Monday Morning Message 10.15.2018: Great News. Sobering News. Investing in our Future.

Posted 2018-10-15 11:30am

“Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” William Jennings Bryan
“Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it.” Winston Churchill

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University is at a unique moment in our 121-year history.

We have had to withstand the headwinds of a national decline in LSAT takers, a national reduction in applicants to law schools, a decline in State of Ohio funding for higher education, high levels of student educational debt, and a challenging legal market.

We are at a crossroads.

We can hunker down and hope the headwinds will pass. Or we can the face the headwinds and invest in our future.

We have made our choice.

We are facing our future head on. We have chosen to invest in our students.

This year, in the face of these strong headwinds, we launched an unprecedented effort to increase our enrollment and still maintain or increase our high standards of admission. We developed an ambitious plan to increase enrollment from the 2016 first-year class size of 98 (when I first arrived at Cleveland-Marshall) to 115 this fall and 120 by the fall of 2019.

The great news is that thanks to the support of our alumni, faculty, staff, and students, we blew past our goal of 115 and still increased our high standards of admissions. This fall we enrolled a class of 140, a remarkable 30% increase over last year, and the largest class in the past 4 years.

How did we do this since applications were essentially flat from last year? We invested in our students and their future, because their future is our future.

The sobering news is that in order to bring in a much larger class, we had to commit to providing more student scholarships. As a result, our need for scholarship contributions never has been greater.

Our admitted students are not numbers or statistics to us. They are very talented individuals, and we do not take them for granted. We know that most of them have more than one choice of law school. We also know that we are competing with other fine law schools that are offering generous scholarships.

The irony is that our future never has been brighter and our need for support never has been greater. We have had a number of great successes this past year, but our biggest challenge is financial. Tuition is our most reliable revenue source, and in this intensely competitive law school environment, the best way to attract high quality law students and increase enrollment is through scholarships.

So this morning’s Monday Morning Message is a shameless request to support our 2nd Annual C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Celebration honoring our 2018 C|M|LAW Hall of Fame Honorees on Friday, October 26, 5:30-8pm.  

Why? Because our annual Hall of Fame Celebration is our single best opportunity to raise funds for much-needed student scholarships. 

If you are thinking about supporting us, but usually wait until the end of the calendar  year, I respectfully ask you to give now instead, and to join us for this inspiring event if you can. I am respectfully requesting your support at whatever level you are able to give…..now. See the below ticket, sponsorship, and program ad levels.

Please make a contribution or pledge this week to our October Hall of Fame celebration of an amount ranging from $120 to $12,000. Below are the different levels of support for our Hall of Fame Celebration. Please visit csulaw.org/hof_registration to purchase tickets or sponsorships.

If you are not able to attend, please give here: Believe in C|M|LAW. Give Now. or send me an email with your pledge at: Lee.fisher@csuohio.edu. 

Thanks very much for your consideration of my request to invest in our future…. today.

Please find out more information about our October 26 Hall of Fame Celebration.

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