Christmas came early for the fledgling Indiana Tech Law School, which is slated to open its doors next fall in Fort Wayne.

An anonymous donor has given a “significant library collection” to the school, according to administrators. The benefactor is a businessman outside the state who acquired the library from a law school that never achieved American Bar Association accreditation, they said.

The books are being stored in eight tractor-trailers, while microfiche material is in climate-controlled storage, Indiana Tech Law Dean Peter Alexander said.

“The collection is up to date through 2006, so it’s not entirely current. But it’s a great start,” he said. The school hasn’t completed a full inventory yet and doesn’t know what the library is worth. However, administrators had budgeted $2 million to acquire a law library and $750,000 per year to maintain it. The donation amounts to big savings, Alexander said.

Many would-be donors have contacted the law school offering small portions of their law libraries, he said, but administrators felt a few books here and there would be of limited use.

“This donor heard about our school and asked his staff to get in touch with us,” Alexander said. “When I heard it was a complete library collection, we took notice. I went there to check out the collection and was very impressed.”

The donation isn’t the only major development. Construction on a 70,000 square-foot, $15 million building got underway last May and is slated to wrap up two months ahead of time, in May 2013. The faculty plans to move in in June.

The law school is in its inaugural admissions cycle. It admitted its first student in November through an early admissions program, and another 30 people are in the process of applying, Alexander said. He expects to have about 100 students in the inaugural class.

“The applications are coming in, but January tends to be the big month for applications, since many students wait until after finals to apply,” he said.

Alexander is nearly finished with hiring the founding faculty. Ten full-time faculty members have been hired, with one position remaining. He has hired about half of the 20 staff members needed to get the school off the ground.

“We’re a little ahead of where we thought we’d be right now,” he said.

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