Donor Story

Giving for the Greatest Good

School of Law Scholarship Reflects Couple’s Love of New Mexico, Education

By Michelle G. McRuiz

Posted June 15, 2015


Sandra and Burck Bailey at home in Santa Fe.

Burck and Sandra Bailey have a deep love for their adopted state of New Mexico. Burck, who enjoyed a career as a prominent trial attorney in Oklahoma, wanted to make a tribute to his profession in a way that would help as many people as possible. With their establishment of an endowed scholarship fund though annual contributions and a planned gift to the UNM School of Law, the Baileys illustrate how the generosity and foresight of two people can ripple outward and touch the lives of many.

The Burck and Sandra Bailey Scholarship in Law is designed to give Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics financial assistance to attend the state’s only law school. “The UNM School of Law has an opportunity to make a difference in these New Mexico populations,” said Burck. In turn, these recipients “have the capacity to bring so much to this state.”

Burck, a New York University School of Law alumnus, and Sandra, a Fort Hays State University graduate, became connected with the UNM School of Law when they connected with then-Dean Kevin Washburn, also from Oklahoma. As the Baileys became reacquainted with Washburn, they felt increasingly impressed with the quality of the UNM School of Law, its academic programs and administration.

“They really utilize their funds,” said Sandra. “There’s no fluff. They are very dedicated to their student body. At this time in history, law schools are losing applicants; the UNM School of Law is not.”

“A retired law professor from the University of Texas and I taught a class at the School of Law, and I was quite impressed by how dedicated and smart the students were, how much they wanted to accomplish,” Burck added.

“Both of us come from families that had hardly any money, but they always shared,” said Sandra. “We hope our example encourages others to be generous with their support. That would be an ideal consequence.”

The School of Law will name the first recipients of the Baileys’ scholarship beginning with the class of 2016.

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