College Columns December 2021 - Page 6

Foundation Officers Paul E . Harner Chair Jan M . Hayden Vice Chair Eric W . Lam Secretary Rebecca A . Roof Treasurer
Foundation Directors Russell M . Blain Hon . Janet E . Bostwick E . Frank Childress , Jr . Jeanne P . Darcey Guy A . Davis Cecily A . Dumas Kenneth H . Eckstein Rozanne M . Giunta Jay M . Goffman Peggy Hunt Vincent E . Lazar Hon . Margaret M . Mann Normal L . Pernick Lisa M . Schweitzer Mark Shinderman Prof . Elizabeth Tashjian J . Scott Victor William L . Wallander David A . Warfield Richard L . Wasserman Hon . Judith H . Wizmur ( Ret .)
Senior Director Richard Carmody
Ex Officio Melissa S . Kibler
Executive Director Shari A . Bedker

A Proud History of Giving – and Tradition of Generosity

Paul E . Harner , Sheppard Mullin Chair , American College of Bankruptcy Foundation
“ How did you go bankrupt ?
Two ways . Gradually , then suddenly .” Ernest Hemingway , The Sun Also Rises
Such is the sad story in so many of the cases we all see in our professional lives , whether as advisors , judges or scholars . The struggling single parent , already living paycheck-to-paycheck while working two ( or three ) minimum wage jobs , now presented with an eviction notice . The young recent graduate , saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans and unable to find the job for which she was trained , unexpectedly hospitalized with COVID-19 complications and incapable of paying massive medical bills . The mom-and-pop diner , a local delight for years , suddenly destroyed by fire – and the aging proprietors left with nothing because they couldn ’ t quite scrape together enough to pay for insurance . Or even the mega-retailer , a household name for generations , left bereft of customers by a paralyzing and tragic pandemic that emptied the streets – and the stores .
It has been accepted public policy for generations that individuals and businesses in these desperate financial circumstances need and deserve a fresh start ; and our bankruptcy system , despite its conceded flaws , theoretically provides that opportunity . Yet there is a cruel irony : some are in such dire straits , and so intractably destitute , that they cannot afford even to enter and navigate the bankruptcy process .
Enter the pro bono legal services providers that are the grantees of the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation – hence the beneficiaries of your generosity , through individual contributions to the Foundation , each and every year . By now , you hopefully are keenly aware of the good work those providers do each day ; of their particularly acute needs in the current social and economic environment ; and of the hard work our Pro Bono Committee does , in allocating the funds you donate , to support continued on page 30