Leaving a Family Legacy

Drake Law School

The Smith family has been a decades-long benefactor of Drake Law School.

After returning to Drake from service in the Army during World War II, Clemens J. Smith received his law degree in 1946. More than 70 years later, Clemens' legacy remains at the University through the philanthropy carried out by his spouse, Ramona, three sons, and daughter.

The Smith sons have a special reason to continue the family's tradition of support for Drake Law School: They, too, are graduates.

The Smith family's support for Drake Law dates back decades. Clemens made a generous gift to support the construction of Cartwright Hall when it was built in the 1970s. Later, his family supported the building's remodel through the foundation that bears his name.

Son Mark Smith says his willingness to give back stems from a desire to "make the Law School a better place and maintain its focus and the standards it currently has."

Last year, Mark made a gift from the foundation to create the Clemens J. Smith Faculty Research Scholar position to support faculty teaching and research in the area of public policy. The recipient, Tony Gaughan, professor of law, is an expert in the areas of international and election law. He has used the funding provided by the position to share his research with others in his field. Most recently, he presented a paper at an international law conference at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Dean Jerry Anderson says the opportunities created by named faculty research positions enhance the image and reputation of the Law School and enrich the information that professors share in their classes.

"In order to increase the Law School's national reputation, our professors need to do groundbreaking research and speak at symposia across the country," Anderson says. "Having this kind of support for our faculty is key."

If you would like to support the Law School, or help fund faculty scholarships in another department, please let us know. You may contact John Amato at john.amato@drake.edu or 515-271-2849 to discuss your options.