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BREAKING: Maurer donates $35M to IU law

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Indianapolis attorney and businessman Michael Maurer is giving $35 million to the Indiana University School of Law in Bloomington, which has been renamed in his honor.

The gift, the largest in the law school's history to come from a single donor, will fund an undetermined number of scholarships. Because the donation comes during IU's $1 billion Matching the Promise fundraising campaign, the university will match investment income from the gift in perpetuity.

"I have always thought I had a duty to give back," said Maurer, who graduated from the law school in 1967. He said he received a small academic scholarship in his second year and went on to a 20-year career practicing "any kind of law that had to do with numbers." Maurer, 65, founded the Carmel law firm Maurer Rifkin & Hill PC but no longer practices.

Starting in the 1970s, Maurer and his business partner Robert Schloss built cable television systems in Indiana and Michigan. The partners later bought three local radio stations, which they sold in 2004 to Entercom Communications Corp. for $73.5 million.

Maurer and Schloss are partners in IBJ Corp., owner and publisher of Indianapolis Business Journal, Court and Commercial Record, and Indiana Lawyer. Maurer is chairman of The National Bank of Indianapolis, which he co-founded in 1993.

Law school served him well in business ventures, Maurer said. "Examining issues, evaluating positions - these are good things to learn if you're going into business."

Maurer has a long history of supporting the law school. He chaired its first capital campaign in the 1990s. About 10 years ago, he donated $1 million to support a professorship.

Maurer said he wanted to make a more meaningful gift during the capital campaign, which ends June 30, 2010, and IU offered him the chance to name the law school. Noting that he entered IU law with one of the lowest undergraduate grade-point averages in the class, Maurer said, "The irony of it kind of tickled me."

The new name, the Michael Maurer School of Law at Indiana University, is effective today.

Maurer is one of several central Indiana business leaders who have given huge sums to IU in recent years. In 1997, longtime Steak n Shake Chairman E.W. Kelley gave $23 million to the business school, which was renamed in his honor.

In November 2006, shopping mall developer Melvin Simon and his wife, Bren, gave $50 million to the IU Foundation for the Simon Cancer Center at IUPUI.

Maurer will make his donation over time, with an undisclosed portion coming from his estate after his death.

"This exceptional gift builds upon the law school's foundation of excellence," University President Michael McRobbie said in a statement. "It will enable Indiana law to continue to attract top students and to propel them into the legal profession with outstanding preparation for a broad array of professional options."

U.S. News and World Report's latest ranking of law schools places IU 36th in the nation.

Maurer's gift brings the law school's fundraising during the capital campaign to $83 million. Last December, Lilly Endowment donated $25 million for faculty recruitment. IU will match income from that gift, as well.

University spokesman Larry MacIntrye said criteria for the Michael and Janie Maurer Scholarship, named for Maurer and his wife, are still undecided.

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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