The Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington officially became the Michael Maurer School of Law on Thursday. The name change honors Michael S. “Mickey” Maurer, a 1967 graduate and longtime supporter of the school who has endowed a $35 million scholarship fund.
Lauren Robel, dean of the law school, said the scholarships would “help us secure our place in the highest echelon of law schools nationwide.”
Maurer’s gift is the largest ever to the law school from an individual donor and the largest single gift received during the school’s ongoing fundraising campaign. In December 2007, the school received a $25 million grant from the Lilly Endowment for faculty recruitment.
Maurer’s gift is certain to rank among the largest to any law school. By comparison, the two largest donations to Harvard Law School during its recently concluded $400 million capital campaign were each for $25 million. The donations were made by Finn Caspersen and the family of Bruce Wasserstein.
Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School, among others, reported record donations in 2007, before the onset of the economic crisis. None of those schools, when contacted Thursday, was able to estimate donations to date this year.
“We don’t yet have a complete picture of where matters stand regarding money raised since the close of the (five-year fundraising) campaign or since the
onset of the financial downturn,” said Robb London, director of communications for Harvard Law School. “Those tabulations will be made after the turn of the year.”
Maurer’s career as an attorney and entrepreneur included ventures in cable television, film production, radio broadcasting, newspaper publishing, government service and banking. He has been honored repeatedly for his support of both Indiana University and the School of Law-Bloomington. Maurer chaired the law school’s first and highly successful capital campaign during the 1990s. Maurer described his gift as saying “thank you to an institution that made possible the success I have enjoyed in my legal and business career.”
The scholarships will be called the Michael and Janie Maurer Scholarships. Although the name of the law school was officially changed on Thursday, a renaming ceremony will be held in the spring.