Dean’s Message: Fall 2005

Found in Fall 2005 issue of UF Law magazine.

No doubt, those first law students in 1909 would have smiled upon the recent celebration that brought together U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, students, faculty, alumni and friends to commemorate one of the most important events in our college’s history — completion of a major construction project that transforms virtually all of our academic space. What had become an antiquated environment is now greatly expanded and updated, and it makes statement about what is most important to us — our academic mission.

The two new education towers and two existing buildings frame the courtyard to provide a cohesive design. The newly configured Marcia Whitney Schott Courtyard promotes interaction among students, faculty and staff and becomes the school’s physical and spiritual center. Architectural accommodations beyond those federally mandated sustain the dignity of all who use our facilities. Sophisticated technologies at the desks of students and podiums of teachers advance the actual process of learning. Our library, now named the Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center, is the largest in the Southeast.

Most of all, this well-designed physical space will make a profound difference in the quality of learning, and will enable future generations of Florida lawyers to increase their productivity, creativity and accomplishments.

Just as the trust of those original students was well placed, we will do our utmost to ensure that future generations will say that the generous financial support and the faith from the university, the state of Florida, and our alumni and friends, all of whom made our new facilities a reality, was well placed. To all those who have contributed so generously to our college in so many different ways, we are profoundly grateful, and we promise to do our utmost to be worthy of your continued support.

– Robert H. Jerry, II
Dean; Levin, Mabie and Levin Professor