Dedicating Our New Law Library and Celebrating Our Alumni’s Accomplishments

Matthew Lee ('16), former BU Law Dean William Schwartz, Samuel Fineman, myself, and President Brown

Matthew Lee (’16), former BU Law Dean William Schwartz, Samuel Fineman, myself, and President Brown

Thank you to all of our alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends who joined us last month for a very special Reunion & Alumni Weekend. More than 100 visitors toured the newly renovated law tower, marveling at the transformation of our law school’s 50-year-old home. Fittingly, we paid homage that day to our law school’s distinguished history with the dedication of the Samuel M. Fineman Law Library in honor of former BU Law Dean William Schwartz and his wife Bernice.

At the ceremony, Samuel Fineman (JD’72, LLM ’87) recalled how he had first met Dean Schwartz (DGE’52, LAW’55, GRS’60) when he was a first-year law student, and how that first meeting turned into a lifelong friendship. As I listened to Sam express his admiration for Bill and Bernice Schwartz, I felt privileged to share the stage with the man who served BU Law as a professor for 25 years and as dean from 1980 to 1988.

Dean Schwartz speaking to the crowd

Dean Schwartz at the Fineman Library Dedication

In his remarks, Dean Schwartz recalled his days as a BU Law student and faculty member when the school was still located on Beacon Hill, and the excitement of the law school community when it first moved to BU’s Charles River campus. At the time, the tower housed both the Schools of Law and Education, with separate entrances and elevators for each. Today, we have Dean Schwartz to thank for convincing former BU President John Silber that the law school should occupy the entire tower.

Our student speaker, Matthew Lee (’16), thanked Sam Fineman for his generous gift to the law school and spoke about the importance of the new library to all of our students. BU President Robert Brown likened our law library to a crucial building tool that will help our students and faculty pursue critical legal scholarship.

President Brown, Christopher Strang ('05), Lt Col Robert Chatham ('95), Delida Costin ('95), Therese Enders, and myself

President Brown, Christopher Strang (’05), Lt Col Robert Chatham (’95), Delida Costin (’95), Therese Enders, and myself

On Saturday night, we held our Reunion Gala and Silver Shingle Awards Ceremony at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. I was honored to present the Young Lawyer’s Chair to Christopher Strang (’05), founding partner at Strang, Scott, Giroux & Young, and the Gerard H. Cohen Award to Therese Enders, senior program coordinator for our Office of Clinical and Advocacy Programs. After dinner, I was delighted to present Silver Shingles to USAF Lt. Colonel Robert Chatham (’95) for Service to the Community, and to former Pandora and lynda.com General Counsel Delida Costin (’95) for Service to the Profession.

Silver Shingle Awards at the Museum of Fine Arts

Silver Shingle Awards at the Museum of Fine Arts

I was particularly grateful to be able to honor President Brown with a Silver Shingle for Service to the School. He was instrumental in planning and financing our new home, convincing Sumner Redstone to make the lead gift, and ensuring that the university provided the resources that were needed to transform the law tower into the modern law school facility that it is now.

At the moment that I thought the awards presentation was complete, I was sincerely surprised and deeply touched when President Brown announced that the law school was presenting me with a Silver Shingle for Service to the School. It is an honor for which I am very grateful, and one that I accept on behalf of every member of the BU Law community who has helped make the law school the outstanding institution that it is today.

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