Lockhart Club Celebration Goes Virtual
As we continue our strong final year of the Law School’s Driven to Lead campaign, we thank you all for your participation and look forward to seeing what more we can accomplish together.
Thank you to all of those who joined us for President Joan Gabel’s introduction to the Law School at the LOCKHART CLUB CELEBRATION on October 6, 2020. It was an exciting night and opportunity to commemorate and recognize the alumni and friends who are leading Minnesota Law into a bold, innovative future. As we continue our strong final year of the Law School’s Driven to Lead campaign, we thank you all for your participation and look forward to seeing what more we can accomplish together.
THE LOCKHART CLUB CELEBRATION was among the many Law School events that transitioned to a virtual space this fall. The annual event, typically held at the McNamara Alumni Center, is an opportunity to thank our generous alumni and share our successes with our alumni community.
In the spirit of connecting during this unusual time, an hour-long virtual Lockhart program was held on the evening of Tuesday, October 6. The celebratory event included remarks by Dean Garry W. Jenkins, Board of Advisors Chair Michelle Miller ’86, and Driven Campaign Committee Member Jim Chosy ’89. A key point in the program was a lively and informative question-and-answer exchange between Dean Jenkins and University of Minnesota President Joan T.A. Gabel, who is herself a lawyer. The program also included videos featuring students, faculty, and staff, as well as a virtual performance by the TORT singers.
“While we all wish that we could be together in person, as is our usual practice, it is still terrific to have so many of our closest friends and supporters together through technology,” Dean Jenkins told attendees in his welcoming remarks. Alumni logged on to the program from across the U.S., as well as from several foreign countries.
For Robert Lewis ’95, a partner in the global finance practice of Sidley, the virtual celebration was his first Lockhart event. He logged in from Chicago, where he lives and works.
Lewis points to the Q&A as his favorite part of the program. “Dean Jenkins’ conversation with President Gabel was both timely and informative—addressing certain challenges facing the University and the Law School in these uncertain times,” he says.
Lewis believes events such as the Lockhart Club celebration play a crucial role in alumni engagement. “Although the Law School does an admirable job of keeping alumni informed through electronic communications, for alumni sitting outside of Minnesota, it is always important to hear a live discussion of the status of the Law School community and the vision for the Law School’s future,” he explains
While the virtual event was a success, Lewis looks forward to when the Law School can again have traditional in-person events. “Although the technology was excellent, there is no substitute for an in-person event that allows for live alumni interaction with both the speakers as well as with other alumni,” he says.
Rachel Clark Hughey ’03, a partner at Merchant & Gould in Minneapolis, has attended about a half dozen Lockhart events over the years. She, like Lewis, has a preference for in-person events. “It was disappointing that we could not come together in person, because one of the things that makes the University of Minnesota Law School so special is the strong alumni community,” she says. “I always enjoy attending law school events because I like catching up with old friends and making new ones. But given the current situation it was still a nice event, and fun to hear from the speakers.”
Hughey says the Dean’s remarks were the highlight to her. “He is an excellent speaker and always has such great energy and pride in the school.”
Alexis Dutt ’18, who has attended Lockhart events twice before, participated in this one virtually from her living room.
“I feel very fortunate to have attended the University of Minnesota and to have received scholarships that made that choice possible,” she says. “I support the law school and am a part of the Lockhart Club so that other students are given the same opportunities. I give specifically to the clinics because I know without a doubt that I am a better lawyer because of those experiences.”