UM Law School receives $3 million from Charles T. Munger for lighting improvements
Charles T. Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has made a $3 million gift to the University of Michigan Law School for lighting improvements in the Law Quadrangle, a campus landmark dating from 1922-33.
The gift will help fund lighting upgrades in public areas of the William W. Cook Legal Research Building, including the Reading Room – listed as one of America’s 150 most famous buildings in a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects – and of Hutchins Hall, a classroom building. The lighting project was approved today by the U-M Board of Regents. Work will begin soon and is scheduled for completion in 2009, when the Law School celebrates its 150th anniversary.
“Charlie Munger is one of the world’s most knowledgeable and respected investment managers,” said President Mary Sue Coleman. “We are grateful that he has chosen to invest his visionary gift to enhance the beauty and functionality of one of the University’s signature buildings, the William W. Cook Law Quadrangle.”
Law School Dean Evan Caminker said Munger’s gift will result in a dramatic improvement of the student experience.
“Our beautiful and grand Gothic buildings create one of the most inspiring settings for higher education anywhere in the country, but traditional Gothic architecture often undervalues the importance of interior lighting, and hence leaves its inner beauty underappreciated,” said Caminker. “Thanks to Charlie, the public areas of the Law School will be more cheerful, bright, and accessible than at any time in the school’s history. After these improvements, students, alumni, and visitors will be able to see all the wonderful architectural details in the Reading Room and other areas in a new light, so to speak. We are deeply appreciative of this generous gift.”
Since his days as an undergraduate student at the U-M, Munger has always had an appreciation for the Law Quadrangle, which was dedicated June 15, 1934. This unique gift resulted from his recognition that he could add the greatest value to the historic complex through improving its lighting for future generations of students.
A native of Omaha, Neb., Munger studied mathematics at Michigan in the 1940s. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1948 and founded the Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson, with which he was associated until 1965.
Munger lives in Los Angeles.
Highlights of the work at the Law School include the refurbishment of the chandeliers in the Reading Room and the cleaning of its Reading Room’s 60-foot vaulted ceiling. In addition, the 1930s-era wiring in all the public areas of Hutchins Hall and the Legal Research Building will be replaced and new fixtures installed.