University of Miami School of Law Establishes the DE LA Cruz-Mentschifkoff Endowed Chair

gift to be dedicated to law and economics studies

Coral Gables, FL (April 15, 2009 – LAWFUEL) –The University of Miami School of Law announced the creation of the de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair in Law and Economics which Mr. Carlos M. de la Cruz, Sr. (JD ’79) has established in Soia Mentschikoff’s memory – a former Dean at the UM Law School. The de la Cruz-Mentschikoff Endowed Chair will focus on matters of business associations, planning, commercial and international transactions, securities, and antitrust.

A ’79 graduate of UM Law, Carlos M. de la Cruz, Sr. also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (BS in ’62, MBA in ’63). He is a lifetime member and past chairman of the University of Miami’s Board of Trustees, and two years ago was appointed by the board to chair the Visiting Committee of the University of Miami School of Law. He is a businessman and chairs the board of CC1 Companies, which include the Coca-Cola bottling companies in Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago. He has been very involved in community activities having chaired the board of United Way of Miami-Dade County, and has been a member of the boards of Georgetown University, Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Florida International University Foundation, the Dade Foundation, the Business Assistance Center, and Miami Partners for Progress.

“This chair will renew and strengthen the Law School’s commitment to law and economics, and the path-breaking research begun here years ago,” said Acting Dean Paul R. Verkuil.

“All of us remember certain teachers that modified the way we analyze and make decisions. Soia Mentschikoff was such a person – at least for me,” said Mr. de la Cruz. “Hopefully the recipients of the de la Cruz – Mentschikoff Chair in Law and Economics will have the same effect on future generations of UM Law School students who are studying the impact of the construction and interpretation of laws on economic activity.”

Soia Mentschikoff was born in Russia to American parents who returned to the United States just ahead of the revolution. She attended Hunter College in New York at age fifteen. While at Hunter, she studied English and political science before beginning her law school studies at Columbia University.

She was the first woman to teach at Harvard (a visiting professor from 1947 to 1949) – before they admitted women to the law school – and the University of Chicago (1951 to 1974). Ms. Mentschikoff was also the first female president of the American Association of Law Schools. In 1974, she was appointed to serve as Dean of the University of Miami School of Law and served with distinction until 1982. As dean, she was determined to improve the national reputation of the school and accomplished this by limiting enrollment, establishing a first rate library, attracting the best faculty, and developing innovative programs. Her dream was to produce first-rate graduates who would in turn become exemplary practitioners.

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