October 20, 2009
Cooley Law School Announces $6 Million Library Expansion and $2 Million Scholarship Fund
Initiatives to be funded by newly announced Campaign for Knowledge
The Thomas M. Cooley Law School announced today that it will spend $6 million to expand its Lansing-campus library and $2 million to create a new scholarship fund for individuals with financial need. Each initiative will be funded, in part, by a newly announced fundraising effort called the Campaign for Knowledge.
"Cooley is committed to offering every individual who has the skills and desire to be an attorney with the opportunity to study and the very best environment in which to learn," said Don LeDuc, president and dean of Cooley Law School. "The library expansion and scholarship fund will allow us to do just that thanks,
in part, to wonderful contributions from Cooley’s alumni and friends."
More than $1.7 million has already been raised toward the library’s fundraising goal of $3 million. Cooley will match each donation amount to fully fund the expansion. More than 90 percent of the $1 million needed for the scholarship fund has been secured. Cooley will annually match the earnings on that fund to double the amount available to be distributed to students.
Lead gifts include:
• $1 million from Cooley alumnus G. Michael Stakias of Philadelphia
• $500,000 from the Midland-based Charles J. Strosacker Foundation
• More than $400,000 from the estate of the late Cooley Law School Associate Dean Marion Hilligan.
Following the expansion, the Thomas E. Brennan Law Library, 330 S. Washington Square, will nearly double in size to 138,927 square feet, becoming the nation’s second largest law school library in physical size.
The new library addition, called the Center for Research and Study, will be housed in the former Lansing Town Center building which Cooley has acquired and is renovating. It will provide greatly expanded research and study space. Seating for approximately 270 students will be added to the spacious study center on the upper floor of the two-story building, including two 38-seat classrooms and many private study rooms.
"This area will be the building’s hub for individual study, small group meetings and informal gatherings that enrich the educational experience at Cooley," said LeDuc.
The library also will offer 24-hour student access to the study hall on the first floor of the expansion. The area will have seating for more than 100 students and will include a 43-seat student lounge.
"Offering access to our library 24 hours a day is a great step for Cooley,” said LeDuc. “We need to be available when our students are available, and this expanded center will allow us to do so."
The new endowed scholarship fund will provide scholarships to third-year students who have substantial financial need. To be eligible for consideration, students must be in good academic standing and may not already be recipients of merit or other scholarships. Recipients will be selected based upon financial need and a demonstrated commitment to professionalism and public and school service.
Awards will be of up to 10 percent of tuition for up to 30 credit hours, beginning with the completion of 60 credit hours. Presently, about 56 percent of Cooley’s students receive scholarships. The new fund will increase that percentage significantly. Students who are selected but then become eligible for more merit scholarships will receive the scholarship that provides the highest amount.
The library expansion has already begun and is scheduled to open in January 2010. The scholarship likely will begin granting funds in 2010.
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, it operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Today, Cooley Law School has nearly 14,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.