Alumni Spotlight

Thomas F. Morante '77: A Stakeholder in WCL's Future

By, Brad Dwin

“So many things motivate me when I think of the Washington College of Law,” asserts Thomas F. Morante ’77. “I owe a lot to the law school for the focus of the curriculum and the direction it enabled my career to take, and I feel a sense of gratitude for that.”

Already an active member of the Alumni Association and member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, Morante stepped up his involvement even more by taking the reins of the Myers Society last fall. As chair of the school’s most prestigious gift club, Morante is spearheading efforts to engage more alumni in the continuing support of the law school.

“I certainly would like to increase the number of donors and the size of donations from those already in the Myers Society,” Morante says. “But I also want to promote the GOLD Society which is still relatively new.”

The GOLD Society, which stands for Graduates of the Last Decade, is a tiered system based on graduation date and designed to encourage newer graduates to give at levels they can afford. For those graduating within the last five years, a minimum donation of $500 grants them membership in the Myers Society. For those graduating within the last 10 years, $1,000 will give them full benefits of membership as well. The Society supports the school’s academic programs and activities that define the WCL experience.

“The Myers Society plays a critical role for the school,” Morante explains.“Donors give a minimum of $1,500 and really derive a sense of being part of a group committed to the law school’s development and growth.” While membership in the Myers Society includes an annual, formal dinner and multiple networking opportunities with other members, Morante notes that the most fundamental benefit is the internal reward of making an important contribution to the school.

Morante, who recently made partner at Holland & Knight working from both Miami and Washington, D.C. offices, recalls with great fondness his time as a law student in the nation’s capital.

“It was a particularly interesting time to be in law school in D.C.,” he notes. “And once I started practicing I sensed an obligation to others who might benefit from the same experience I had.” Staying involved with WCL alumni through fundraising and reunion activities gives Morante a strong sense of community with those who share the WCL connection. And now he feels a new sense of community with the current group of students.

“I feel connected to them as well. By bringing them into the alumni community, they will help build and develop the law school’s reputation,” Morante says. “It’s like the rising tide lifting all boats. It’s good for all of us.” Morante hopes these future alumni will share his sense of belonging to WCL.

“When you have that sense of belonging to an institution, you develop a commitment to it,” he says. “And when you achieve that, you become a stakeholder in WCL’s future.