ILNews

The men behind the law school names

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In some ways, Mickey Maurer and Bob McKinney could not be more different. McKinney is a lifelong Democrat; Maurer was Gov. Mitch Daniels’ appointment for Secretary of Commerce in 2006. But their differences are superficial, compared to what they have in common.

Both men share a deep sense of gratitude for their law school educations and hope that their alma maters continue to achieve new milestones. That’s why each man provided a significant gift to the school that first taught him about the law.

In 2008, Maurer gave $35 million to the law school at Indiana University’s Bloomington campus. In 2011, McKinney gave $24 million to IU’s Indianapolis law school. In recognition of their contributions, university officials renamed the schools in their honor. Already, the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law are accomplishing some of the goals Maurer and McKinney envisioned.

In the beginning

In 1948, McKinney was a young lieutenant stationed on a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Pacific Ocean. His ship docked in Eureka, Calif., for Navy Day, and the sailors explored the town.

“I saw a march going on for Henry Wallace, who was running for president – he was a left-wing guy – I was very idealistic, liked some of his ideas about peace and various things, so I went over and got in the parade,” McKinney said. Authorities arrested McKinney and several others. “A young lawyer came and got a writ and got us all out … and I thought, what a great profession this is, you can really do some good in this world.”
 

namesakes-15col.jpg Mickey Maurer, left, and Bob McKinney (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

McKinney decided then that if he ever left the Navy, he would go to law school.

Maurer’s decision to attend law school was motivated by a family member’s request.

“My father grew up in the Depression, and he always wanted to be a lawyer, and so he said I should become the lawyer he never had a chance to become,” Maurer said. “I’m the oldest son – a very dutiful son – so I said, OK, that sounds as good as anything.”

Early impressions

When McKinney returned from his tour in the Pacific, he enrolled at what was then IU law school’s Indianapolis division, attending class at night.

In 1951, he learned he was being recalled for active duty, so McKinney rushed to Bloomington to finish law school. When he left for Korea that fall, he was married and had his law degree.

Maurer graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in accounting and returned to Indiana to attend law school in Bloomington.

“I think that law school’s always meant something special to me, because I felt that the way they taught, it taught me how to think. Because of that, to whatever degree I’ve been successful, I think the law school was responsible in large part,” Maurer said.

Rising through the ranks

McKinney left the Navy in 1953 and began working for McHale Cook & Welch. He joined Cook Bose Buchanan & Evans in 1963, and the firm was renamed Bose McKinney & Evans.

Maurer graduated from law school in 1967 and immediately went to New York to work as a tax lawyer on Wall Street. Upon returning to Indianapolis, Maurer worked as a feasibility analyst for Gene Glick, founder of the property management firm Gene B. Glick Co.

Maurer practiced law for about 20 years before becoming a full-time businessman. He co-founded the National Bank of Indianapolis in 1993 and is chairman of the board for IBJ Media Corp., which owns the Indianapolis Business Journal, Court and Commercial Record and Indiana Lawyer newspapers. McKinney served as chairman of both the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and First Indiana Corp., the parent corporation of First Indiana Bank.

Despite their professional accomplishments, when asked individually about their proudest moments, both Maurer and McKinney mentioned family first. Maurer, age 69, said he’s most proud of his ability to work with his three adult children. McKinney, who is 86, said his proudest moment was marrying his wife, Arlene, who died in 2010.

Ongoing support

Gary Roberts, dean of the IU McKinney School of Law, explained that McKinney’s name carries a lot of clout in Indiana.
 

roberts-gary-mug.jpg Roberts

“We were almost as excited about the naming as we were about receiving the gift,” Roberts said. “Bob McKinney’s name in Indiana is golden – he’s well respected and well loved.”

Roberts said that the name McKinney allows the school to develop its own brand, and that the naming is an asset for the school, as opposed to the more general, regional name it had before.

McKinney, who previously had given gifts to both IU law schools, saw an opportunity to make a significant impact at the Indianapolis school.

“I felt the Indianapolis law school was underfunded, undermanned and undervalued,” he said. “It’s the law school where the lawyers stay in the state, so it’s the main source, compared to Bloomington where a lot of them leave the state. What it needed was some money to get it going, get the caliber of students up, get some more chairs, and to compete with Bloomington. I wanted it to be equal to Bloomington.”

McKinney wants to see the school rise in the list of top-ranked law schools, although he believes that the school will have to overcome prejudices against law schools that offer part-time programs.

“I’m not trying to butt into the law school now, but in the long range, they have to change that atmosphere, not change the way they do it,” McKinney said of the Indianapolis school’s offerings.


robel-lauren-dean-mug Robel

Lauren Robel, former dean of IU Maurer and interim provost and executive vice president for IU’s Bloomington campus, explained that Maurer has a long history of actively supporting the school. In 2000, Maurer and his wife, Janie, awarded $1 million to the school to create an endowed chair, the Val Nolan Professor of Law. Robel holds that title, which Maurer named for his favorite professor.

“The relationship with Mickey goes back a very, very, very long time. He was the chair of the law school’s first capital campaign in the 1990s,” Robel said.

Later, when Robel became dean of the law school, she went to Maurer for advice and asked about his vision for the law school and what he thought it could accomplish.

“The more I listened to him, the more I understood he was willing to help us get there, so the gift that he made to the law school was a gift that was intended to help us really think big, really aspire to be the very best. It came into being because he had a vision for the institution he loved,” she said.

Renaming the school was a way to recognize that it could become what Maurer hoped. And Maurer’s gift “made a noise nationally, and that noise was the sound of Indiana really coming into its own,” Robel said.

Maurer’s gift – which allowed the school to offer more scholarships – has directly helped 157 students attend law school, according to Robel.

“I was the recipient of a scholarship – I can’t remember how much it was, but I think it was about $2,000. I felt like maybe if I were ever able, I would return that. So I think the school got a good return on its investment,” Maurer said.

Maurer hopes his gift will result in long-lasting returns for the school. He hopes students who benefit from scholarships today may feel that same obligation to give something back.•

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

ADVERTISEMENT