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Alum gives $20M to Hofstra law school

Shown above, students on the Hofstra campus.

Shown above, students on the Hofstra campus. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hofstra University’s law school will get a new name and a $20 million gift from an alumnus and longtime benefactor and advocate of the school, the university said.

The law school will be named the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University in honor of Deane, a former trustee and former chair of the board of trustees who recently made the multimillion dollar donation -- the largest gift in the university's history.

Deane enrolled in the Hofstra School of Law at the age of 50, after he had already made his mark as a successful business executive, the university said. He went on to graduate first in his class.

“Maurice holds a very special place in the history and the development of the Law School,” said Hofstra University president Stuart Rabinowitz in a statement. “He is a person of impeccable integrity and with a deep commitment to academic and professional excellence. He was a brilliant student, distinguished alumnus and valuable adviser, trustee and chair emeritus of the board of trustees.”

Deane spent 26 years helping to build Endo Laboratories into one of the largest privately-held pharmaceutical companies in the country and facilitated its sale to DuPont, according to the university. Deane was president of the independent subsidiary under DuPont for eight years and then retired, though he continued to serve on Endo’s board of directors for several more years.

Deane also found success in his law studies. He received awards for both constitutional law and evidence at the 1981 commencement exercise, the university said.

Since then Deane has served as a member of the university’s board of trustees from 1982 to 2007, serving as its chair from 1989 to 1991. In 2008, he was named chair emeritus. He has endowed a Distinguished Professorship in Constitutional Law and a law school scholarship with his wife, Barbara, the university said. The annual award given to Hofstra’s law school valedictorian is named after Deane in his honor.

The $20 million donation will be used to enhance the academic quality at the law school, the university said. Nora V. Demleitner, law school dean, described the naming of the school in honor of Deane as a fitting way to close out the law school’s 40th anniversary year.

“This naming serves as the perfect bridge between a proud past and a promising future,” she said.

Photo: Students on the Hofstra campus.

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