Lisa and Chris Jeffries have committed $33 million to the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, the university announced Thursday. The gift is dedicated to student support and will be used for scholarships, financial aid, summer funding programs, and debt management.
The gift is the largest in the law school’s history.
“We are deeply grateful for Lisa and Chris’s transformational gift,” says Mark D. West, dean and Nippon Life professor of law. “Their generosity is particularly meaningful because it directly supports our students, who are the heart of our mission. The Jeffries’ support also reflects one of Michigan Law’s greatest strengths: the passion and generosity of our alumni community.”
Pending announcement of the possible approval Thursday by the U-M board of regents, the law school’s South Hall, which opened in 2012, will be named Jeffries Hall.
“Law school is a unique way of disciplining your mind, and my time at Michigan was formative and memorable,” says Chris Jeffries. “I’m especially interested in paying the way forward for students who lack financial resources, and this gift will allow them to have opportunities and experiences they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.”
Previous gifts from the couple include $5 million toward the building of the South Hall in 2007 and $2.5 million to support the establishment of the Law School’s 1L Summer Funding Program in 2015.
Chris Jeffries is a 1974 graduate of the U-M law school. He is co-founder of Millennium Partners, a real estate development company with a portfolio of core, urban, landmark mixed-use living, and entertainment properties in gateway cities across the country.
After obtaining his law degree, Jeffries was a partner in Southfield’s Keywell and Rosenfeld law firm. He was later a principal in the leveraged buyout of Key International Inc., a metal recycling and automotive equipment manufacturing business in the Midwest.
The Jeffries married in 2007 and live in Miami. Their gift contributes to the Victors for Michigan Law campaign, which will close at the end of the calendar year and has exceeded its $200-million goal.