A big gift, a bit at a time

Katie McClureIn 1999, when Katie McClure, ’02, was fresh out of college, she packed up her life, left her family in Colorado, and made the trek to Topeka and Washburn Law. It was a gutsy move, considering she didn’t know a soul in Kansas, and had not a single connection to rely on.

Now, 16 years later, it seems McClure has nothing but connections to Washburn Law. Her first job? Working for fellow alum Matt Busch, who posted the position on the Law School’s website. Her niche in workers’ compensation and social security disability? Sparked in that first role, where she learned the ins and outs of the field. She has since parlayed her expertise into a 10-year career at Denver firm Sawaya, Rose, McClure & Wilhite, P.C. — where her name is on the door. 

“I think that’s really led to where I am with my job and with what I’ve been able to do — my ties with Washburn Law. And still today, there are probably 20 attorneys I can think of off the top of my head who all graduated from Washburn Law who I network with in the Denver area.”

McClure didn’t want to wait to start putting something back into the Law School, given what she’s gotten out of it.

Her solution: A recurring monthly gift to the Ideal Place building campaign.

In five years — the same amount of time it took her to make partner at her law firm — she will have given $10,000 to help build her alma mater’s new home. It’s a substantial yet manageable contribution for a young professional.

“It’s a recurring gift that they charge my credit card every month. It really makes it easy, so I don’t need to be sending in a payment. And if I’m going to be giving to an organization, I really want to give to an organization that I have emotional ties to,” McClure said.

“I think by going forward and having a new building, that’s really telling the community, telling other law schools, telling future students: ‘We are growing. What we’re doing is working. We are going to strive to be even more successful and accomplish even more things than we’ve done in the past.’ So I think it’s a great thing.”