Unveiling the Churchill bust.
Unveiling the Churchill bust.

Naming Gift to Law Library Also Brings Chapman a Winston Churchill Bust

A bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill

A bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill joined the Chapman pantheon on June 13, 2016 thanks to an endowment gift from the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation.

Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law has named its law library in honor of the late philanthropists Hugh and Hazel Darling, in thanks for the generous gift of $2.78 million given by the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation to benefit the library.  The gift will be invested in a permanent endowment, whose income supplements compensation for the Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Librarian Chair, now occupied by Professor Linda Kawaguchi. In total, the Darling Foundation has given more than $5 million to support the Chapman law school over the years.

Whenever a gift of an endowed chair is made, Chapman University allows the donor to name an individual whose bronze sculpture will be placed on campus to inspire our students. In this instance, Darling Foundation Trustee Rick Stack asked that the bronze bust be of Sir Winston Churchill, World War II-era British prime minister and one of the great men of the 20th century, who was a hero to Hugh and Hazel Darling.

At the June 13 law library dedication ceremony, Chapman President Jim Doti recalled the beginnings of the law school.  “We founded it because we believed that law was indeed a noble profession.  And with that thought, I was gratified to read recently that Hugh Darling believed the same thing. He was, at the time, the president of the Los Angeles Bar Association, and here’s a quotation from an article he wrote: ‘Attorneys in active practice provide skilled legal advice and advocacy, without which organized society could not function in this giddy age.’  Interestingly enough, although that article was written in 1959, it’s still a giddy age.”  Doti thanked Stack for connecting the Darling Foundation to the Fowler School of Law and Chapman University, and said that naming the library in Hugh and Hazel’s honor was “an incredibly appropriate way to honor their legacy.”

Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library dedication

Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library dedication: left to right, Fowler School of Law Interim Dean Scott Howe, Professor Linda Kawaguchi, Rick Stack (trustee of the Darling Foundation), President Jim Doti, Chapman Trustee Phil Case.

After the Hugh and Hazel Darling Law Library’s new name was unveiled, the celebrants trooped over to the walkway between the Allred Aquatics Stadium and Musco Center for the Arts, where a form on a pedestal, veiled in blue velvet,  awaited.  Chapman’s expanding collection of bronze busts, Doti noted, “is a wonderful way to present
to our current and future students — as well as quotations from these people who have had such a significant impact on history. The quotation from Churchill — which Rick Stack, Tom Campbell and I worked long and hard in selecting — was one that related to vision and to the importance of having a focus. Because if you believe in something with passion, and communicate that passion to others, miracles happen.  In the darkest days of World War II, when Great Britain was all alone in fighting the Nazi menace, the British people were looking to their new leader to communicate a vision and an aim.  In his first speech as prime minister, Churchill said, ‘You ask what is my aim?  I answer in one word: victory.  Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory no matter how long and hard it may be. For without victory, there is no survival.’  Those words inspired a nation by articulating clearly and convinclngly what that shared vision should be. It’s our pleasure now to share those words with future students and visitors who will also be inspired — and will learn how words can have an impact, not only on a country, but on a people and a community.”

Doti then introduced David Freeman — Churchill scholar, Cal State Fullerton professor and publications director of The Churchill Center — who read an email sent that morning to President Doti from Randolph Churchill:  “On behalf of the Churchill family, may I congratulate Chapman University on the honour you do today to my great-grandfather Sir Winston Churchill. We are very pleased to learn that this bust of Sir Winston is to become a new and permanent feature of your beautiful campus and will join the busts of other eminent worthies there. Let this be another symbol of the continuing good relations between the British and American people – an idea that my great-grandfather (himself an Anglo-American union with a British father and American mother) so passionately supported throughout his life.”

With that, the bust (created by sculptor Juan Rosillo, who was present) was unveiled.  The bulldog countenance of Sir Winston now joins the rest of the bronze pantheon on our campus, a reminder of unquenchable determination in the midst of great peril, an inspiration to all who pass by.

Mary Platt

Mary Platt is director of the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University

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