College Columns May 2019 - Page 16


To Coronado... And Beyonnd

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4. The recipient must distinguish himself or herself or his or her institution in a manner and in matters that are consistent with the goals and purposes of the College; and

5. Participation in or service to the College will be considered when reviewing candidates for the award.

Jan Baker does not merely check all these boxes; his life and career are a testimony to public service to the bar and to the Houston and New York communities in which he chose to live and practice -- after graduation from college and work at a camp in East Africa aiding refugees who fled from genocide in Rwanda.

In a fittingly emotional role reversal, Jan elected to be introduced by his dear friend Judge Thomas L. Ambro, who had selected Jan to introduce him when Judge Ambro received the same Award back in 2017. Judge Ambro’s introduction captured the essence of Jan Baker as role model, teacher, mentor and friend, and the humility with which he fulfills all of these roles.

After that memorable Friday evening, we were treated on Saturday morning to yet another outstanding educational program organized by our Scholar in Residence, Professor Ralph Brubaker. Ralph concluded his three-year term in that position at the San Diego meeting, and we are all indebted to him for maintaining so ably the College’s longstanding tradition of thoughtful, provocative and topical programs on a wide variety of issues. We are confident that his successor, Professor Susan Block-Lieb, will continue the tradition of great educational programs.

By every measure, the San Diego Annual Meeting was a great success, as confirmed by a survey distributed to all Fellows in the following week. Almost 98% of the 143 respondents who attended the meeting were highly satisfied or satisfied with San Diego. While we will return to Washington, D.C. for 2020 and 2021, almost 77% of the 248 Fellows who responded to the survey expressed interest in looking outside of Washington for our 2022 Annual Meeting. College leadership is considering at least two such venues, and will make a recommendation to the Board at the Fall Meeting in Washington DC in October.

And finally a word about the College’s Patrons and Sponsors Program. On pages 8-9 in this edition of College Columns, you will find beautifully designed charts by the wonderful Carole McNamara of Shari’s staff and the College’s great Treasurer, Melissa Kibler, graphically depicting the sources and uses of funds by the College and Foundation. In the bottom right quadrant of that chart you will see the Patrons & Sponsors Program, which for years has been the financial backbone of the College. The Patrons & Sponsors Program each year funds almost half of our annual operating budget – including the educational programs, international law course and national bankruptcy archives projects that distinguish the College in the bankruptcy and insolvency community.

Generously funded by the firms/employers of our Fellows, the Patrons & Sponsors Program for 2019 raised $281,500 in contributions and pledges that we are in the process of collecting. As with every issue of College Columns the contributing firms are listed on the back pages, but as a quick summary I can report participation at the following levels:

Sustaining Patrons ($5000) 29 firms, $145,000

Patrons ($2500) - 21 firms, $52,500

Sponsors ($1500) - 55 firms, $82,500

Supporters ($750) - 4 firms, $3,000

While we are grateful to those firms and their Fellows for pushing past our 2018 participation of $272,500, we fell slightly short of our 2019 goal of $294,000. We intend to keep pushing in 2020, and hope that all of our Fellows will ask their firms to participate at one of the available levels.