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William Arnold

Bill Arnold

Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations

B.A. Alma College
M.A. Michigan State University
Ph.D. Bowling Green State University


As director of advancement and alumni relations, I lead the law school’s effort to remain engaged and connected with its alumni and other constituents. In the process, we create networking opportunities for Cooley alumni to reinforce the shared commitment to exceptional legal practice while adhering to the highest legal, moral, ethical, and professional responsibility of lawyers. We work closely with the elected members of the Cooley National Alumni Board and the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association to provide events, services, and opportunities that best serve the needs of the alumni community. 

My 24-year career in higher education, including three years working at Cooley Law School, encompasses alumni engagement, advancement, academic affairs, teaching, student affairs, and enrollment. Before returning to Cooley in August 2021, I served as the senior director of alumni and family engagement at Alma College. In that role I fostered  relationships with and deepened the engagement of 14,000+ alumni, 3,000+ current family members, and thousands of other constituents of Alma College in support of the institution’s enrollment goals and its record setting $125M comprehensive campaign. 

Like every other private college and university, Cooley Law School exists as the result of philanthropy. From Judge Thomas E. Brennan and the small cadre of lawyers and judges who supplied the initial vision and the financial resources necessary to establish the law school to the hundreds of donors who provided gifts in the last fiscal year, Cooley depends on the generosity of those who believe in the school’s commitment to teaching knowledge, skills, and ethics and its founding premise “that the strength of a democracy depends upon the ability of people to understand their laws.” As the director for advancement and alumni relations, I am charged with sustaining and expanding that philanthropic tradition. However, success in achieving this goal requires an institution-wide effort and collective ownership of a  shared commitment to uphold the trust of successive generations of constituents. It is an honor and privilege to work hand in hand with generations of Cooley alumni, faculty, staff, and friends to ensure Cooley Law School’s distinctive approach to legal education and our commitment to opportunity, inclusivity, fairness, and equality is available to successive generations of students.

I am committed to understanding diverse perspectives and advocating for more inclusive and equitable institutional and campus environments. My doctoral research closely examined the experiences of newly hired, racial minority staff members at small, private liberal arts colleges in an effort to shed light on what was, at the time, a sparsely documented issue in higher education. I am inspired by the progress made in diversifying institutions of higher education. However, I know much work remains and I am committed to partnering with colleagues, students, and alumni in sustaining that progress.