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$1 Million Gift to the College of Law Will Enhance Student Learning

Craig and Linda Smith

DePaul Law alumnus Craig Smith and his wife, Linda Fontana-Smith, believe in the power of education.

The DePaul College of Law is honored to announce that Craig Smith and Linda Fontana-Smith have made a $1 million planned gift to the college. Their generosity will provide unrestricted support toward the strategic priorities of DePaul Law, including student scholarships, faculty support, and new and enhanced programs.

“We are so grateful for Craig and Linda’s generous and thoughtful gift,” says Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea. “The spirit of their gift reflects the best of DePaul Law by providing students with the opportunity to realize their great potential and, after they have become accomplished in their fields, feel an obligation to give back to the law school that first opened doors for them. Craig and Linda inspire all of us to do more to transform our students’ lives.”

Craig Smith earned both his JD, in 1980, and his LLM in taxation, in 1983, from the law school. He went on to a highly successful career in law and business. He was president and CEO of Mizkan Americas when he retired in 2014.

“The law school offered me a unique opportunity to improve my career path at a time when law was transitioning from a profession to a business,” Smith says.

Smith has been a member of the college’s Dean’s Advisory Council since 2013 and served on the advisory board of DePaul’s Institute for Business and Professional Ethics. Of the latter he says, “It was an important way for me to give back to DePaul. I believe in doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. In business, that usually points you in the right direction,” Smith says.

Both Smith and his wife, Linda, a former educator, are enthusiastic about supporting education.

“DePaul provides a unique opportunity for students who may be the first in their family to go to college,” says Smith.

“I’m a product of Catholic schools,” says Mrs. Fontana-Smith. “We agree that our ability to give back wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Craig’s DePaul education. When we discussed what would happen to our estate in the future we chose to give to DePaul. Our hope is that future DePaul students and alumni also will realize the power and value of their education and will continue to help the DePaul community.”​​​​