A Most Excellent Friendship
Law school classmates and lifelong friends Marvin Blum and Talmage Boston, both Class of 1978, came together to create one of the first Endowment for Excellence Scholarships in Law. This is their story.
“Not only did we get a great education, but incredible friendships that stayed with us our entire lives.” That’s how Talmage Boston ’78 starts a conversation about his time at Texas Law. “Friendships forged amidst the daily adventures inside and outside of Townes Hall.”
Boston, a successful commercial trial and appellate litigator at Winstead in Dallas, was always passionate about his law school years, but he wasn’t always involved as a donor. Then he got a chance to get to know the new dean, Ward Farnsworth.
“We found ourselves together at a Nationals baseball game.” There, they discussed not only a shared love of baseball, but the big challenge facing the law school in a new era of higher tuition and reduced support from the legislature: the lack of scholarship funds to compete with peer institutions.
“The need was clear: outstanding students were going elsewhere.” Boston began to turn the challenge—and the opportunity—over in his mind. That’s where Marvin Blum came in.
“My years at law school were years of relationships and memorable moments. The Class of ’78 had a magical chemistry,” recalls Blum, founder of The Blum Firm, the largest estate planning firm in Texas. A big part of that chemistry for Blum was his friendship with Boston.
“At law school, a lot of what you learn is outside the classroom. Our business is a people business. The value of emotional intelligence and empathy is what prepares you for success in life. The person I learned most from was Talmage.”
Boston was confident Blum would be open to his big idea: that they partner for a $100,000 Endowed Scholarship in Law. But the naturally conservative Blum wasn’t initially convinced. “My initial gut reaction was actually to say no.”
Boston wasn’t deterred. “I said, ‘I think this is important for us. The dean really cares about alumni relationships, and I want this endowment to honor our relationship, which was made possible by the law school.’”
Blum began to see the opportunity in a new light. “After law school, I took a bold step for that time in opening my own firm. In a way, it was Talmage’s boldness that inspired me to believe I could do that. A scholarship to honor our friendship? That was an easy yes.”
Both men have legacy on their minds. “The two things that matter the most are relationships and making memorable moments,” muses Blum. “You can’t buy those with money, really, but you can foster it for other people with your resources.”
Boston wants to repay his debt to the school by supporting the next generation of students. “The economic circumstances couldn’t have been better for all of us, and that was a factor in why we thrived. We all had the energy and the desire to give it our best every day for three years. The scholarship is an expression of our desire to give back to an institution that has given us so much.”
Blum sums it up this way: “At Texas Law, we planted an acorn and it grew. It’s time now to plant another acorn.”