Duquesne alumnus and nationally prominent attorney Thomas R. Kline has agreed to make an additional significant gift to fund a dramatic new façade and front entrance for the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Duquesne University, along with other improvements.

Duquesne President Ken Gormley made the request of Kline, who already made a historic gift commitment of $50 million in September 2022 that resulted in the University naming its storied law school after the nationally renowned alumnus. 

Construction on the project will begin in mid-May 2023 and will include a new limestone, granite and glass façade at the building’s Locust Street entrance; a refreshed two-story open grand entrance hall; and an exhibit and conference room overlooking the entranceway. Exterior construction is expected to conclude by late October 2023.

Within the year after completion of the new entrance hall, the University plans to re-imagine and renovate the main student lounge area on the building’s first floor to enhance that gathering area for law students as part of the broader initiative.

“Tom Kline’s continued generosity and enthusiasm for his alma mater and for Duquesne Kline Law is truly inspirational,” said Gormley. “This new grand entrance is more than a monument to our continued pursuit of bigger goals. It signals a ramped-up commitment to excellence and a renewed promise to serve our students and the legal profession for the good of others, two commitments that define Duquesne’s and Tom’s own legacy.” 

The new conference room will overlook the building’s grand entrance and will serve as a beautiful gathering spot for school functions and will include an inspirational exhibit hall. 

“We’re delighted that we will have a new look to the law school for an exciting new era,” said Duquesne Kline School of Law Dean April Barton. “It will change the experience for every student and visitor to the Duquesne Kline School of Law.”  

Duquesne established its law school in 1911. Its more than 8,500 alumni work in law firms, corporate counsel positions, entrepreneurial ventures, government agencies, public interest organizations, and as legislators, district attorneys, public defenders and law professors throughout the United States. A significant number serve as judges on the local, state and federal levels, including on the highest courts, intermediate appellate courts and trial courts in more than 20 states. Among all Pennsylvania law schools, Duquesne Kline has produced one of the highest number of judges seated on the Superior Court, Commonwealth Court and Courts of Common Pleas. 

Duquesne Kline School of Law is currently ranked sixth in the U.S. for its bar exam passage rate and is included in the Princeton Review’s list of the Best Law Schools in the U.S. 

Thanks to an earlier gift from Kline, Duquesne is also home to The Thomas R. Kline Center for Judicial Education, which supports the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania through providing high quality continuing education for judges across the Commonwealth.

The design project team for the new entrance includes the S/L/A/M Collaborative, a national architectural firm; Architectural Innovations, LLC, of Pittsburgh; Barber Hoffman Engineering of Cranberry and HF Lenz Engineering of Pittsburgh. Jay Tackett, a Philadelphia-based architect, and designer Kim Tackett also consulted on the project. Construction will be completed and overseen by Jendoco Construction of Pittsburgh. 

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

It's time for bigger goals
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April 05, 2023