Professorship honors former law faculty member

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas School of Law alumnus Art Piculell of Portland, Oregon, and his late wife, Dee, have made a $500,000 gift to establish a professorship honoring the late Professor Earl B. Shurtz, who taught at KU Law from 1955 to 1977.

Art said he appreciated the opportunity to spend time with Professor Shurtz.

“We would discuss the subjects of law and the subjects of life,” Art said. “He had a genuine concern for his students. For instance, if he saw you sitting in the library, he would come over and talk to you. That’s who he was.”

Art and Dee met at Emporia State University, where in 1959 they earned bachelor’s degrees, Dee in music education, Art in psychology and sociology. The couple married and moved to Wichita, where Art became a social worker with the Sedgwick County Board of Social Welfare and Dee was a grade school teacher. Later, they moved to Scott City, where Art was the county welfare director of both Scott and Wichita counties and Dee taught school. In 1962, they moved to Lawrence so that Art could attend law school. Dee taught grade school in Lawrence and served as president of the law wives’ club.

“We just basically are paying back for what we got,” Art said. “Dee and I were very fortunate to get our educations and to benefit from that.”

In 1965, after Art earned his law degree, the couple returned to western Kansas, where Art practiced law in Cimarron. In 1972, Art and Dee moved to Portland, Oregon, where Art was admitted to practice law in the state. In Portland, the couple developed residential communities and invested in commercial buildings in Oregon, Washington and Arizona through their companies, Homesite Development and the Piculell Group.

“I enjoyed practicing law, but I knew that wasn’t my bent in life,” Art said. “The benefits that I received from studying the law were applicable to the real estate businesses we ventured into.”

This is the second professorship Art and Dee Piculell established at the law school; in 2004, they created the J.B. Smith Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law.

Stephen Mazza, dean of the School of Law, expressed appreciation for the gift.

“As so many of our graduates have, Art took the analytical skills he learned in law school and used them to gain success in an area outside of a traditional legal practice. His earlier gift to the law school was incredibly generous, and to follow that with another major gift speaks to his and Dee’s love for the school and their generosity,” Mazza said.

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Alumnus makes $1 million gift for KU Law

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas alumnus Frederick B. “Beau” Gould and his wife, Julie Gould, of Seattle, have made a $1 million gift to establish the Gould Family Scholarship at the KU School of Law.

Beau Gould is a practicing attorney and a commercial real estate investor. He earned a law degree from KU in 1989, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, George R. Gould, and his father, George R. Gould Jr. Both earned law degrees from KU respectively in 1922 and 1952, and were longtime attorneys in Dodge City.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little expressed appreciation for the gift. “As a third-generation KU Law graduate, Beau is part of a proud family tradition of Jayhawk lawyers. This generous gift builds on his family’s legacy and will benefit future generations of students who follow in his footsteps by attending the School of Law,” she said.

When younger, Gould was uncertain as to what career path to take. After he earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, his father suggested Gould work at a law firm to decide whether he wanted to be a lawyer. Gould took a job at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, and he soon applied for admission to the KU School of Law. His application included a letter of reference signed by Frank L. Snell Jr., a 1924 KU Law alumnus and a founding partner of the firm.

While attending KU Law, Gould benefited from scholarship support. To make ends meet, he also held four part-time jobs — as a disc jockey for several area radio stations, and as a kitchen helper in a sorority. Following law school, he briefly considered staying in the radio industry. On a whim, he moved to Seattle because his sister lived there. He began working for a real estate attorney and eventually started investing in commercial real estate.

Now that he’s financially able to give back to KU, Gould said it’s important to do so.  “I felt that this was the right thing to do, so that someone else would be a beneficiary of a scholarship,” said Gould.

Stephen Mazza, dean and professor of law, said, “The Gould family’s commitment to the law school is incredible. Beau understands our push to increase scholarship funding and its importance to the school’s future. We are extremely grateful.”

Gould said he would be thrilled if his family’s tradition of a Jayhawk education continues. The couple’s two teenage daughters, Grace and Hope, visited KU during Homecoming weekend.

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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