Last June, James C. Gaither ’64 was honored by Stanford University as the 22nd recipient of its degree of uncommon man. Established by the Stanford Alumni Association Board of Governors in 1953, The Degree of Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman honors individuals who have given unique and exceptional service to the university.

“He has guided strategy at the highest level, built key relationships and helped secure crucial funding,” said University President John Hennessy. “In every case, he brings enormous wisdom and dedication to bear on Stanford’s behalf…”

Gaither, venture capital investor and retired partner of the law firm Cooley Godward LLP, has been active at both the law school and university during his 25 years as a Stanford volunteer. He served as president of Stanford’s Board of Trustees and received Stanford’s top award for volunteer service, the Gold Spike, in 1996. As chair of the law school’s first comprehensive campaign, which ended in 1999, he helped to raise $116 million—more than double the original goal. And in 2001, Gaither held a key role in securing a $400 million grant to Stanford from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation—then the largest gift in the history of American higher education.

Gaither Professorship and Fellowship Established

In tribute to his dedication and service to Stanford Law School, Gaither’s friends and colleagues have raised more than $6 million to establish the Gaither Fund, which will endow the James C. Gaither Professorship and the James C. Gaither Fellowship, both at the law school.
The Gaither Fellowship will support law school graduates who want to pursue careers for which additional time for research is
essential. Gaither fellows will be chosen based on nominations to the dean from the Teaching Prospects
Committee. The fellowship will typically be for two years, though it can be shorter or longer in individual

Jim Gaither Honored

cases, and there need not be a fellow every year.

The law school has not yet determined who will be the inaugural holder of the Gaither chair nor which area of study will benefit from it. The first Gaither fellow, however, has been chosen. Starting in fall 2006 Andrew Coan ’05 returned to Stanford for two years to teach and work on research.

Jim Gaither is recognized by university (left)