U-M Law graduate student shares familial link to DeWitt Scholarship


U-M?Law School

Tom Temprosa is one of many students attending the University of Michigan because of the generous contributions to scholarship funds by alumni and friends of the university. Here, he tells about his familial link to the DeWitt Scholarship, awarded each year to outstanding master of law (LLM) candidates from the Philippines.

“I had been trying to get into a graduate law program because I teach back home in the Philippines. I teach international and refugee law, and I think it’s better to teach law with a master’s degree. I’m also involved with the United Nations, and am an advocate for human rights in that capacity,” he said.

“Law is not just a career, it’s a calling. Michigan Law, specifically, is very much a part of my family. My dad is an alumnus and he graduated exactly 50 years ago. Unfortunately, he passed away two years ago, so he didn’t get to see me here.
He always spoke fondly of Michigan Law, and it has always been close to my heart. Now, I walk the halls that he used to walk and see the places he used to see. More than anything else, it’s really a family tradition that I’m carrying on.

“My dad also received the DeWitt Fellowship, just as I have. I am very proud to have received the fellowship—it is one of the primary reasons I chose Michigan. To carry on the tradition and to experience what others before me have experienced...it’s something I am sure I would never find anywhere else.

“Scholarship support, such as the DeWitt Fellowship, is not just making a difference in one person’s life, but impacting a whole region. The DeWitt Fellowship is a tradition that speaks of excellence in legal training, passed through generations. I can speak from my own family’s experience. Support like this has the potential to impact generations of legal scholars and practitioners. They are making a difference in the world.

“The DeWitt Fellowship has been awarded to many Filipinos, and many of them have been very successful. We have senators, judges, and other legal practitioners who have received the fellowship. Because of this, the legal system is changing; the influence of a Michigan Law degree on the judiciary system has been very powerful. It’s a tradition I am very proud to carry on.”


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