Kevin Getzendanner, Robb Hough and Leigh Walton of the Class of 1979 started their legal careers on a high note. As a Moot Court team coached by Professor Don Hall, the trio won "Best Brief" in the national competition and reached the quarter-finals in the Oral Argument competition.
Thirty years later, the teammates have reunited to endow a scholarship in honor of their coach and mentor, Don Hall. Professor Hall, who retired in 2007, was instrumental in recruiting Hough to Vanderbilt Law School when Hough was a senior at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. "He was one of the reasons I came to Vanderbilt," Hough says. "As a student, I respected him enormously as a professor and a coach, and he has always been a good friend as well."
After Hall's retirement, Hough contacted his former Moot Court teammates with the idea of honoring Hall with a scholarship. Walton and Getzendanner readily agreed to join with the Hough Family Foundation to endow a permanent Don Hall Scholarship. "We felt strongly there should be a scholarship named after Don Hall," Hough says. "Don mentored so many students over the years, and one of the things he encouraged us to do was to find work that we would be happy doing. It didn't take us 30 years to figure out how wise that advice was."
Founded by Hough's parents, William R. and Hazel Hough, and overseen by a Board of Trustees that includes the senior Houghs and their three children, Robb, Susan (M.S. '79, B.A. '78) and Helen, the Hough Family Foundation funds a number of educational institutions and initiatives. Robb Hough, his sister Helen, and his father were principals in William R. Hough & Company, a private St. Petersburg investment firm founded by Hough Sr., until its sale to RBC in 2004. After the sale, Robb Hough remained with RBC, where he oversaw the company's student loan business and developed the firm's municipal products division, until he retired in 2009.
"The goals of the scholarship are to award it to students who share Don's qualities and to make a statement about the importance of hiring faculty like Don whose first priority is engaging with students," Hough says. "If the scholarship helps Vanderbilt attract students with Don's enthusiasm, integrity, wit and magnetism, and if it serves as a reminder to school faculty and administration about the importance of engaging with students, it will be a great success and will achieve the goals for which it was established."
Hough, Getzendanner and Walton invite other alumni to add to the Donald J. Hall Scholarship by contacting Vanderbilt's Development and Alumni Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.