New endowment honors a living legend

The James J. Faught Endowed Scholarship provides a scholarship to one Loyola law student each year

If you graduated from the School of Law within the last four decades, you likely know the name Jim Faught (JD ’76). For many, Faught’s name conjures a kind face, a welcoming presence, a tall man with a gentle demeanor. Some alumni say that Faught, who retired as associate dean for administration in January, is synonymous with the School of Law itself.

In fall 2021, an anonymous donor established the James J. Faught Endowed Scholarship in honor of Faught’s tremendous contributions to the School of Law. The donor expressed admiration for Faught’s ideals, including his commitment to educational equality and his dedication to ensuring student success through guidance and support. This endowed fund provides a full or partial scholarship to one Loyola Law student annually. Jake Maginn (JD ’23) received the first award during the 2022–23 academic year.

“I’m honestly just so honored and grateful,” says Faught. “It’s been emotional for me and also for my wife, who has been by myside the entire time.”

Anyone can contribute to the fund, and many people have already done so. The outpouring of generosity from alumni, faculty, staff, and former classmates—Faught’s relationship with Loyola Law began 50 years ago when he was a first-year law student—is a reflection of the community’s deep gratitude for his many decades of impact.

Stewarding a culture of collaboration

Doug Poland (JD ’94), partner at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, appreciates Faught for shaping the law school’s overall culture. When Poland entered Loyola in the early 1990s, he expected that his classmates would be competitive and cold, which was the prevailing stereotype of law students in popular culture. Instead, Poland quickly realized that Faught set the tone for the entire school.

“He is one of the most humble, unassuming, friendly, inviting, comforting people,” says Poland. “Dean Faught personified the culture of Loyola Law, which I see as serious but collaborative.”

Poland remembers that Faught emphasized an open-door policy and went above and beyond to make sure students knew he was available. He could often be found outside his office, roaming the halls, talking with students and checking in.

When Poland heard about the endowed scholarship, he was eager to contribute. As someone who received scholarship support, Poland is particularly attuned to the difference a scholarship can make.

“I think it’s incredibly important that we make sure money is not a barrier to people being able to pursue the kind of work that their heart calls them to do,” he says.

“Dean Faught personified the culture of Loyola Law, which I see as serious but collaborative.”

The right support—whether a financial award or a dean who cares deeply about his students—can change someone’s life.

“I wanted to recognize Dean Faught for all the students he’s helped and for what he’s done for the law school,” Poland says. “And it’s critical that we continue to build on the culture he created.”

Caring for the whole person

When Kevin Lichtenberg (JD ’10, MA ’11), attorney at HeflerLichtenberg and vice president of the School of Law’s Alumni Board of Governors, attended law school, he was impressed with Faught’s character. “He came across as somebody who exuded the highest morals and principles,” he says.

For example, Faught spoke with students about the Illinois Lawyers’ Assistance Program, a cause he’s passionate about (Faught served as president from 2009 to 2010). “It’s for lawyers struggling with substance abuse, addiction, and mental health issues,” says Lichtenberg. “He made it known that he cared about us and our well-being, and that would remain true after we graduated.”

As an alumnus and adjunct faculty member, Lichtenberg often ran into Faught at events and describes him as invariably kind and gracious. “He’s met thousands of students and alumni over the years, but he still knows my name,” Lichtenberg says. “Giving to the Faught endowment is a small thing I can do to be counted among all of us in line to support this really wonderful person.”

Leading with compassion

One of Faught’s proudest accomplishments at the School of Law is establishing the London Comparative Advocacy Program, which combines on-campus lectures with a whirlwind legal-focused tour of England’s capital over December break. Faught has led the program since its inception in 1988.

“I really can’t put into words what the experience was like,” says past participant Kathryn “Kate” L. Conway (JD ’11), attorney at Power Rogers LLP and president of the Alumni Board of Governors. “It’s made all the more tremendous because Dean Faught is the one creating, fostering, and delivering the program. He is just a fountain of fascinating knowledge, not only on legal topics, but also cultural and historical issues.”

In Faught, Conway discovered a model for how to carry herself in the legal profession. As an aspiring litigator, she believed she needed to be tough and cutthroat. But Faught showed her another path.

“You can be utterly successful while being supportive, genuine, and kind,” she says. “You can make a huge impact that way.”

Those qualities also led Conway to ask Faught to officiate at her wedding. “My fiancé and I wanted an uplifting presence, and he was the obvious answer,” Conway says. When she approached Faught to ask him, Conway emphasized that she didn’t want to impose; she remembers saying, “You already do so much for so many people.” But Faught happily agreed.

“For students to go forth carrying my name on a scholarship is an incredible honor.”

For Conway and other donors, the endowment represents a special opportunity to celebrate Faught’s many years of selfless service to the Loyola community, while ensuring his dedication to students continues in a material way.

“You’re basically getting two great things for one,” Conway says. “You’re supporting the law school and also contributing to the legacy of a living legend.” Faught, ever modest, isn’t sure about the “living legend” designation. But he’s deeply appreciative of his tenure at Loyola and thrilled that the scholarship will make an impact on current and future law students.

“I just want to thank everyone who has had anything to do with this endowment,” he says. “For students to go forth carrying my name on a scholarship is an incredible honor. I’m just so grateful for my time at Loyola. What a blessing it has been.” –Kelsey Schagemann (July 2023)

From Loyola Law magazine 2023

To make a gift to the James J. Faught Endowed Scholarship, please visit LUC.edu/law/faughtscholarship.


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