Washburn Trustee Issues $1 Million Challenge for Washburn Law Building

Cynthia Heath, BA ’71, chair, Washburn University Foundation Board of Trustees, has issued a challenge match for Washburn alumni and the community of up to $1 million to help build a premier law school building at Washburn University.

Heath, senior advisor, executive compensation at Emerson Electric, has served on the board of trustees since 2007 and as a director since 2009. While she received her law degree at Washington University in St. Louis, she received her undergraduate at Washburn, and believes now is the time to make this commitment to build a new law building. The Cynthia Heath Law Building Challenge will match all new and increased gifts that are designated to the building, up to $1 million. For increased gifts, only the amount of the increase will be matched.

“I’m excited to issue this challenge to all Washburn alumni and ask them to step up and help make this law building a reality,” she said. “Even though I did not graduate from Washburn Law, I strongly believe in the quality of education it provides its students, and I believe the new building on Washburn’s campus will only enhance this signature program for our future legal community.”

She met her late husband, David Heath, BA '70 and JD '76, at Washburn. They were longtime supporters of the Washburn University School of Law, and she has continued this support. She received the Washburn University Alumni Association's 2013 Monroe Award, was inducted into the Washburn Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013, received an Honorary Life Membership award from Washburn Law in 2016, and  was selected as an Alumni Fellow in 2017.

“With the leadership and support of Cynthia for the Washburn Law building campaign, we are getting closer to meeting our goals to provide a building that matches the high-caliber education the law school provides its students,” said Marshall Meek, president, Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation. “We hope others will join her by meeting the challenge.”

After more than 50 years in the current facility, the current design is no longer suitable to promote the levels of interaction among students and faculty the modern legal environment requires. The new law school building will provide an increased number of classrooms and small group study rooms.

“Our new law school building will position Washburn Law as one of the premier venues in legal education,” said Thomas Romig, dean, Washburn Law. “Cynthia’s vision and commitment, along with many other committed alumni and friends, will make this possible.”

Washburn has committed an unprecedented $20 million to build the law school if $20 million can be raised in private support. To date, the law campaign has raised more than $6 million.

“Washburn is excited to make this investment in a 21st century learning and technology environment, and the challenge from Cynthia will ensure Washburn Law remains on the cutting edge of legal education,” said Jerry Farley, president, Washburn University.