Friday, February 8, 2008

Donor Makes Million Dollar Gift to University of Illinois in honor of nonprofit tax professor

Congratulations are due to the University of Illinois and Professor John D. Columbo.  The University of Illinois recently received a $1.3 million gift from June E. Michael in honor of Professor Columbo.  According to the TaxProf Blog, the gift will be used to create the John D. Columbo Professorship in Law and to fund need-based scholarships.  Quiet and friendly, always smiling, Professor Columbo personifies all that is good and effective about the nonprofit sector.  He is a prolific writer and scholar of tax exemption law -- his work with regard to nonprofit hospitals is especially groundbreaking -- and always willing to help younger scholars (he helped me tremendously when I first arrived at the academy).  I remember struggling for years to understand the "integral part" doctrine until finally coming across an absolutely masterful article John wrote on the topic and suddenly I understood.  See, John D. Columbo, The IHC Cases:  A Catch-22 for Integral part Analysis, A Requiem for Rev.Rul. 69-545, 34 Exempt Organization Tax Review 401 (2001).  John is one of the smartest thinkers in the field who probably could have made $1.3 million annually several times over working in the private sector instead of devoting his life to positively affecting the lives of hundreds and thousands of students and scholars who came to law school with the crazy idea that nonprofit organizations can actually make a positive difference in our society.  We need 100 more people just like him.  It is just so nice to see an absolutely unselfish good guy get rewarded for quiet service.  Thanks John.


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