Class of ’66 reunion gift to be used for student support

Seated, left to right: Peter M. Kooshoian, Thomas E. Andruschat, Thomas J. Sciolino, James W. Grable Sr., Richard G. Jackson, Hon. Timothy Drury. Standing, left to right: John A. Cirando, Richard B. Scott, Mary Ellen Murphy Borja, Thomas Whissel, Robert J. Bolm, Hon. Dale M. Volker, Kevin J. Brinkworth, Marshall L. Cohen, Michael Swartz.

Even after half a century, school ties run deep.

Richard Jackson ’66 found that to be true when his undergraduate class at Colgate University gathered for a reunion, and translated their affection for that school into a significant class gift. Why not, he figured, do the same when it came time for the 50-year reunion of his UB School of Law class?

So, working with the school’s development team, he sent a letter talking up the reunion and proposing a Class of ’66 gift to be used for student support.

“I thought if we can get it up to the level the University needs it to be, it would be a nice remembrance of the class, and in the future if people want to give, they have a vehicle,” Jackson says. “I talked to a bunch of my friends in Buffalo, we put the letter out and we got a good response – we got some gifts right away.”

To put the gift over the top and endow a student support fund at the $25,000 level, Jackson made a significant multi-year pledge of his own. “If you’re going to go out and ask people to do it, you have to be able to do it yourself,” he says.

The fund will provide financial support for a second- or third-year student who has made a significant impact on the UB School of Law through volunteer or extracurricular activities.

Jackson’s leadership is part of a pattern. A consistent donor to the UB School of Law, he has in the past designated his gifts to support the Charles B. Sears Law Library.

That support comes even though he didn’t end up practicing law. A longtime Florida resident, he worked for M&T Bank in the trusts department and stayed in trusts throughout his career, first in administrative roles, then in management.

“In that business the J.D. was really invaluable, because I always knew what the attorneys were talking about when they were talking to a prospective client,” Jackson says. “And if they needed a little more explanation how that related to the bank, I could do that. I found it extremely helpful.”

The inaugural Class of 1966 Award was made this fall to Nicole L. Grasso, a third-year student who has made a positive impact on the School of Law through her volunteer and extracurricular activities.