. With that, Shapiro said he got by without difficulty.
“That experience stays with you,” Shapiro said.
But in those days, no permanent fund for emergency loans existed. He said deans would just dip into funds around the school to help students in need.
The $1 million Shapiro donated is primarily for students needing money. If money is needed elsewhere in the school, the new fund can be used as well, Shapiro said.
Martha Martin, the Law School development officer, said this money is important for the school to compete with other schools in the country.
“It is paramount that we can put together a whole financial aid fund for students,” Martin said. She added that it was slower coming up with this type of fund because the University is a state school.
Law School Dean Tom Sullivan said he talked with Shapiro a few times to discuss a donation to the school.
But Shapiro said he began to think about doing something different from just the regular donations, which he had given in the past. There are more students enrolled in the Law School now; a permanent emergency fund would better suit the school, rather than dipping randomly into various school funds, he said.
Martin said the school hasn’t ironed out all of the details for loan recipient repayment yet.