“Building the Future” Campaign Kick-Off

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On March 20th, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU revealed the plans for its new building during the kick-off of the Building the Future Campaign.  What a fantastic event!

Dean Doug Sylvester remarked, “The energy and excitement tonight truly underscore the excitement that has surrounded this law school in recent years.  Moving downtown forwards our mission in so many ways, and to finally be able to share the vision for the new building publicly was thrilling.”

Civic Space Park’s A.E.England Auditorium (only a block away from the future site of the Arizona Center for Law and Society—the law school’s new home in 2016) was transformed for the evening into an exhibit hall with renderings of the new building hanging high around the room.  As guests walked through the hall, they enjoyed various displays highlighting aspects of the new building.  The evolution of the building project could be seen in the original model produced by the architects when they were hoping to be selected for the project as well as in the blown-up image of the “napkin” drawings the architects sketched during their first meeting with Dean Sylvester.  From the images of the interior spaces and the blueprints to the interior design exhibit with carpet samples and design choices, the audience was thrilled to see the new facility that is going to advance the law school even further. 

Dean Sylvester unveiled an inspirational new video depicting the law schools journey from its founding in 1964 through the present.  That video, which can be viewed here, highlights the enormous opportunities presented by this project—opportunities for the College of Law, ASU, Phoenix, and the future of legal education.  It revealed ASU’s vision for reimagining legal education and its role with the public—to be truly transparent and engage the public in new ways. 

Perhaps the biggest reveal, though, was in Dean Sylvester’s announcement that during the silent phase of the “building the future” campaign (just 8 months), the law school has raised over $20 million.  This success dwarfs the record-breaking amounts raised in the last three years by the College of Law and makes clear the wide-spread enthusiasm for this project.  With this event, the public phase of the campaign is officially launched, and the goal to raise $50 million in five years is off to an exciting start.

From former U.S. Supreme Court Justice (and law school namesake) Sandra Day O’Connor and ASU President Michael Crow to the Phoenix elite of the legal community, approximately 300 of the who’s who of Phoenix came out for the event.  Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon attended, as did Arizona Supreme Court Justices Bales, Timmer, and Pelander.  The design architects from Ennead and the teams from Jones Studios and DPR were there to celebrate and share the work that they have done on this project so far.  Leila and Sam Armstrong were there to learn more about the move of Armstrong Hall with the College of Law.  Members of the campaign committees joined the festivities as well.  Leading the Business Committee are Paul Gilbert (who attended with his wife Susan) and Leo Beus.  The Law Committee is being chaired by Grant Woods who spoke to the audience about his support of the law school and the goals of the committee. 

ASU, the Phoenix legal community, and the public at large have such tremendous support for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and this event was a wonderful way to announce the next step in the evolution of those relationships.  Visit www.arizonacenterforlawandsociety.com to learn more.

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