Washburn University surpasses fundraising goal by over $1M for new law school building

Washburn University School of Law is getting a new building. The Topeka, Kan.-based school recently received a $1 million gift from alumnus Michael C. Manning, best known for his trial practice career.

The new building will allow Washburn to deliver a 21st century legal education, pay tribute to the history of the law school and recognize many of the alumni who have served the legal community well, the school said. 

“A great law school deserves a great home,” said Jerry Farley the president of Washburn University. “Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Manning, Washburn Law’s new building will be able to compete with any law school in the country to educate future leaders in the legal community.”

Manning’s donation pushed the school past the $14 million mark. That helped it to surpass the original fundraising goal of $13 million.

As a thank you for his contribution and as an acknowledgement of Manning’s accomplished career, the law school said it will honor him by naming the school’s new planned courtroom, the  Michael C. Manning Advocacy Suite and Trial Courtroom.

“When the school approached me about naming the trial advocacy space in the new law school building, I was both surprised and humbled,” said Manning, who is from Phoenix.

Washburn Law Dean, Carla Pratt said that a trial courtroom is an integral part of an outstanding law school building, and she is proud to have Manning play a role in upgrading the courtroom into a state-of-the-art facility for teaching advocacy skills. 

“Mike’s gift will help create an environment that fosters innovation in trial advocacy and attract top students and faculty,” Pratt said. “This new facility recognizes Mike, who I regard as one of the most accomplished and prominent trial lawyers in America. The vast and consistent achievements of his career will set the standard for generations of future Washburn Law students, and we are proud to call him one of our own.” 

Final design and development for the project is near completion, and groundbreaking for the new law school building is expected next May.

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