Albany Law School Receives Significant Gift to Establish Women’s Leadership Initiative

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Albany Law School announced today that it has received a gift from trustee Kimberly C. (K.C.) Petillo-Décossard ’05 and her husband, Sakis Décossard, to establish the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) is an innovative effort by Albany Law School’s Career and Professional Development Center and Office of Alumni Engagement, which will work together to:

  • arrange leadership training opportunities for students and alumnae;
  • organize networking events and integration with the law school’s Alumni Initiative in Mentoring program; and
  • develop a fellowship program.

The WLI will draw on the partnership and counsel of senior partners and alumni leaders throughout the country, particularly in the Capital Region and New York City.

“This is a program that will empower our women lawyers to lean in, make connections, and be the best they can be. We are deeply grateful to K.C. and Sakis for making it possible,” said President and Dean Alicia Ouellette. “The Women’s Leadership Initiative will make a big impact on the lives of our students, both personally and professionally, as they enter the workforce as new attorneys.”

In the coming months, the law school will be working with alumni and friends to build additional support for the Women’s Leadership Initiative. Petillo-Décossard, a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, has also committed her time to inspire philanthropy and volunteerism for this exciting new effort.

“Since Kate Stoneman, the first woman admitted to practice law in New York State, graduated from Albany Law in 1898, thousands of Albany Law alumnae, including myself, have stood on the shoulders of the successful women who preceded us, earning our own victories, and normalizing female success for the young women who follow us,” Petillo-Décossard said. “Sakis and I are thrilled to be a part of Albany Law’s continuing tradition of supporting women in the law.”

This commitment marks the ninth new endowed fund established during We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School.  Innovation is a key pillar of the campaign; gifts that are geared toward inventive programming make the legal education—and the student experience—at Albany Law School even stronger.

The law school has secured more than $27 million in gifts and commitments toward We Rise Together: The Campaign for Albany Law School. The historic campaign, announced in 2019, is an ambitious fundraising effort to support student scholarships, innovation, and programs that make an impact on the community.