College of Law celebrates 40 years with auditorium makeover

August 16, 2012 | News, UToday
By Samantha Watson

Not much has changed about the auditorium since it first opened after the $3,265,000 Law Center was dedicated Dec. 9, 1972.

This rendering from Buehrer Group Architecture and Engineering Inc., Maumee, shows what the Richard and Jane McQuade Law Auditorium may look like when the renovation is finished.

Come this September, speakers and guests who come to the Law Center Auditorium will see a more modern atmosphere, thanks to renovations that will replace, among other things, the goldenrod benches that have seated curious patrons for 40 years.

During the past four decades, patrons have seen a diverse group of speakers from U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens and even U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

“I think the space is going to be good for the whole University because many of our speaker series are open to the public,” said Jessica Mehl, assistant dean of law admissions. “I think people will be really impressed with what they see when they come over from other departments within the University.”

After renovations are complete, the auditorium will have a similar look and feel of a sophisticated courtroom. It also will feature updated audio-visual equipment and a new, handicap-accessible stage.

As part of the renovation, College of Law friends and alumni are able to purchase a chair in the auditorium to be named as part of their “Please Be Seated” campaign that began in July. Plates will be placed on the arm of each named chair and may be engraved in honor of a favorite professor, in memory of a loved one, or with the donor’s name, year of graduation or the name of the donor’s organization.

The ceremony to dedicate the Richard and Jane McQuade Law Auditorium will be held Monday, Sept. 10, in recognition of a generous donation by UT supporters Judge Richard McQuade and his wife, Jane McQuade.

The McQuades’ recent gift to the College of Law is the latest in the couple’s long history of philanthropy and service to The University of Toledo. Judge McQuade recently served as University trustee, and Jane McQuade is a member of UT’s Women and Philanthropy Committee.

Past gifts by the pair have funded the McQuade Courtroom, a teaching courtroom used by the Paralegal Studies Program in the Health and Human Services Building. Jane McQuade also created the Interview Suit Award to provide four Toledo law students who might not otherwise have the means with tailored suits as they interview for future employment.

For more information on the “Please Be Seated” campaign or UT Law Center renovations, check out

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