Law School Groundbreaking Ceremony
September 11, 2009
It is my great honor to live and work in the neighborhood of the Law Quadrangle, which has graced our campus since its completion in 1933.
The Law Quad, as we know it, is truly the architectural jewel in the University’s crown. Anyone who has visited Ann Arbor has probably strolled through the Law Quad, just as Garrison Keillor did when he taped his radio show here in June 2008. He later remarked on the air, “You could film Romeo and Juliet there, or film scenes from Elizabethan England – it made you want to go to law school, actually.”
And in fact, many prospective law students who have visited the Quad have ended up choosing Michigan Law for just that reason!
Even people who have never been to Ann Arbor – who know the University of Michigan campus only from seeing it on TV during halftimes of sporting events – have seen the Law Quad.
These magnificent buildings are an important and beloved part of the University landscape. I believe the new facilities will be a wonderful complement, to the Law Quad and to the University. It will be exciting to watch them take shape.
But the Law Quad is much more than a physical building, beautiful as it is, and the additions have much greater importance for the Law School and the University than mere cosmetics. They will help ensure that Michigan Law remains a world leader among law schools for generations to come.
Throughout the University, we are working to extend Michigan’s global reach. The Law School has had an international role since the first group of Japanese students came here to study in the 1870s.
Today, the awareness that we all live and work in a global community is firmly embedded in the Michigan Law curriculum, and illustrated so well in its anniversary slogan,“150 Years of Global Leadership in Law.” By strengthening the Law School and expanding its work, these new facilities will lead to even greater international stature.
I want to thank Dean Evan Caminker for his leadership and his tireless energy in moving this project forward.
I particularly want to note that he has done so amid the most difficult economic times this country has known since the Law Quad was completed during the Great Depression.
To all those who have made gifts to support this project – and I know there are hundreds of you – a very special thank you. Your generosity speaks to both the scope and the tremendous loyalty of the Law School’s network of alumni and friends.
And I salute you all, as we celebrate the storied past, distinguished present, and very bright future of the University of Michigan Law School by breaking ground for these important new facilities.