News - Capital University Law School

Alger Scholarship Supports Civil Rights Advocates

6/27/2018  -  Elinor Reynolds Alger, L’79, spent a lifetime advocating for human rights. After she passed away in 2012, her son, Mark Alger, knew the best way to honor his mother’s memory would be to assist a Capital University Law School student with a like-minded passion.

The Elinor R. Alger Scholarship will ensure access to legal education for academically exceptional students interested in the defense of civil rights.

“Throughout her life, my mother fought for justice and sought to right wrongs,” said Mark Alger. “From her work with the Human Relations Commission and the League of Women Voters in Evanston, Illinois, to her position with the American Civil Liberties Union in Columbus, she gave a voice to those who previously had none.”

Elinor graduated from Ursinus College near Philadelphia with a bachelor of arts degree in Chemistry in 1947. Following her marriage to Chadwick F. Alger in 1948, and after having raised four children, she earned her law degree from Capital University in 1979.

She believed she could be a more effective advocate for civil liberties as an attorney, according to her son. In 1980, Elinor joined the staff of the ACLU, where she worked on cases involving election law, women’s rights, juvenile justice and prisoners’ rights. She became lead counsel for Stewart v. Rhodes during the appeals process, where she oversaw the lawsuit filed by the ACLU to close the Ohio Penitentiary due to inhumane conditions. The legal action eventually led to the prison’s closure in 1983.

“Elinor Alger’s life and career beautifully illustrate Capital’s mission,” said Dean Rachel M. Janutis. “She dedicated her professional life to protecting dignity and liberty of all individuals in her community. Through her legal education, she was able to realize this purpose to the fullest extent. This scholarship will honor her legacy by allowing future generations to continue her work on behalf of the vulnerable and marginalized.”

The Elinor R. Alger Scholarship gives preference to a part-time student who has worked with a nonprofit, agency or company involved in the area of civil liberties, or a full- or part-time student with a demonstrated interest in civil liberties. Students interested in applying for the scholarship should click here.

To donate to the Elinor R. Alger Scholarship, click here, or mail a check payable to “Capital University Law School,” to Office of Development, 303 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215.