Thursday, December 04, 2008

How Much Is The Name On A Law School Selling For These Days?

About $35 million. That's how much a very generous contribution from Indianapolis businessman and IU School of Law at Bloomington alumnus Michael "Mickey" Mauer will earn him the honor of having the law school named in his honor. The university announced it will change the name of the law school to the Michael Maurer School of Law after Mauer agreed to donate $35 million towards law school scholarships, the largest gift in the law school's history. About ten years ago, the widow of Lawrence Inlow contributed $5 million towards the construction of IU School of Law at Indianapolis' new law school building, allowing the building to carry his name. Inlow actually graduated from Harvard Law School.

This is not in any way meant to denigrate Mauer's kind contribution to the school, but I can't help but ask if graduates of the law school might not resist being referred to as a graduate of the Michael Mauer School of Law rather than Indiana University School of Law. Not to take anything away from Mauer, but the average person doesn't know Mauer from Adam. Arizona State University, for example, recently renamed its law school in honor of the nation's first female Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor. The school is now called The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU. As a graduate of IU School of Law at Indianapolis, I'm well aware that Bloomington law school graduates don't like having their school confused with the Indianapolis law school, which they believe is inferior. Similarly, graduates of the Indianapolis law school detest any references to IUPUI, the campus on which the school sits because it makes it sound like it's a commuter school. Any thoughts?

5 comments:

Paul K. Ogden said...

This has to be a joke, right? I can't believe they did this.

Daniel said...

The similarities in the names has always been extremely annoying. At some point, one of the schools was going to change the name and I'm fairly surprised it was Bloomington and not Indy. The best time to change an established, but problematic, brand-name is when one is given a big pile of money to do so. And that's what IU was given.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I'm sorry, Daniel, I do not like the idea of naming the school after an indivdual because that indivdual gave a lot of money as opposed to the person's accomplishments.

I would point out though that it is inevitable that the Michael (Mickey) Mauer School of Law will be called the Mickey Mouse School of Law. You can bet on it.

IndyPaul said...

It will still be Indiana University - Mauer School of Law. The School is still a part of the IU system. Similarly, I attended University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law.

iPOPA said...

I'm not a fan of the notion of selling ANY building's naming rights for cash. It's always been (and always will be) the "Hoosier Dome," regardless of what RCA and Lucas Oil do. Likewise, it's always going to be the IU- Bloomington School of Law. As AI said, not to denigrate in any way Mr. Mauer's civic legacy, but you'll never hear me call that building the Micky Mauer anything. Also, I don't know any IU-B grads who think they're better than their Indy counterparts.