Post Date: March 1, 2006

After 20 years as Harvard Law School’s Associate Dean for Development, Scott Nichols will conclude his service on April 30 to become Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs at Boston University.

During Nichols’ tenure, Harvard Law School has raised more than $500 million to support all aspects of the school’s teaching and research activities. A significant portion of the funds were raised as part of two comprehensive campaigns, including “The Campaign for Harvard Law School,” which took place in the early 1990s, and the current “Setting the Standard” campaign.

The first campaign raised a total of $183 million and far outpaced anything in legal education at that time. The current campaign has a goal of $400 million and—with over $270 million already raised—is more than two-thirds complete. The campaign will support a broad range of priorities, including expansion of the faculty, improving the campus, and providing more financial aid.

“The contributions that Scott Nichols has made to Harvard Law School over the past 20 years are enormous,” said Dean Elena Kagan. “Scott has raised more funds than any single person in legal education, and he has helped the Law School come together behind bold plans to improve the campus, increase financial aid, and support countless faculty and research initiatives. He leaves the Law School in terrific shape, and the positive impact of his work will be felt for many years to come.”

As Associate Dean, Nichols oversaw all of the Law School’s advancement activities, including development, alumni relations, and communications. He often said that good fund-raising also results in important non-monetary achievements, such as setting institutional priorities and developing consensus around strategic planning initiatives.

“I have loved every single day I’ve been at Harvard Law School,” said Nichols. “I am particularly proud of the way we’ve re-engaged the alumni, making them active partners in the life of the Law School.” Among his key accomplishments, Nichols cited the dramatic restoration of Langdell Hall and the establishment of 37 endowed faculty chairs. “The hardest part about moving on will be leaving such great colleagues and alumni leaders.”

“We will miss Scott,” said Finn M. W. Caspersen, chairman of the “Setting the Standard” campaign. “From a volunteer’s perspective, he made soliciting a contribution, normally a distasteful job, a pleasant task, and the making of a contribution even more pleasant. More importantly than even the funds raised under his tutelage was the revitalization of alumni participation in the Law School. I suspect that history will remember this as his most important achievement.”

The Law School will immediately begin a search for a permanent successor to Nichols, who will start at B.U. on May 1.