Education

McGeorge Law gets million-dollar donation from Tsakopoulos family honoring Justice Kennedy

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement

Justice Anthony Kennedy was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. He announced his retirement from the bench 30 years later, on June 27, 2018.
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Justice Anthony Kennedy was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. He announced his retirement from the bench 30 years later, on June 27, 2018.

Every now and then, students at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento have been treated to a special guest: Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

“He would sometimes just walk into law class unannounced and offer insight,” said McGeorge Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz.

On Tuesday, McGeorge received a $1 million gift in Kennedy’s honor from the Tsakopoulos Family Foundation.

Angelo Tsakopoulos, a successful real estate developer and patriarch, wanted to honor his long-term friendship with Kennedy and former McGeorge Dean Gordon Schaber, Schwartz said. Tsakopoulos had been planning the donation for a while, but Kennedy’s recent retirement provided him with the perfect moment to pay homage, according to Schwartz.

Kennedy served on the Supreme Court for 30 years. Almost every July, when the court wasn’t in session, Kennedy managed to teach for McGeorge at their international summer program in Salzburg, Austria.

“He’s the longest-standing McGeorge professor,” Schwartz said. “He’s taught for over four decades.”

Schwartz said he was “really thrilled” about the gift, which is expressly designated to create an endowed faculty chair at the law school. The money will support the chair’s pay, provide research opportunities, and allow for academic travel, Schwartz said.

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