Alumni Council President’s Message

UFLaw’s Annual Fund is the source of money for the many academic and co-curricular student programs that help our great school achieve excellence and national prominence. These include five certificate programs, conferences, externships, such organizations as Moot Court and Trial Team — which have been winning national competitions — and Study Abroad.

The Annual Fund also is a vital source for financial aid, Career Services, alumni programs and faculty recruitment and enrichment. These bring added prestige to our law school, and more importantly, they make being a UFLaw student a truly enriching experience.

The primary purpose of your Law Alumni Council is to raise money
for these essential programs through gifts from generous and loyal Gator alumni. The first duty of every active Council member is to contribute to the Fund before asking anyone else to do so. The Council then reaches out to you through letters, phone calls, e-mails and visits. These efforts are being marshaled in 2003-04 by Chairs George Vaka ‘83 and Tim Cerio’95. But please don’t wait to be reached by a Council member…if you have not yet contributed to the Annual Fund, send your contribution c/o UF Law Center Association, Box 14412, Gainesville 32604, or online:

Dean Robert Jerry has begun suggesting to those of our alumni who have yet to get involved to consider at least contributing the equivalent of one billable hour a year to support quality legal education.

The Alumni Council also raises funds through specific programs. We thank Law Firm Giving Program Chair Barry Davidson ‘67 for his leadership in encouraging alumni to be among those helping their firms attain 100% Gator grad giving (page 18). LFGP’s success has led to our new Public Sector Giving Program for Gator alums working with a public sector legal body, such as a State Attorney or Public Defender Office.

We increased Book Award sponsorships in 2002-03 (page 22), and we encourage individuals and firms to consider participating in this great program. Immediate-past President Ken Johnson’81 is leading this effort. Sponsoring a Book Award is a great way to touch the lives of individual students. We instituted a biannual ceremony to honor Award recipients and sponsors, and everyone involved agrees this is truly an uplifting experience.

Even students who have yet to graduate are on board. The Graduating Class Gift Program (page 19) is a gift to the Annual Fund from graduating seniors. These students are an inspiration to us all. They are so committed to our law school that, even before starting their own careers, they already are giving back. Last year’s two Class Gifts totaled nearly $40,000 in gifts and pledges, and each class works hard to set a new participation record.

We have a great law school. Your loyal support and participation are essential to help take it to the next level of excellence.

Oscar A. Sanchez ‘82
Akerman Senterfitt