Nannes 3L Challenge raises funds and philanthropy awareness in M-Law Quad

By James Weir
Michigan Law

The 2019 Nannes 3L Challenge concluded last week, with the Class of 2020 drawing attention to the role of philanthropy at Michigan Law and rallying classmates to join the initiative and give back after graduation.

For every 3L who participates in the annual Challenge, John Nannes, a 1973 alum of Michigan Law, donates $250 to the student organization of their choice. In exchange for the donation, participants agree to make an annual contribution of any amount to Michigan Law in the first four years after graduation. The 2019 Challenge raised $60,500 in funding for 79 different student organizations — with Student Funded Fellowships, the Michigan Law Review, and Black Law Students Association topping the list of beneficiaries — and included 70 percent participation among 3Ls and a record high of 30 percent among LLMs. Since its inception in 1999, 3L Challenge participants have contributed more than $900,000 to Michigan Law in the years after graduating.

“I didn’t hesitate to get involved because one of the biggest highlights of my time at Michigan Law has been my involvement in the student organization community,” said 3L Donya Khadem, a Nannes 3L Challenge committee member who shares co-chair duties with 3Ls Gregg Coughlin and Connor Rubin. “I am proud daily of the work my classmates do to make the Law School, and the greater community, a better place through student-led organizations and pro bono projects.”

The majority of gifts made by recent graduates benefit the Law School Fund, Michigan Law’s primary source of discretionary funding that can be applied where it is needed most. The Law School Fund plays an important role in many aspects of life at Michigan Law, including scholarships, funding for summer fellowships, the recruitment and retention of faculty, experiential learning opportunities, and student groups. A key goal of the Nannes 3L Challenge is raising awareness among students about the impact private funding has on life in the Quad.

“What has become apparent to me over my almost-three years here is the unique level of support that members of the Michigan Law community provide one another, and the Nannes 3L Challenge has always struck me as a continuation of that spirit, not just for current members of our community, but also for future members,” said Rubin. “It’s a take on the saying that communities succeed when people plant trees whose shade they will never sit under. The difference here is that because of Mr. Nannes’s generous and immediate donations, many of us get to experience some of the shade.”

Student organizations are a crucial part of life on campus and provide a variety of ways for students to get involved outside of the classroom. “The Challenge ensures that student organizations have the resources they need so that every student can find a place where they belong,” said Coughlin. “As students, we dive into our studies and a world of opportunity that is enabled by Michigan Law. Pledging to give back after graduation ensures that our engagement with the Law School continues to benefit us and future classes long after we leave the Quad.”

In addition to the co-chairs listed above, the 2019 Nannes 3L Challenge committee includes 3Ls Tezira Abe, Alex Ault, Anna Belkin, Holly Clancy, Joe Condon, Austin DelPriore, Leah Duncan, Sophia Gonzalez, Jillian Gray, Elizabeth Helping, Jeffrey Levicki, Hetali Lodaya, Nicholas Luther, Jacob Muller, Faraz Shahidpour, McKenzie Southworth, Maggie Turner, and Anna Williford. Christopher Hall, Rebecca Marston, David Sheinfeld, and Taylor Store are the committee’s 2L representatives. More information about the Nannes 3L Challenge is available on the website.

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