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2012 Archives

Dedman School of Law alumni give $1 million
for endowed professorship to reinvest in SMU, Dallas

December 21, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) — Les Ware and Amy Abboud Ware have given $1 million to SMU Dedman School of Law not only to establish an endowed professorship at their alma mater, but also to reinvest in their home city of Dallas.

Amy and Les Ware
Amy Abboud Ware and Les Ware

“Great cities need great universities, and great universities need great professors,” Amy Ware says. “They make the city a better place, and are a resource to our larger community.”

Though the gift is from both, Les Ware says it was clear why the Amy Abboud Ware Professorship should bear his wife’s name. “Amy left a successful practice to raise our four children. I wanted to honor her legal accomplishments,” he says of her criminal defense work, which led to her being named one of the first female presidents of the Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

“This generous gift from the Wares supports a key priority of SMU’s Second Century Campaign – to increase the number of endowed professors. The new professorship brings our total to 88 toward our campaign goal of 100,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This faculty position will help us make an already outstanding law faculty even better in preparing students to make an impact on the legal profession and in their communities.”

The Wares’ gift counts toward the $750 million goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which supports student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign coincides with SMU’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

Les and Amy Ware support several law school programs and funds, including the Amy Abboud and Leslie Ware Emergency Loan Fund, the Dedman School of Law Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues, the Law Dean’s Discretionary Fund, the Law Library Book Fund, and law school class reunions. They also contribute to the SMU Fund and unrestricted purposes for Meadows School of the Arts and Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences.

“We are grateful and honored by the Wares’ continued generosity, which allows us to attract and retain some of the world’s most respected legal scholars,” says SMU Dedman School of Law Dean John B. Attanasio.

Les Ware founded The Ware Firm, with offices in Dallas and Marshall, Texas, which specialized in patent and intellectual property matters as well as telecommunications law. He recently founded PanOptis IP, a patent acquisition and management firm, and owns a number of private real estate investment and development firms.

For SMU, Les and Amy Ware serve on the executive board and campaign steering committee for Dedman School of Law; they also are members of the Meadows Museum. In addition, Amy Ware also serves on the campaign steering committee for Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences.

For Dallas, the couple and its Amy and Les Ware Foundation support philanthropic causes promoting children’s health, education and shelter. Amy Ware also has served on the board of trustees for St. Mark’s School of Texas, has been a member of the Dallas Museum Art League and a trustee for Dallas Children’s Theatre.

The Wares, both under 50, hope their gift will inspire other young professionals to give to SMU. “The University has given us so much – our education, our livelihood, our friends,” says Amy Ware, a native of Omaha, Neb., who holds a B.A. in foreign languages and a B.F.A. in communication arts from SMU (’87) and a J.D. from Dedman School of Law (’90). Les Ware, born and raised in Dallas, holds a B.S. in political science from SMU (’89) and his J.D. from Dedman School of Law (’92).

The Wares say their time at SMU not only allowed them to succeed in their careers but also led to their meeting, marrying and building a family, a combination they say has been “the ultimate gift.”

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SMU Dedman School of Law, founded in 1925, is among the nation’s most competitive law schools for admission. Named in 2001 for its benefactors, Nancy and Robert H. Dedman and their family, the law school excels at giving students an educational experience of the highest order, training leaders for national and international law, business, government and public service. Dedman School of Law has some of the nation’s top faculty and has successful alumni living in Texas, the United States and more than 80 countries.