The alumni community plays a key role in the Michigan Law experience. Their involvement and generosity help make the Law School a leader in legal education. While there are many ways to show support, May Liang, ’89, encourages her fellow alumni to give to the Law School Fund.
“It is important to me that Michigan Law doesn’t stay static, but rather that it continues to evolve and meet the needs of 21st-century students. In order to do that, the Law School needs unrestricted giving,” says Liang, the newest national chair of the Law School Fund. “If you trust the management of the Law School, the dean and the administration, then you have to trust that they will make the most of the monetary gifts they have.”
Gifts to the Law School Fund are unrestricted—meaning they can address needs throughout the School. Law School Fund gifts help provide scholarships, as well as support for faculty and curricular initiatives.
Liang says her new role as national chair is something bigger than herself. “The Law School Fund is an important, but often underappreciated, part of development for the Law School. I am excited to be a part of making it an even bigger success than it already is.” Additionally, she sees her goals as being twofold. “The first is to increase the absolute number given to the Law School Fund, and the second is to increase alumni participation across all classes,” says Liang.
A loyal Law School Fund donor for more than 15 years, Liang is no stranger to philanthropic campaigns. Her experience includes serving on the Stanford Special Gifts Committee and the Sidwell National Leadership Gifts Committee, for the suburban Washington, D.C., school. Liang also has served as a member of Michigan Law’s Development and Alumni Relations Committee for the past three years. “It is important for us as a family—and for me as an alum—to say, ‘I’m in a position to show my appreciation for the opportunities that Michigan Law has given to me, and I want to return the favor in hopes that other students also have those opportunities,’” she says.
Liang is general counsel and chief financial officer of OpenConcept Systems Inc., a small software startup in Virginia. She returned to campus this fall as an adjunct professor for the Problem Solving Initiative, co-teaching a course on autonomous vehicles with Professor Daniel Crane.
As the Law School Fund’s national chair, Liang succeeds Kerry Galvin, ’86, who served in the role for five years. “It was an honor and a pleasure to work with everyone at the Law School,” says Galvin. Under her leadership, the Law School Fund has raised approximately $26 million toward its goal for the Victors for Michigan campaign.—JP