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STANFORD -- Stanford Law School has created the Charles J. Meyers Professorship in Law and Business in memory of the school's former dean.
Ronald J. Gilson, director of the school's program in law and business, has been named as first holder of the newly endowed chair. The Meyers professorship is unusual in that it is being funded not by a single donor, but by about 145 contributors.
"This outpouring of gifts is a testament to the great affection Charlie Meyers inspired, both as a leader and a person," said Paul Brest, dean of Stanford Law School. "We are delighted to be able to create this named professorship as a permanent memorial to him."
The dean noted that Gilson was recruited personally by Dean Meyers, making this a "happy match between chair and chairholder."
The establishment of the Meyers professorship and Gilson's appointment were both approved on Sept. 17 by the Board of Trustees. An inaugural celebration is scheduled for Nov. 22.
Gilson is a nationally known expert in corporate and securities law, particularly corporate acquisitions and governance. Gilson's other research interest concerns the economics of the corporate law firm.
He is spending the current year in New York City as the Henley visiting professor of business and law at Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and Law School. Gilson has previously been a visiting professor at Yale Law School and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution.
He has been a member of the Stanford Law School faculty since 1979 and a tenured professor since 1983. A widely published scholar, Gilson is the author of The Law and Finance of Corporate Acquisitions (Foundation Press, 1986).
He was a partner and associate in the firm of Steinhart, Goldberg, Feigenbaum & Lader of San Francisco for more than six years before joining the Stanford law faculty. Currently he is affiliated (of counsel) with Marron, Reid & Sheehy of San Francisco.
A native of Chicago, Gilson attended Washington University (A.B., 1968) and Yale Law School (J.D., 1971), where he served as note and comment editor of the Yale Law Journal. After graduation, he clerked for Chief Judge David L. Bazelon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Meyers helped build interdisciplinary programs
Charles J. Meyers was a member of the Stanford Law School faculty for 20 years, beginning in 1962, and dean for the last five of those years, from 1976 to 1981.
Under his leadership, the school instituted a program in environmental studies and expanded its programs in business law, law and economics, and clinical teaching.
Meyers was a noted legal scholar and educator who served in many national positions, including the presidency in 1975-76 of the Association of American Law Schools. His research and writings were focused in the fields of oil and gas law and environmental law.
Meyers left academia in 1981 for private practice as a partner in the Denver office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
His death on July 17, 1988, at the age of 62 sparked the effort at Stanford Law School to honor his memory with a professorship in his name.
Charles Meyers's widow, Pamela Meyers, participated in the creation of the chair. She currently lives in Denver.
The 145 contributors to the Charles J. Meyers Professorship fund at Stanford Law School consist largely of individuals who wished to pay tribute to the late dean.
The four leading donors - all graduates of the school - are: John E. Finney, a member of the class of 1968, of Honolulu; Russell L. Johnson, '58, of Los Angeles; Richard L. Noble, '64, also of Los Angeles; and a benefactor who requested anonymity. Other donors include past and present members of the Stanford law faculty and staff, attorney colleagues of Meyers, and family and friends.
The single largest institutional gift came from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation of San Francisco. Contributions have also been made by various other foundations, corporations, law firms, and Stanford University benefactors, commonly in the form of matching funds.
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