A Home for Law
$5 Million Estate Gift to SCU Law School from Frederick and Leota Gonzalez Includes Los Altos Home and Funds for Scholarships and Key Initiatives
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 29, 2016 — A couple who are among Santa Clara University School of Law’s most stalwart supporters have made a transformative gift, valued at more than $5 million, from their future estate. The gift from Frederick M. and Leota Van DeVeere Gonzalez aims to ensure that the school has a place to house future deans or visiting professors and funds to support student scholarships, research, and other strategic initiatives.
This estate gift is the second-largest donation to Santa Clara Law in the school’s history.
"We are extremely pleased by the creativity and magnitude of this gift,” said Santa Clara Law Dean Lisa Kloppenberg. “This endowment will support students with scholarships and provide the school with some fascinating housing opportunities for special visitors and faculty members in transition. We are also incredibly grateful for our close connection to the Gonzalez family. They have helped with alumni events, advised and mentored law students, and have even welcomed students into their home."
The gift comes from Mr. Gonzalez, a triple graduate of Santa Clara University with a chemistry undergraduate degree, ’71, MBA ’73, and JD ’77, and his wife of nearly 40 years, Leota. Mr. Gonzalez is a veteran high tech lawyer whose career history includes stints as general counsel of Corsair Components, SonicWALL, Polycom, and Extreme Networks.
Mr. Gonzalez has long and deep ties to the law school. He has served on the Law School Board of Visitors for more than 30 years and the Law Alumni Association Board of Directors for over 20 years. Throughout his career, he has advised hundreds of law students through the law school’s many mentorship programs. and for many years organized the school’s popular Law Career Day event, designed to introduce first-year law students to alumni representing dozens of different practice areas. In addition, he has served on at least 10 undergraduate class reunion committees.
Mrs. Gonzalez is retired from serving as a program manager for various aerospace and military contracting companies including Lockheed, Mesurex, and Teledyne. She is a graduate of San Jose State University and currently supports the couple’s philanthropic endeavors, while also tending to the couple’s rose garden featuring more than 100 roses. Mrs. Gonzalez also helps support the family’s other passions: horses and dogs. A breeder of horses and involved in dressage locally for over 40 years, Mrs. Gonzalez has been an active member and periodic board member of the San Francisco chapter of the Dressage Society. With her husband, she raises and trains Bouvier des Flandres dogs.
The couple’s philanthropy also includes an endowed scholarship, to which they contribute each year, to help defray costs for law school students who were pursuing their degrees at Santa Clara Law. The couple recently started a similar legacy scholarship at Derby Academy in Hingham, Massachusetts, where Mrs. Gonzalez attended grammar school.
In establishing their most recent estate gift, the couple noted how struck they were some years ago, when then-dean Donald Polden described losing strong faculty candidates because they were not able to find affordable housing in Silicon Valley. The couple hopes the Law School will use their bequeathed home in Los Altos to provide subsidized housing for such candidates.
“Our nearly 40-year relationship with Santa Clara Law has been one of the most gratifying endeavors in our lives,” said Mr. Gonzalez. “We’ve seen up close the good that is so often accomplished by those who graduate from Santa Clara Law. We wanted to contribute a significant portion of our legacy to making sure that caliber of learning continued.”
About Santa Clara University School of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law, one of the nation’s most diverse law schools, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. Santa Clara Law offers students an academically rigorous program including certificates in high tech law, international law, public interest and social justice law, and privacy law, as well as numerous graduate and joint degree options. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara Law is nationally distinguished for its faculty engagement, preparation for practice, and top-ranked programs in intellectual property. For more information, see law.scu.edu.
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | firstname.lastname@example.org | 408-554-5121