Gantenbein Fellows Scholarship
For over sixty years (1903 to 1965) the Gantenbein family left its imprint upon this law school as students, teachers, registrar, dean, trustee, and proprietors. They propelled the school in burgeoning years and rescued it in waning years.
Until 1915, the law school was the University of Oregon School of Law. In that year, the University decided to move the school to its Eugene campus. The faculty and students elected to stay in Portland, independent of the University, trusting in the leadership of Calvin Gantenbein, the father, to lead the school through its loss of University sponsorship. James Gantenbein, the elder son, got the school back on its feet after the death of his father and the call of World War I had depleted enrollment. John Flint Gantenbein (the younger son) kept the school alive when World War II closed the books and emptied the classrooms. The Gantenbeins were there for the school when pressure for change was launched at various times from the bench or the bar through the roar of the 1920’s and the panic of the 1930’s. In times of crisis, they were redeemers; of opportunity, liberators; for service, they were deliverers. In nurturing and reviving the hopes of those who sought legal careers, the Gantenbeins enriched their study by the value of their devotion. Their gifts, standards and guidance were critical foundations for the law and lawyers in Oregon and for our law school’s development.
The study of law is a demanding intellectual pursuit. By their example, the Gantenbeins showed us that to live the life of the law fully, lawyers must join their hearts with their mind. Dean John Gantenbein was passionate not just about the law but about enabling his students to become great lawyers. Dean Gantenbein frequently made informal loans to students, asking only that they “pay me when you can”, and he made numerous personal sacrifices to keep the Law School alive in its early years. Gantenbein’s faith was amply repaid. Over the years, for example, a majority of the Oregon judicial bench have been graduated from his Law School. In honor of the Gantenbeins’ commitment, the Gantenbein Society was formed. “Dean Gantenbein’s life of service inspired the Gantenbein Scholarships, which seek to foster: dedication to compassion, kindness, and fulfillment of dreams,” said Carr Ferguson, Lewis & Clark Life Trustree and founding member of the Gantenbein Society.
The Gantenbein Scholarships are funded through the generosity of the Gantenbein Society, a group of individuals who annually contribute $5,000 or more to the Law School. The scholarship is intended for students who have completed their first year of law school and have a record of outstanding performance. Each recipient receives an award of $5,000 toward the cost of their law school tuition. Recipients also have a demonstrated record of good citizenship both within the law and in the greater community.