Here's a Niche That Excited This Alum to Give $2 Million: Conservation Law

Nearly everyone is strongly interested in something, or acutely worried about some corner of our troubled world. So it's no surprise that a lot of alumni giving is as much about advancing a cause as advancing a school. Often, of course, it's about both, and therein lies a powerful formula. 

That thought was on our minds when we heard about a $2 million gift from Glenn Scolnik to the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University.

Scolnik graduated from Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 1974 and then Maurer in 1978. He's an Indiana man through and through, and even had a brief stint as a professional football player. After a year in the NFL, he attended Maurer law and then joined Indianapolis-based Hammond, Kennedy and Whitney (HKW), one of the nation's oldest private equity firms. Scolnik currently serves as chairman of HKW.

Scolnik's gift, made with his wife Donna, will establish the Glenn and Donna Scolnik Clinical Chair. The chair will be held by the director of the Conservation Law Center, an institute in Bloomington, Indiana, which works to improve conservation law and policy and provides free legal council to conservation organizations. Maurer has formed a partnership with the center and second and third year students work as clinical interns at the facility. (Click here to find more about the center)

Scolnik and his wife have given to Indiana University in the past. In 2007, the Scolniks gave $100,000 to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. The gift established the Glenn and Donna Scolnik Scholarship endowment which created scholarships for Direct Admit freshmen. At the time, Scolnik and his wife stated that “all graduates should give back to their university if and when they can." This recent gift seems to be a continuation of those principles.

What's more, Scolnik has served on the Conservation Law Center’s board of directors since 2006 and recently completed a term as president of Maurer's board of visitors. In addition, Scolnik is a member of Maurer's Academy of Law Alumni Fellows.

Apart from donating to his alma mater, Scolnik has given other gifts to institutions in his home state. He's given to the Indianapolis Zoo, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Indiana and, true to his days as a professional athlete, the Indiana Sports Corporation.