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Law School receives $21 million

Jen Rowling | Friday, August 26, 2005

On July 1, University President Father John Jenkins’ first day in office, Notre Dame alumnus Frank Eck announced he would contribute $21 million for the design and construction of a new building for the Notre Dame Law School, including a multipurpose center that will connect the new facility to the old law school building.

Not only was Eck’s donation the largest in the history of the Law School, but it also ranks as the fifth-largest gift ever given to Notre Dame.

The new construction, Eck Hall, will be located at the site of the old post office. Eck Commons, designed with arches, will connect the new building with the existing school.

Notre Dame Law School was founded in 1869 and is the nation’s oldest Catholic law school. Jen-kins said he believes the gift will help the law school advance.

“We need to build an addition to our law school. It’s important just to do the work for the law school, and that gift really put us forward,” said Jenkins. “I hope we can complete that funding soon, maybe even next year or so.”

Eck has made several previous gifts to Notre Dame – his contributions now total in excess of $35 million. His gifts have included a library collection in chemical engineering and construction of the Eck Tennis Pavilion in 1987, Frank Eck Baseball Stadium in 1994 and the Eck Center, which incorporated Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, visitor’s center and Alumni Association headquarters in 1999.

“Frank Eck is one of the most generous benefactors of the University, and it was very generous of him to choose my first day in office to give that gift,” Jenkins said. “I’m grateful to him. He just encourages me; we have such support here.”

Eck graduated from Notre Dame in 1944 with a degree in chemical engineering. He is currently a chairman of Advanced Drainage Systems in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1984 he has also been on the College of Engineering Advisory Council.