George Mason University will rename its law school in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the university announced on Thursday.
The university said it was making the move to recognize $30 million in pledges to the university foundation. The money includes $20 million from a friend of the late justice and a $10 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. The gifts will finance three scholarship programs.
In a news release, Ángel Cabrera, George Mason’s president, called it a “milestone moment for the university.”
Justice Scalia, who died last month, was a leading member of the court’s conservative wing and often cut a divisive figure. One law professor at Georgetown University even argued against mourning the late justice, who was a Georgetown alumnus, in the days after he passed away, The Washington Post reported. The professor’s objection set off heated arguments over how to honor Justice Scalia’s legacy.
George Mason’s news release quoted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a colleague of Justice Scalia’s on the Supreme Court for more than two decades, as saying that naming the law school after him was a fine tribute. “Justice Scalia was a law teacher, public servant, legal commentator, and jurist nonpareil,” she said. “As a colleague who held him in highest esteem and great affection, I miss his bright company and the stimulus he provided, his opinions ever challenging me to meet his best efforts with my own.”
The law school — located in Arlington, Va., 13 miles east of the university’s main campus, in Fairfax — will now be known as the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University.