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Rumberger environmental fellowship latest public interest scholarship at UF Law


GAINESEVILLE, Fla. – The legacy of one of Florida’s most influential environmental defenders will continue to thrive in the University of Florida Levin College of Law’s new E. Thom Rumberger Everglades Foundation Fellowship Program, which recently reached its fundraising goal of $300,000.

The fellowship was established in honor of UF Law alum Thom Rumberger (1932-2011) who devoted much of his career to fighting on behalf of the Florida environment – particularly the Everglades.

The Rumberger scholarship will give students the opportunity to work in public interest areas like Everglades restoration, in order to build a career.

“We’re going to have a permanent legacy of students who represent the kind of principled commitment and integrity that Thom Rumberger represented,” said Jon Mills, UF Law professor and director of the Center for Governmental responsibility, who worked with Rumberger on landmark environmental and constitutional cases.

Top contributors to the fellowship include the law firm of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, the Everglades Foundation and Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investment Corporation and chairman of the Everglades Foundation.

“Much of the Everglades policy of the past 25 years has been decided in the courts,” said Jones. “Many of her triumphs came on the broad shoulders of her finest legal advocate, Thom Rumberger, which is why this fellowship in honor of this great man and our dear friend is so appropriate.”

At a fundraising event in February, which included former Gov. Buddy MacKay, Debbie Rumberger called the scholarship an apt send off for her late husband.

“This is such a fitting legacy for him and on behalf of the family,” she said. “I want to thank you from the bottom of our heart.”

The Rumberger Fellowship is the latest addition to UF Law’s public interest scholarships, which include the Bill McBride Public Interest Practice Fellowship and the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship.

The newly announced recipients of the McBride Fellowship will be UF Law students Marissa Fallica, who will intern at the U.S. Department of Education for Civil Rights in Atlanta, and Patrick Todd, who will intern at the Department of Justice Environmental Tort Litigation Branch in Washington, D.C.

The recipients of the Stevens Fellowship are UF Law students Joshua Izaak, who will work as a Democratic National Committee Voter Protection legal intern in Washington, D.C. and Kaylee Chabarek, who will intern with the U.S. Army JAG Corps in Fort Hood, Texas.


Matt Walker, UF Law Communications

Rick Goldstein, UF Law Communications

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