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Seton Hall Law Rising Campaign Celebrates a Community of Generosity

Wall of Giving - Alumni and DevelopmentAfter the Seton Hall Rising Campaign is completed on June 30, 2011, a seven-by-twenty-foot section of the marble wall in the Law School atrium, now known as the Wall of Giving, will commemorate the name of every donor who contributed $1,000 or more to the Seton Hall Law Rising Campaign.

Diane D’Agostino ’75 recently reflected on the meaning of the Wall of Giving for her. “The Donor Recognition Wall symbolizes a community of generosity that has been growing for decades.” D’Agostino is well aware of the evolution that characterizes Seton Hall Law’s growth in prominence over the years, and an alumni community that has grown ever more cohesive, culminating in the continued success of Seton Hall Law Rising.

Wall of Giving - Alumni and DevelopmentShe and her husband, James ’74, attended Seton Hall Law as evening students and appreciate how far the Law School has come since that time. D’Agostino noted the benchmarks of the school’s accomplishments: the significant number of graduates serving on the bench, the array of degree programs and the professional development resources available to alumni, including, most recently, the new Alumni Continuing Legal Education Program. “It excites me that the Law School is such a dynamic and engaged organization."

When she joined the Law School’s Board of Visitors as a founding member, D’Agostino was thrilled to find that the level of involvement and enthusiasm among the alumni had risen, along with the school’s programs and reputation. “I was amazed by the other members,” she says. “They had such heart and soul in the entire effort ? the school and the campaign. Everybody was excited and proud of the School's growth, its programs and the quality of the students, faculty and staff.”

The enthusiasm stretches all the way to Houston, Texas, where Jim is Chairman, President and CEO of Encore Bancshares, Inc. and Diane runs a specialty food company, Elegant Edibles. When the D’Agostinos hosted an event in 2009 for area alumni, she says, “Texas alums went out of their way to get involved. We felt connected by a shared experience and we really feel a sense of community.”

She and Jim pledged $100,000 to establish the D’Agostino Scholar Program to provide support for exceptional second-years students. The gift reflects their appreciation for the support Diane received through the tuition reimbursement program offered by her employer at the time, Bessemer Trust Co. “I wanted to do the same thing for others that my employer did for me,” she says. “We are happy to help some students the way I was helped.”

Noreen Giblin ’98 shares the same commitment to Seton Hall Law that animates the D’Agostinos, although as Counsel at Gibbons, P.C., in Trenton, New Jersey, she is able to visit the law school more frequently. For the last two years, Noreen has served as Co-chair of the Seton Hall Red Mass Committee, reflecting the Law School’s engagement with a vibrant spiritual community, and she is a member of the Alumni Council, the Law School’s alumni association advisory board.

“Seton Hall Law School is a very special place,” she says. “The legal education I received provided me with a world of opportunity, a desire to help those in need, and inclusion in a very dynamic community. Giving back is a small way to ensure that students attending after me will have the same wonderful legal education and experience that I did.”

Noreen credits the campaign with providing an avenue for others to take a more active role. “The Seton Hall Rising campaign emphasizes the importance of participating in the Law School, whether through financial support or participation in various volunteer, educational and professional programs the School offers,” she explains. “The campaign has been helpful in identifying ways to reconnect, become more involved, and build relationships within the Seton Hall Law community.”

Today Seton Hall Law is a leading law school where many powerful threads connect faculty and students to alumni and community. Its outreach ranges from a social justice clinical program, which serves the community’s poor and disenfranchised, to the new Alumni CLE Program, which provides an opportunity to study once again with favorite professors.

When she visited the Wall of Giving on a recent visit, D’Agostino was gratified to see how many donors shared the desire to support the Law School. “I am excited to see the community of outstanding citizens who appreciate the school's progress and want to support its continued growth,” she says. “The campaign has been an event that has awakened alumni and brought many of us back together.”

Want to have your name included on the campaign’s Wall of Giving? Please contact Assistant Dean Vicki Fleischer, at vicki.fleischer@shu.edu or 973-642-8512, to be part of the Community of Generosity at Seton Hall Law School.