Almost two months after his death, the full amount of James E. Beasley’s donation to the University has finally been revealed.
In total, his contribution will be more than $20 million, making it the largest individual contribution the University has ever received, and among the largest in the history of American law schools.
In 1999, Beasley pledged a large endowment to Temple, but refused to reveal the sum of the donation to the public. The university, which was aware of the full amount, was so impressed with the contribution that the law school now bears Beasley’s name.
The amount of the endowment remained undisclosed until a reporter from The Philadelphia Inquirer discovered the sum written in Beasley’s will, and revealed it in an article about the contribution.
Beasley never wished for the full amount of the donation to be revealed, insisting that the university keep the information private.
“He didn’t want to make public the amount. And we honored that,” said Dean Robert J. Reinstein of the Beasley School of Law.
Since the contribution was accepted in the form of an endowment, the original $20 million will not be touched. Instead, the university will use the interest that the amount accumulates over time as a continual contribution to the school. This means that the law school will benefit from this gift for years to come.
The endowment will be used to fund scholarships for worthy law students, and will also be used to support several faculty chairs.
“At least half will be used for student financial aid for scholarships,” Reinstein said. The other half of Beasley’s contribution will be used to provide for several faculty members of the law school.
“It’s a way of giving additional support to the most meritorious faculty. We’ve established three [faculty chairs] already,” said Reinstein.
The law school has already used the donation to award 107 tuition scholarships since 1999.
Beasley’s endowment is the largest financial donation that Temple University has ever received. At the time of the donation, it was also the second largest contribution to a law school in the United States.
Reinstein believes that, in the future, the endowment will provide full scholarships for about 10 percent of all future students at the law school.
Beasley graduated from Temple Law School in 1956 and worked as a successful personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia. Last September, Beasley succumbed to cancer. His donation to Temple was, by far, the largest charitable donation that he made.
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