from The Bridge: Fall/Winter 2011 issue
Eric A. Anderson '82L, vice chairman of Credit Suisse Securities (USA) L.L.C., committed $250,000 for the Third-Year Law Building Addition. "This idea was a little avant garde, but you need to take chances to succeed," Anderson says of the third-year curriculum.
"From everything I have heard from students, professors and employers, the program has been a success. I think the third year in law school is often spent just looking for a job and waiting out the time. Third-year students already have the academics down," Anderson explains. "The practicums allow law students to apply what they have learned, which will make them better employees when they do join a firm."
Like many of the school's benefactors, Anderson credits Washington and Lee's environment for a good part of his success. "I had a great legal education at W&L that has helped me in my banking career. The classes are small, and you come to know your professors and fellow students well. Not only does the school provide a fine legal education, but W&L also promotes respect for other people as evidenced by the Honor System. This sense of how people should conduct themselves with other people has benefited me throughout my business career."
Anderson hopes his gift will help these values and traditions continue, while supporting new programming. "I heard President Ken Ruscio say at an event that W&L has been around for 260 years, and it will continue to be around for the next 1,000. That hit home," Anderson says. "This is a difficult environment for fund-raising. While nothing lasts forever, there is a sense of permanence to this gift, and a sense of purpose to the contribution to an institution that is going to survive and continue to prosper."