Tonkon Torp Enhances Scholarship at Lewis & Clark Law School

Thanks to a generous contribution from Tonkon Torp LLP, Timothy Foster can follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Warren A. McMinimee, a Tillamook attorney instrumental in establishing public access to all Oregon beaches. Foster ’04, a third-year Lewis & Clark Law School student, is the first recipient of an enhanced scholarship in memory of the law firm’s founders, Moe M. Tonkon and Frederick H. Torp.

Tonkon Torp hosted a luncheon on Tuesday, Feb. 3, to honor Foster and the memory of the law firm’s founders.

“Moe Tonkon and Fred Torp epitomized our firm’s commitment to community involvement and the highest professional standards,” said Jon P. Stride, chairman of Tonkon Torp’s managing board. “We honor them by increasing the endowment for this scholarship so that promising young law students have the opportunity to follow the example set by our firm’s founders.” The firm pledged an additional $50,000 to the existing Moe M. Tonkon Scholarship Fund. The new scholarship is named to honor both of the firm’s cofounders.

“We deeply appreciate Tonkon Torp’s generosity to help the next generation of lawyers continue to seek the goal of service and commitment,” said James Huffman, dean of the law school and Erskine Wood Sr. Professor of Law. The contribution is the largest gift to the law school from a single firm. The 78 Tonkon Torp lawyers represent 30 different law schools from across the county; 10 attorneys are alumni of Lewis & Clark Law School.

“My grandfather was an example to me of the potential for positive effect that a career in law holds,” said Foster. “The Tonkon Torp Scholarship made possible my attendance at Lewis & Clark Law School. In turn, the education I receive at the law school will allow me to follow in the footsteps of my grandfather.” Foster graduated from Jesuit High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

The Tonkon scholarship was originally established in 1987 by Portland’s Tonkon Torp law firm in memory of cofounder Moe Tonkon, who died in 1984 at the age of 78. Tonkon was an alumnus of Northwestern School of Law (Lewis & Clark Law School), earning his J.D. in 1928. He became a prominent citizen in Portland, receiving numerous awards for his civic and professional activities, including Lewis & Clark Law School’s Distinguished Graduate Award and the Aubrey R. Watzek Award from Lewis & Clark College.

In December 2003, the firm enhanced the scholarship to also honor cofounder, Frederick Torp, who died on Sept. 15, 2003 at the age of 89. Torp, a leading Portland business lawyer, began his law career with Davis, Auerbach and Cornell in New York City from 1938 through 1942. Relocating to Portland in 1946, he joined the firm now known as Stoel Rives. In 1974, he cofounded Tonkon Torp. Torp specialized in tax, corporate and banking law and represented a number of major Oregon public and family businesses. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and his L.L.B. from Columbia University Law School.

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