The North Carolina Central University School of Law has received a $250,000 gift from John D. Fassett, attorney and former U.S. Supreme Court law clerk at the time of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. The gift will assist the School of Law in creating an endowed professorship for a faculty member who can make contributions to legal reform in areas of constitutional law, human rights and civil rights.
According to a statement released by the university, The John D. Fassett Professorship will be awarded in terms of three to five years, with the possibility of renewal. A portion of the gift will be added to the School of Law Annual Fund to support a visiting lecture series, also bearing Fassett’s name.
“As a lawyer, teacher, executive and writer, Mr. Fassett recognized the need to endow ongoing research at the law school,” said Phyllis Craig-Taylor, dean of the NCCU School of Law. “This professorship will allow one of our professors to expand the work of the law school in addressing cutting-edge and systemic issues in the law that disproportionately impact vulnerable communities.”
Fassett, a graduate of Yale Law School, began his career as a clerk in the office of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stanley Reed. Fassett played a significant role in convincing the judge not to dissent in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. The court’s unanimity on that decision is credited with building public support that led to the end of legalized racial segregation.