Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Washburn Law graduate’s gift of land fetches $2.6 million for university

March 31, 2004

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— Grateful for receiving a scholarship to the Washburn University School of Law in the 1930s, John E. Shamberg gave a 28-acre parcel of undeveloped land to his alma mater.

He advised the school to keep the Olathe property because its value was growing as Johnson County expanded southward.

But the retired trial lawyer, who lives in Prairie Village, could not envision when he donated the land in the 1980s the price that the property would ultimately bring -- $2.6 million.

Washburn officials say the land sale will be completed soon. The donation is the largest to Washburn from a single donor, said JuliAnn Mazachek, president of the Washburn Endowment Assn.

The gift will fund the Shamberg Constitutional Law Lecture, which will bring expert speakers to campus. Also, the gift will pay for the Shamberg Scholars Program, which will provide full scholarships for students.

"I feel obligated to give to the school," said Shamberg, 90, a trial lawyer for years whose firm, Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, has offices in Kansas City, Mo., and Overland Park.

The donation was announced at the Washburn School of Law centennial celebration this past weekend at the Westin Crown Center hotel in Kansas City, Mo., where the keynote speaker was former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole.

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