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Former Georgia Gov. Carl E. Sanders has given half of a $1 million donation to the University of Georgia School of Law and will contribute the remaining $500,000 within the next two years. At Sanders’ request, the school, his alma mater, will use the money to create an endowed professorship, the Carl E. Sanders Chair in Political Leadership. The 77-year-old Sanders, who, in 1967, co-founded the firm that is now Troutman Sanders, said he wants to see his gift bear fruit during his lifetime. “I intended to do this when I passed on, but I made up my mind: Why wait till that happens?” he said. Sanders said he hopes the position will attract a professor with government experience. After serving as Georgia’s governor from 1963 to 1967, Sanders lectured as a fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Sanders added that he wanted to expose students who grew up “in very modest circumstances” as he did to professors with political expertise. “I hope that individuals who get their education through efforts on their part … will try to give back,” Sanders said. “You can’t take all throughout your life and not give back.” UGA Law School Dean David E. Shipley said he and Sanders discussed the former governor’s plans for the professorship but haven’t talked about specifics. Both men agree that the school should hire a lawyer with a distinguished career in politics, Shipley said. “I think our students would relish being in a class like that,” Shipley said. The money will go into a new account with the law school’s endowment, Shipley said. UGA Law’s endowment was worth about $41.6 million at the end of fiscal 2001 in June of last year, he added. To compare, Emory University School of Law’s endowment is about $21.9 million, and Georgia State University College of Law has about $4.3 million. The $1 million gift is the latest in a series of contributions Sanders has made to his alma mater. In 1987, he created the Carl Sanders Law Library Fund to buy new books and enhance the collection. Eight years later, Sanders donated $125,000 to the law library, and Troutman Sanders matched the gift in honor of his 70th birthday. He also has donated his gubernatorial papers, photographs and other memorabilia to the library. Shipley said the school will name its library’s main reading room for the former governor next spring. Sanders, who enrolled in UGA in 1942 on a football scholarship, withdrew in 1943 to join the U.S. Army Air Corps. He trained as a B-17 pilot and returned to UGA after World War II. The university allowed veterans to enter law school if they earned enough college credit through examinations. Sanders passed the exams and went straight to law school “at the end of the football season” in 1945. He went to law school for two years and passed the bar exam while he was there. After finishing his coursework in December 1947 and receiving his degree in 1948, Sanders practiced law in Augusta. In 1954, he made a successful bid for the state house of representatives. Two years later, he won a seat in the Georgia Senate, representing Richmond, Glascock and Jefferson counties. He served three consecutive terms. He was elected governor in 1963, and when he left office four years later, he and two associates founded the firm that became Troutman Sanders. The firm now has more than 500 attorneys and offices in eight cities including Hong Kong and London. Its 2001 gross revenue was $179.5 million. Sanders is the firm’s chairman now. He named Robert W. Webb Jr. managing partner in 1992. “I’m sort of the granddaddy of the group,” Sanders joked. He practices law “as much as I need to,” Sanders said, and is in the office nearly every day.

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