Wheaton Chairman Awards $1M to Maurer School

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Stephen Burns (photo courtesy Indiana University) Stephen Burns (photo courtesy Indiana University)

Indiana University says a $1 million gift from Indianapolis-based Wheaton Van Lines Chairman Stephen Burns will endow a professorship in his name in the IU Maurer School of Law. The gift will also support the school's curricular focus on ethics and professionalism. 

Burns is a 1968 graduate of the Maurer School of Law. The university says the Stephen F. Burns Professorship will be held by William Henderson, professor of law at IU, and will also support programming at the school, including the Wintersession program.

"(Henderson is) the reason for this gift," said Burns. "When I was in law school, we hardly had any courses like the Legal Profession course or Wintersession. Bill Henderson has the same passion that I do: that there needs to be a greater curricular experience in terms of ethics and professional responsibilities. After hearing what Bill and others were doing and then after sitting down with Bill, it was clear that his passion for students and for the profession is unique. Teaching ethics and professionalism is difficult to do in many respects, and I think that’s the reason so many other schools have shied away from it. I’m pleased to see my school taking a lead here."

Austen Parrish, dean of the Maurer School of Law, says the gift will have a lasting impact on the school. 

Burns was named chairman and chief executive officer of Wheaton Van Lines in 1988. He stepped down as CEO in 2008. He is also a member of the Maurer School's Academy of Law Alumni Fellows, which the university says is the highest honor the school awards to alumni.

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