Robert H. McKinney

Robert H. McKinney

Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie announced Thursday the naming of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis in honor of Indianapolis attorney, banker and civic leader Robert H. McKinney.

The school will be known as the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in recognition of the largest gift ever received by the school and one of the largest in legal education.

McKinney's gift of $24 million, along with matching funds committed through the IUPUI IMPACT fundraising campaign, will bring the total value of the gift to $31.5 million.

The landmark gift will provide funding for five endowed chairs to attract and retain nationally recognized scholar-teachers to the faculty. The gift will also create a $17.5 million endowment to fund McKinney Family Scholarships for outstanding students.

"With this extremely generous gift, Bob McKinney will have a transformative impact on a law school that already has provided the academic foundation for a remarkable number of lawyers, judges, and community and government leaders across Indiana and beyond," McRobbie said.

"This gift will be instrumental in our efforts to attract nationally renowned legal scholars to our law school in Indianapolis, as well as top-flight students from around the country, and we are deeply grateful to Bob for his generosity," McRobbie added.

IU School of Law-Indianapolis Dean Gary R. Roberts said the gift will make a major difference in the school's ability to achieve its long-term goals.

"It is impossible to overstate the impact of this gift upon the law school, the campus and the state," Roberts said, adding that the McKinney School is believed to be one of just a few of the nearly 200 law schools in the country to be named for a major benefactor. "It provides for faculty chairs and student support to create an unparalleled resource with which to realize the aspirations of our school: to become one of the finest public law schools in the nation. And because this law school produces so many leaders throughout the state, this is an investment in the future of the people of Indiana and beyond."

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Chancellor Charles R. Bantz praised the gift as being consistent both with the school's future vision and Bob McKinney's commitment to legal education in Indiana.

"This tremendous gift supports the McKinney School's commitment to being a leader in legal education," Bantz said. "As a founding partner of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, one of the largest law firms in Indianapolis, Bob McKinney will lend his name to a school that can proudly claim many prominent lawyers, judges and public servants worldwide as its alumni."

Approximately 80 CEOs of companies headquartered in Indiana are alumni of the school, as are the chief of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, a former U.S. vice president and members of Congress. In recent years, the school has strengthened its offerings in such areas as public health, intellectual property law, state and local government law, environmental law and international law.

"A law degree is a great introduction to broad areas of leadership -- political leadership, business leadership and civic leadership," McKinney said. "The IU law school in Indianapolis plays a vital role in developing the leaders Indiana needs to succeed. I am excited to be able to make a commitment that will help the school build on its proud heritage and achieve its goal of being one of the best law schools in the country."

Originally trained as an engineer, McKinney received his law degree from IU and also holds a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. Until his retirement in 2005, McKinney served as chairman and CEO of First Indiana Corp., parent company of First Indiana Bank (now known as M&I Bank). He was also a founding partner of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, an Indianapolis law firm, from which he retired in 1992.

Because of his commitment to community-based banking, McKinney was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to chair multiple federal banking, insurance, mortgage and loan agencies. In that role, McKinney established model nondiscrimination regulations and pushed for community investment.

At IU, McKinney served as a trustee from 1989 to 1998 and was president of the Board of Trustees from 1993 to 1994. He was chairman of the Board of Advisors of IUPUI and is currently a director of the IU Foundation. McKinney's previous gifts to IU include the Robert H. McKinney Law Professorship and the Bose McKinney & Evans Sherman Minton Moot Court Competition, and contributions to the V. Sue Shields Scholarship, all in the IU Maurer School of Law. He has also contributed to the Conservation Law Center and the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

"Bob is absolutely dedicated to excellence and to his community, and expresses that commitment with integrity, loyalty and grace," said IU Foundation President Gene Tempel. "His gift today stands as a challenge and invitation to others who believe in the mission of the school and the importance of its contributions to the community and the state."

McKinney's gift, which will be administered and invested by the IU Foundation, was made through the IUPUI IMPACT campaign, a $1.25 billion fundraising campaign publicly announced in October 2010. As of September 2011, the effort had surpassed the $1 billion mark.
The law school, housed in Lawrence W. Inlow Hall on the IUPUI campus, is the largest law school in Indiana, with more than 1,000 students. The school's more than 10,000 alumni reside in every U.S. state and several foreign countries.

The IU Board of Trustees approved the naming at its October meeting. The name change will be effective as of today, Dec. 1. The school is planning a formal renaming ceremony and celebration to take place in the spring.