Extending the Tradition of Leadership and Vision: The Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

IU School of Law-Indianapolis
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana
December 1, 2011

Introduction and Acknowledgements

Thank you all for coming this afternoon.

Let me begin by offering a special welcome to IU Trustees: MaryEllen Bishop, a graduate of the IU School of Law at Indianapolis, who is here with her son John, a current student at the school; Phil Eskew, who is here with his daughter Kelly, a graduate of the school; and Cora Griffin, our student trustee.

I would also like to recognize a number of other distinguished guests: Indiana Senator Brandt Hershman, Majority Whip representing District 7, and other legislators and elected officials who may have joined us this afternoon; Chief Justice Randall Shepard and other members of the Indiana and federal judiciary.

Today I am delighted to announce that Robert H. McKinney has given to the Indiana University Law School at Indianapolis a gift of $24 million, which, along with accompanying matching funds, brings the total value of the gift to the law school to $31.5 million. This is the largest gift in the history of the school and one of the largest private gifts in the history of the university, and it will have a transformative effect on teaching and research here as well as providing major support for students. In honor of this gift, the IU School of Law in Indianapolis will henceforth be known as the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. We are so delighted that many members of Bob’s family and his friends and associates could be here on this important day.

Testimony to Leadership

It is nearly impossible to find an area within the state of Indiana’s legal, government, business, and civic leadership not impacted by graduates of this school. That the school has been able to educate so many local, state, and national leaders over so many years is a tribute to the school’s history of strong and committed leadership, including, among others, former deans Susie Mead, Bill Harvey, Norm Lefstein, and Jerry Bepko, all of whom—I understand—are with us here this afternoon. I am delighted that they could join us for this wonderful milestone. I would also like to pay special tribute to Dean Gary Roberts for bringing such energy, focus, and enthusiasm to this matter on behalf of the school.

A Tribute to Bob McKinney

Bob McKinney’s extremely generous gift continues in that tradition of leadership and vision. His generosity will allow the school to strengthen its programs at the same time as it makes an IU education even more affordable.

As a result of this gift, the school will add five endowed chairs to recruit and retain nationally recognized scholar-teachers to the school’s faculty. This includes a new endowed chair in environmental law, an issue about which Bob cares deeply. Along with the school’s existing outstanding faculty, these new positions will enable the school to further strengthen its programs in key strategic areas. At the same time, it will create a substantial number of McKinney Family Scholarships that will enable many outstanding law students to attend the McKinney School and hold down the cost of their education.

This gift gains greater meaning because of Bob’s longstanding connections to and support of Indiana University. After his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Bob earned his law degree from Indiana University Bloomington. As part of this, he also took many of his courses in Indianapolis, developing what he calls “a love for the place.”

He served for a decade on the Indiana University Board of Trustees, including a year as the board president. He serves on the IU Foundation Board of Directors and on the IUPUI Board of Advisors, including service as chairman of that board. Bob served as a director of Clarian Health Partners, Inc. and chairman of its Finance, Planning & Human Resources Committee.

Of course, Bob’s service and expertise extends well beyond Indiana University. He is not only one of the founding partners of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, but he has also been a highly successful leader in the Indianapolis business community for decades. In addition, he has served the state of Indiana as well as the nation with administrative positions and presidential appointments reaching back to the Carter Administration.

For his many achievements and contributions, Bob has received honorary doctor of law degrees from Butler University and Marian College, where he has served as a trustee, and he is also a Master Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Conclusion: “My Greatest Accomplishment”

Bob, himself, has said that he feels his greatest accomplishment is his family, so in closing I will turn to them. At Bob’s 2005 retirement party, his daughter, Marni, described the values he instilled in his five children, which include, among other things, education, service, integrity, adventure, family, and cherishing what we are given.1

Bob, on behalf of Indiana University, let me say how deeply grateful we are to you and your family for your generosity and support. We will cherish this gift, using it to help the McKinney School of Law reach new heights. It is with great pride that we name the school in your honor.

Source Notes

  1. Maurer, Michael. “Banker’s Exit Won’t End Good Deeds.” U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation Website. www.usna.com. Posted 1 Aug. 2007. Accessed 28 Nov. 2011.