Donation Benefits Students, Basketball Court

Will FergusonThe University of New Mexico School of Law’s beloved basketball court is in the process of being  remodeled and upgraded through the generosity of Will Ferguson (`74). In addition to reviving the court, which has seen much heated action through the years, Ferguson’s donation of more than $100,000 will provide support for full-tuition scholarships at the school.

One-half of Ferguson’s contribution will be allocated to the restoration and improvement of the newly named Ferguson Court, and will ensure the law school’s ability to provide ongoing maintenance and preservation of the playing surface, along with the addition of new courtside seating, signage and amenities.

The law school’s basketball court has played a significant role in the lives of countless law graduates. Many still regularly visit the law school court to reminisce about its glory days and the good times they had there during their law school years.

In recent years, due to age and use, the court has deteriorated. In early 2012 the law school, led by former Dean Kevin Washburn, began a search for a generous donor willing to help restore the court’s surface and to enhance its overall appearance. Significant additional funds were needed to continue beyond a planned initial restoration of the court that was made possible by capital improvement project funds and the engineers and staff at UNM’s Physical Plant Department (PPD) following a significant pipe replacement project that, additionally, allowed for slightly relocating the court, increasing its size, leveling, repaving and restriping the playing surface and installing the new bleachers foundation and new court lights.

Ferguson CourtFerguson has earmarked the second half of his generous donation for the law school’s Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund, established to provide deserving law students with a three-year full-tuition scholarship.

His leadership gift to this fund is the largest contribution to date to the alumni association’s current fundraising campaign designed to build this scholarship endowment to a level that will dramatically change the law school’s recruiting abilities, and ultimately, its ability to reduce and eliminate debilitating debt for deserving law students. 

“The law school could not be more grateful to Will,” said Washburn, assistant secretary for Indian affairs at the Department of Interior. “It was a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to present these needs to Will. I was touched by his immediate responsiveness, and I am still moved by the generosity he has shown his law school alma mater. Thanks to Will, a treasured space is being restored and students’ lives are being changed.”

December 21, 2012