Law School alum commits $20M for need‑based scholarships


Alumnus John Hoyns has committed $20 million to the Law School to fund annual scholarships that prioritize students with financial need.

The gift is among the largest in the Law School’s history.

The John K. Hoyns Scholarship Fund will establish the Hoyns Scholars program. Recipients will be awarded the cost of tuition as well as all associated expenses, including living costs, for the duration of their time at the Law School.

A photo of John Hoyns
John Hoyns

“My gift will be applied to law students lowest on the economic ladder who, even if their family is able to make some financial contribution, still can’t afford the Law School without incurring significant debt,” Hoyns said.

Hoyns said he was motivated to establish the new scholarship fund because he knows firsthand the impact financial support can have on a student’s education.

“When I arrived at the Law Quad as a first-year student, it was surprising to see how much more demanding law school is than college,” he said. “All students at the Law School should be focused on learning the law without the distraction of finding money for expenses.

“Thanks to the generosity of Michigan, I was given a full scholarship. I’ve always felt that the Law School and the scholarships granted to me were critical to my success as a lawyer. I wanted to provide the same opportunity to others.”

Hoyns, a 1979 graduate, has given annually to the Law School for more than four decades, and his previous gifts include a $150,000 commitment in honor of his 40th class reunion.

“We are so grateful for the extraordinary generosity of John’s gift,” said Mark D. West, the David A. Breach Dean of Law and Nippon Life Professor of Law. “John will provide critical support to scores of students for generations to come, ensuring that the enduring value of a Michigan Law education is more accessible to our incredibly talented students.”

After graduating from the Law School, Hoyns joined the New York office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed as a corporate generalist before focusing his practice on the aviation industry.

He has represented clients such as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, Republic Airways, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, and others on complex finance structures and operational agreements.

Hoyns served for many years as chair of Hughes Hubbard’s corporate department and of its aviation group. He retired in 2022 after more than 40 years with the firm.


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