Lubar gift innovates to diversify Law School research

October 3, 2014

A $3 million gift will allow the University of Wisconsin Law School to support top legal scholars in a new and creative way, Dean Margaret Raymond announced today.

Two ardent UW–Madison supporters, Milwaukee business executive Sheldon B. Lubar and Marianne S. Lubar, have provided the funding to endow a faculty post at the Law School that would diversify research and support extraordinary legal scholarship by changing the endowment model.

Photo: Marianne and Sheldon Lubar

Marianne and Sheldon Lubar

A traditional law school faculty chair is awarded in one area of law and to a single faculty member, often on a long-term basis. The Sheldon B. Lubar Distinguished Research Chair in Law, however, will be awarded on an annual, competitive basis as a way to recognize productive research in a variety of areas, depending on the faculty member chosen.

“The Lubars’ vision and innovative spirit has provided the UW Law School a means to enrich scholarship that will have a meaningful impact in multiple areas of law,” says Raymond. “It’s an exciting concept that will set the school apart. The Lubars deserve our thanks.”

Chancellor Rebecca Blank also acknowledged the creative thinking that spurred the gift.

“We are grateful to have friends like the Lubars, who want to support a broad range of scholarship. This is an innovative gift that will strengthen the Law School and enhance its attractiveness to top faculty,” the chancellor says.

Sheldon Lubar, the founder and chairman of the Milwaukee-based private investment and capital management firm Lubar & Co., says he hopes the gift will stimulate new legal thought and build on the UW Law School’s reputation for research.

“We hope this gift will ignite creative thinking, build a volume of legal research and put a UW–Madison brand on a wide range of scholarship that will benefit society and the practice and study of law,” says Lubar.

Marianne Lubar says the gift reflects the couple’s belief in the importance of education.

“We hope this gift will ignite creative thinking, build a volume of legal research and put a UW–Madison brand on a wide range of scholarship that will benefit society and the practice and study of law.”

Sheldon Lubar

“We recognize the strong influence that UW–Madison has had in our lives, and this is a way to make sure the university remains a positive force in the lives of students and faculty for years to come,” she says.

Sheldon Lubar is a 1951 graduate of what was then known as the School of Commerce and a 1953 graduate of the Law School. Marianne Lubar has held prominent roles with the Milwaukee Public Library, the Milwaukee Art Museum and UW-Milwaukee’s Golda Meir Library. The couple endowed UW-Milwaukee’s Lubar School of Business and UW–Madison’s Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions. In 2007, they were contributors to the Wisconsin Naming Partnership at the Wisconsin School of Business.

Raymond says the permanent endowment will also help the Law School attract and retain faculty by expanding research opportunities.

Each year, the endowment — awarded on a competitive basis through a process yet to be determined — will provide a semester of salary plus associated research costs approved by the dean. It will enable the recipient to work full-time on research and scholarship for that semester.

Raymond says the power of the Lubars’ gift will also be felt in the Law School classroom and be reflected in the quality of its graduates.

“Strong research productivity also makes a indelible impact in the classroom, as faculty bring to life the results of their work and show how it can be applied in the practice of law,” Raymond says.