IU Celebrates Naming of Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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Robert H. McKinney
Robert H. McKinney


Oct. 18, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of university and school dignitaries, administrators, faculty, staff, and students are expected to gather Friday (October 19) to mark the official naming of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in recognition and honor of Indianapolis attorney, banker, and civic leader, Robert H. McKinney. In December 2011, McKinney made the largest gift ever received by the school and one of the largest in legal education. His gift of $24 million, along with matching funds committed through the IUPUI IMPACT fundraising campaign, brings the total value of the gift to $31.5 million.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie will preside over the ceremony in the atrium of Lawrence W. Inlow Hall at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., the event will feature remarks from President McRobbie, IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz, IU McKinney School of Law Dean Gary R. Roberts, IU School of Philanthropy Founding Dean Eugene R. Tempel, Associate Professor of Law Carlton M. Waterhouse, law student Nabeela Virjee, and McKinney.

“Bob McKinney has had a remarkable and multi-faceted career and distinguished himself at the highest level in a number of fields. As an IU Trustee in particular he had a deep commitment to academic and professional excellence,” McRobbie said. “His exceptionally generous and transformative gift will play a major role in enhancing the standing and quality of our already well-respected law school in Indianapolis and build upon the school's legacy of producing leaders of local, national and international prominence. We are extremely grateful for Bob's generosity and support.”

Housed in Inlow Hall on the IUPUI campus, the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law is the largest law school in Indiana, with more than 1,000 students. The school has enjoyed great success for more than 100 years in preparing students for legal careers.

“As a businessman, lawyer, and civic leader, Bob McKinney saw the impact of the school and its alumni grow,” said Chancellor Bantz. “His gift is both a vote of confidence and a challenge to the McKinney School to greater excellence and impact for the 21st century and beyond.”

The school’s more than 10,000 alumni reside in every U.S. state and several foreign countries. Approximately 80 CEOs of companies headquartered in Indiana are alumni of the school, as are the chief of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, a former U.S. vice president and members of Congress. In recent years, the school has strengthened its offerings in such areas as public health, intellectual property law, state and local government law, environmental law and international law.

“Bob McKinney’s gift is transformational for the law school. It provides for faculty chairs and student support to create an unparalleled resource with which to realize our aspirations: to become one of the finest public law schools in the nation,” said Roberts. “We are honored to have our school carry the name of such an outstanding individual—and it puts a special responsibility on all of us to make sure that he will always be proud of our school.”

Originally trained as an engineer, McKinney received his law degree from IU and also holds a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. Until his retirement in 2005, McKinney served as chairman and CEO of First Indiana Corp., parent company of First Indiana Bank (now known as MBO Harris Bank). He was also a founding partner of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, an Indianapolis law firm, from which he retired in 1992.

“If you are trying to help Indianapolis and the state of Indiana, this law school is a tremendous place to invest.  The school already has great faculty and a great location—it just needed support to make it one of the best schools in the country,” said McKinney. “I grew up in a family that encouraged giving back to the community and to society, and I am happy to be able to do that here.”

At IU, McKinney served as a trustee from 1989 to 1998 and was president of the Board of Trustees from 1993 to 1994. He was chairman of the Board of Advisors of IUPUI and is currently a director of the IU Foundation. McKinney's previous gifts to IU include the Robert H. McKinney Law Professorship and the Bose McKinney & Evans Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition, and contributions to the V. Sue Shields Scholarship, all in the IU Maurer School of Law. He has also contributed to the Conservation Law Center and the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

McKinney’s landmark gift is funding five endowed chairs to attract and retain nationally recognized scholar-teachers to the faculty. The gift will also create a $17.5 million endowment to fund McKinney Family Scholarships for outstanding students. Made through the IUPUI IMPACT campaign, McKinney’s gift will be administered and invested by the IU Foundation.