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ND Law dedicates renovated hall

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Law School Briefs

Law School Briefs is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight news from law schools in Indiana. While we have always covered law school news and will continue to keep up with law school websites and press releases for updates, we’ll gladly accept submissions for this section from law students, professors, alums, and others who want to share law school-related news. If you’d like to submit news or a photo from an event, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger, rberfanger@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

Notre Dame Law School’s completely renovated Biolchini Hall of Law was dedicated earlier this month. After a mass of celebration in the Basilica at Notre Dame, Fr. John Jenkins blessed the building.

The hall was named following a $15 million gift from Robert Biolchini and his wife Fran in honor of the Biolchini family.

The Biolchinis dedicated The Biolchini Hall of Law “to their six children and to all those who study here, seeking God’s Justice through Faith and the Rule of Law.” Of the Biolchini’s six children, five are Notre Dame graduates.

A number of other benefactors also gave to support the renovation. Among the guests at the private dinner and reception was Supreme Court of the United States Justice Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.

The renovated Biolchini Hall of Law is connected by a covered archway and student commons to the Law School’s new Eck Hall of Law. Biolchini Hall houses Main Reading Room 250, an expanded Kresge Law Library, two new 50-seat classrooms, new space for Notre Dame Law Review, new offices and work space for admissions, career services, and library staff, a new seminar room, and 26 new study rooms for collaborative study.

According to a brochure for the dedication, the library now holds “300,000 book volumes and more than 300,000 volume-equivalents in microforms; currently using more than 12 miles of shelving, and enough additional space for nearly 20 years of growth.”

The total cost of the law school renovation project is “approximately $57,680,000, with approximately $24,091,000 dedicated to the renovation of Biolchini Hall,” according to the brochure.

“The comprehensive renovation has created a consistent and appropriate level of finish throughout a facility that was previously rather confusing and disjointed in its presentation,” according to the brochure. “It resolved 17 library entrances to a single entrance and reconfigured the building to four consistent and equally accessible floor levels, from a collection of seven floor levels connected through a series of ramps, elevators and internal stairs.”

The Biolchinis previously endowed The Biolchini Family Chair in Law, which is currently held by philosopher John Finnis, and the Erma V. Biolchini Endowed Scholarship Fund, honoring Robert’s mother.

Robert Biolchini graduated from Notre Dame in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He received his LLB in 1965 from George Washington University and is a partner with the Tulsa, Okla., law firm of Stuart Biolchini & Turner.

Fran Biolchini, a graduate of Trinity College, is active in numerous Tulsa community organizations, including the Girl Scouts, the Gilcrease Museum, Catholic Charities, and other civic and charitable projects.

The Biolchinis’ gift is part of the $1.5 billion Spirit of Notre Dame capital campaign, which is the largest endeavor of its kind in the history of Catholic higher education.

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