Preserving the History of BU Law in a Digital Gallery

For many years, portraits of BU Law alumni and faculty and historic memorabilia from the School of Law hung on the walls of the Law Tower, thanks in large part to the dedicated efforts of Margo Hagopian, who worked at BU Law from 1947 to 2006. In 2014, as we prepared for the renovation of the tower, we had to remove all of these items, returning as many of the portraits as possible to alumni and their families.

William-Clarence-Matthews

William Clarence Matthews (1908), dubbed the “Jackie Robinson of his age.”

Executive Assistant Steph Creag (CFA’15) and BU student Tami Gabriely (CAS’16) took photographs of all of the portraits and catalogued them for a digital repository, now available online in our BU Law Portrait Gallery. Alumni are grouped by graduation year, going all the way back to the 1800s, and many of our faculty, including all of the winners of the Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, are included. The site also includes some interesting historical images like an 1888 reunion invitation, a 1922 photograph of the BU Law Review staff, and a drawing of Issac Rich Hall—the law school’s first home.

Of course, I have my own favorites! A photo of William Clarence Matthews (Class of 1908), dubbed the “Jackie Robinson of his age,” hangs in my office. He was a Harvard baseball star who played pro ball in Vermont for one season in 1905, becoming the only African American in the professional baseball leagues at that time. Portraits of other notable BU Law alumni including Emanuel Hewlett, Takeo Kikcuhi, Lelia Robinson, and Clara Burrill Bruce are on display throughout the Redstone building and law tower.

Over the coming year, we will continue to add artwork to the School. I hope you will visit us on campus or take a virtual tour of our online gallery.

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