"Synergy, Community, and Transactional Experience"

Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic Dedication
Lewis Building
Bloomington, IN
October 5, 2007

Introduction and Welcome

Thank you all for joining us this afternoon.  I am pleased to welcome you all and I would like to extend a special welcome to the many distinguished alumni who could join us today.

I would also like to welcome the Elmore family.  Dave and D.G. Elmore have made our celebration today possible.  And I am delighted that Dave’s wife Donna and D.G.’s wife Gini, and his children Hillary, Callie, Trent, and Brock could also be with us.

Please join me in welcoming our distinguished guests.

The great Greek philosopher Plato once said “that the direction in which education starts a [person], will determine [their] future life.”  But just as education determines the direction of lives, so too do certain lives impact the direction of education.

As we dedicate the Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, we recognize the impact that Dave and D.G. Elmore have had on Indiana University.  We also have a clear view of the direction in which Indiana University is moving.  It is the direction of increased collaboration across the university.  It is the direction of partnership with the community.  It is the direction of synergy that drives cooperation and innovation.

A Transformative Gift

In 2005, Indiana University established the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic to offer law students a unique opportunity for practical transactional legal experience.  We can thank the generosity of the Lilly Endowment, which supported this original effort through its Initiative to Promote Opportunity through Educational Collaboration.

Through their great generosity, Dave and D.G. Elmore are extending that support.  In recognition of their remarkable contribution to its continuing success, Indiana University is pleased to name the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic in honor of David and D.G. Elmore.  Their $3 million dollar gift to Indiana University is truly transformative.

On behalf of IU, please accept my deepest gratitude.  This gift gives permanency to the clinic.  It provides the foundation from which this clinic can continue to grow.  It supports endowed scholarships to recruit the very best students.  And it increases the dividends IU’s joint degree students realize from their clinical experience.

The Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic is a collaboration between the IU School of Law and the Kelley School of Business.  It provides law students, especially JD-MBA joint-degree students, a capstone educational experience that reaches beyond university walls.  These graduate students work with start-up companies that have high growth potential such as life sciences and IT businesses.  This joint venture capitalizes on legal and business expertise and provides hands-on transactional legal experience that is an invaluable benefit to students upon graduation.

Reflection of Family Strengths

The Elmore Clinic is a perfect reflection of the values of both father and son.  As entrepreneurs, Dave and D.G. Elmore apply strong business acumen to their personal passions:  sports, travel, and community outreach.  Executive Director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kelley School, Dr. Don Kuratko has said, “Their personal and professional lives demonstrate that David and D.G. Elmore . . . embody the entrepreneurial spirit.”  Indeed, this spirit takes ideas from investigation to the population, from the bench to the bedside, from the lab to the land.

But one of the hurdles between the idea and the marketplace can be a lack of legal expertise.  The Elmores have overcome that hurdle.  Both had the foresight to predict the challenges they would face in the world of business and to shape their education in order to meet those challenges.

In 1984, D.G. Elmore earned his joint JD/MBA degree from IU, and he now chairs the law school’s JD/MBA Advisory Board.  David Elmore crafted his own specialized degree when he attended IU in the 1950s.  He took MBA classes in the summers between his regular law school coursework.  The joint degree was not officially offered until the early 1970s, so we might even call Dave the original IU JD/MBA student.

Conclusion: Confluence of Lives and Legacies

Even in those days, Dave embodied the entrepreneurial spirit, paying for his education by painting houses.  I understand that one of the houses he painted belonged to the legendary Bill Armstrong.  This remarkable confluence of lives and legacies comes full circle today as we celebrate the outreach mission of the Elmore Entrepreneurship Law Clinic.

We are deeply grateful to the Elmores for their generosity and know that this gift will help connect students and the community in ways that enrich our campus, our university, and our world.

Thank you very much.