The Thomas R. Kline School of Law of Duquesne University unveiled a new façade, front entryway, and a third-floor archival collection room during a Building Re-Dedication Ceremony on April 10. Distinguished guests, students, alumni, and faculty and staff additionally joined in the daylong celebration. Duquesne University President Ken Gormley and Duquesne Kline School of Law Dean April Barton led a ribbon-cutting, tours of the new space, a special luncheon, and evening events commemorated the occasion.

The renovation was made possible through the generosity of Thomas R. Kline, L’78. In September 2022, he committed $50 million—the largest philanthropic commitment in the history of Duquesne University—to the School of Law. 

“Tom’s gift was transformational,” said Gormley. “Beyond creating scholarship opportunities for students, awards for faculty, and support to innovative programs, like our acclaimed Bar Prep program, it also marked the start of an exciting new chapter in the history of this 113-year-old Law School.” 

Only a few months later, in April 2023, Kline made another significant gift for the renovations of Hanley Hall, that houses the Law School, a building dedicated more than forty years ago, in 1982.  The remodeled and new spaces include a new limestone, granite, and glass façade at the building’s entryway; a refreshed two-story open grand entrance hall; and an exhibit and archival collection room that overlooks the entranceway.

The transformation to the Law School’s building is reflective of the increased momentum of Duquesne Kline School of Law, a top 100 law school in the U.S. News Best Law Schools ranking in 2023-24 and again in this year’s 2024-25 guide.

“We are on an upward trajectory by every measure. Tom Kline’s historic commitment has elevated our Law School, along with the attentiveness and steadfast resolve of our faculty and staff. The determination of our students and their continued success has additionally raised our profile,” said Barton.

View photos from April 10 events.

In addition to the festivities in the afternoon, the Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education hosted a CLE/CJE focusing on “AI & The Future of Democracy: Ethics, Law, and Policy.” In the evening, a capstone reception was attended by Pennsylvania Justices of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice Debra Todd who shared remarks to commemorate the occasion. Duquesne Kline School of Law evening students also participated in a special rededication celebration and had the opportunity for a meet and greet during a class with Kline. 

“Our students are the focus of Tom’s generosity. It was a wonderful day where the students were able to engage with him—one of the nations’ most prominent attorneys. Tom connects with our students, and they enjoy interacting with him as much as he does with them. It’s very special,” said Barton.

“We’re thrilled Tom could be here for this special day,” said Gormley. “Our students are energized when he visits and shares his experiences with them; they enjoy it almost as much as he does.  Tom is enormously proud of his alma mater, and his continued influence and enthusiasm is the gift that keeps on giving for our students.”

Duquesne University is continuing the second phase of the renovation to the School of Law next summer. It will create a new Student Lounge area that will flow seamlessly into the beautiful new entryway.

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April 10, 2024