Boston University gets $18M for new building

An $18 million dollar gift from a former faculty member will finally allow Boston University School of Law to break ground on a long-planned new building.

The gift is from Sumner Redstone, who taught at the law school, but is far better known as the primary owner and executive chairman of both CBS Corporation and Viacom. Redstone joined the Boston University law faculty in 1982. He created one of the nation’s first courses in entertainment law and pioneered the school’s intellectual property curriculum.

"This gift comes at a pivotal moment in the history of our School of Law," said Boston University President Robert Brown, "[I]t means that our long-deferred dream of transforming the School of Law campus can now begin with the ground-breaking for this new building.”

The law school will name the new building after Redstone, and it will open for the first class in Fall 2014. The building will house the majority of the school's classrooms, as well as include meeting spaces for student groups, study space, and contain facilities to support clinical, transactional, and executive and professional education programs.

In addition to the construction of the Redstone Building, the school’s current tower will undergo a total renovation in 2014-15 and reopen at the start of the 2015-16 academic year.

"Boston University School of Law is one of the finest institutions of legal scholarship in the world and deserves a home that will enable it to continue to innovate and build on that legacy," Redstone said in a statement. "As a former faculty member, native Bostonian, and the proud parent of a Boston University Law graduate, I could not be more pleased to provide this gift that will benefit generations of future students."

Forbes magazine estimated Redstone’s net worth at $4.4 billion in March. He is 89.