James Berick (LAW ’58) knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps since just about the time he was taking his own first steps.
“I was heading for the law from about age 3,” Berick joked. Inspired by his father’s decades-long career as an attorney, Berick said he never seriously considered any other career. He also credits his father with inspiring his philanthropic drive.
“My father graduated from his law school in 1918, and I’m confidant that he donated every year, from the year he graduated to the year he passed away,” Berick said. “So I grew up with that example—that you support the schools that have been there for you.”
Berick has matched his father’s example, giving regularly to the Case Western Reserve University School of Law Annual Fund since his graduation in 1958. In addition, he has made a generous will commitment to provide additional support to his alma mater.
While his father provided the inspiration, Berick’s commitment to the university finds continued support in his wife of eight years, Christine, who shares his philanthropic priorities. “Our support is a joint decision,” he says. “Christine is a strong supporter of my affection for Case Western Reserve.”
Supporting the annual fund allows the Bericks to have a wide-ranging and immediate impact, since the school draws on the fund for everything from capital improvements to financial aid to curriculum improvement. Berick’s will commitment has been similarly designated—giving the school flexibility.
“We tried not to be specific,” Berick said of the bequest. “We can’t know what the school will need in the future.”
The couple says their support comes from their belief in Case Western Reserve University as an institution—and it shows support for the city they’ve both called home for most of their lives.
“We were both born and raised in Cleveland, and we both feel that institutions like Case Western Reserve are the key to keeping Cleveland a healthy, viable and competitive city,” Berick said.
Case Western Reserve University is pleased to know it can count on legacy gifts from friends and alumni. Many of these generous supporters are the same gracious individuals who, during their lives, established a history of annual giving that makes an immediate impact on the vision and strategic plans of the university.
By leaving a bequest to Case Western Reserve, these donors often are able to make a larger impact on campus than they could in any one year. A will commitment allows these steadfast supporters to continue their generosity well into the future.
“Our support is a joint decision. Christine is a strong supporter of my affection for Case Western Reserve.”