Sep 7, 2010    #083
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC School of Law to receive $500,000 gift

Gift will support school's Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic

The UMKC Foundation, the Law Foundation of UMKC and the School of Law are pleased to announce and acknowledge a $500,000 planned gift to the Law Foundation. Provided by H. Howard Stephenson - who received a J.D. (1958) from the University of Kansas City School of Law (now UMKC School of Law) and an honorary LL.D. (1993) from the School of Law - the gift will be endowed to support the UMKC School of Law Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic, 4747 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Mo.

Since 2002, the Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic has provided legal advice and professional business planning resources to small business owners who cannot afford the market rates for such services. School of Law faculty supervise law students as they provide legal and professional services to qualified clients.

"We're very grateful for this supportive gift, which will help fund the continuation of the Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic program," said Judy Sharp, director of the clinic. "This program provides our students with real-life experience mentoring clients who are starting businesses."

Born in Wichita, Kan. and raised in Lawrence, Kan., Stephenson received a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan in 1950. That same year, he married Virginia Anne Ross and they later had three children - Dr. Ross Wayland Stephenson, Neal Bevan Stephenson and Jann Stephenson Boxold.

Following service in the U.S. Army, Stephenson moved to Kansas City and worked at the City National Bank and City Bond and Mortgage Company while attending the University of Kansas City School of Law. In 1959, after receiving his J.D. degree, Stephenson moved to Hawaii and joined the Bank of Hawaii's mortgage loan department.

"Having a legal education was a great benefit to me, even though I never did practice law," Stephenson said. "In 1959 when Hawaii was in the process of becoming a state, many changes were taking place. Bank of Hawaii needed someone familiar with real estate law, and having a law degree probably landed me that job."

In the years since statehood was achieved, Bank of Hawaii and Bancorp Hawaii played a leading role in the growth of Hawaii. During these years, the companies expanded their operations throughout the Pacific and Asia. In 1980, Stephenson became president of Bank of Hawaii and its then-parent, Bancorp Hawaii. In 1989, he was elected chairman and chief executive officer of both companies - roles in which he served until his retirement in 1994.

In addition, Stephenson's many activities have included chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii, chairman of the Hawaii Bankers Association, chairman of the Aloha United Way of Hawaii, member of the board of the Friends of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, chairman of the Real Estate Division of the American Bankers Association, founding member of the US-Korea Economic Council, a member of the US-Japan Economic Council and treasurer of the Pacific Basin Economic Council. In 1993, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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