June 28, 2013

WareGiftLes Ware and Amy Abboud Ware (left) have given $1 million to SMU Dedman School of Law not only to establish an endowed professorship at their alma mater, but also to reinvest in their home city of Dallas. “Great cities need great universities, and great universities need great professors,” Amy Ware says. “They make the city a better place.”

Though the gift is from the couple, Les Ware says it was clear why the Amy Abboud Ware Professorship should bear his wife’s name. “Amy left a successful practice to raise our four children. I wanted to honor her legal accomplishments,” he says of her criminal defense work, which led to her being named one of the first female presidents of the Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

The Wares support several law school programs and funds, including the Amy Abboud and Leslie Ware Emergency Loan Fund, the Dedman School of Law Symposium on Emerging Intellectual Property Issues, the Law Dean’s Discretionary Fund, the Law Library Book Fund, and law school class reunions. They also contribute to the SMU Fund, Meadows School of the Arts and Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Les Ware founded The Ware Firm, with offices in Dallas and Marshall, Texas, which specialized in patent and intellectual property and telecommunications law. He founded PanOptis IP, a patent acquisition and management firm, and owns private real estate investment and development firms.

The Wares serve on the executive board and campaign steering committee for Dedman School of Law; Amy Ware serves on the campaign steering committee for Dedman College.

Through the Amy and Les Ware Foundation, the couple supports children’s health, education and shelter. Amy Ware also has served on the board of trustees for St. Mark’s School of Texas, has been a member of the Dallas Museum Art League and a trustee for Dallas Children’s Theatre.

The Wares, both under 50, hope their gift will inspire other young professionals to give to SMU, says Amy Ware ’87, ’90, who holds a B.A. in foreign languages and a B.F.A. in communication arts from SMU and a J.D. from Dedman School of Law. Les Ware ’89, ’92 holds a B.S. in political science from SMU and a J.D. from Dedman School of Law.

The Wares say their time at SMU not only allowed them to succeed in their careers but also led to their meeting, marrying and building a family, a combination they say has been “the ultimate gift.”