MORGANTOWN -– A $500,000 gift from Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love, LLP will help fund a $24 million renovation project at West Virginia University's College of Law, Dean Joyce McConnell of the College of Law announced Wednesday.
Bowles Rice is a regional commercial and corporate defense firm with more than 125 lawyers. The firm has offices in Charleston, Morgantown, Martinsburg and Parkersburg, as well as Lexington, Ky. and Winchester, Va., and will open new offices in Moundsville and Canonsburg, Pa. within the next 90 days.
"We are very proud to present this gift to WVU and support the College of Law," said Tom Heywood, the firm's managing partner. "As an energy law firm since 1920, Bowles Rice is delighted to support Dean McConnell in her exciting and important vision of establishing the WVU College of Law as the leading energy and sustainability law center in the east. Energy and sustainability are issues of enduring importance, and fields in which West Virginia must continue and extend its lead in the years ahead."
WVU has committed $13 million in capital funds for the College of Law's renovations, with the other half expected to come from private sources. The $500,000 commitment from Bowles Rice is the beginning of several major gifts expected in the next few months and will allow construction to begin this summer, according to Valerie Hunt, the school's assistant dean of development.
The $24 million project will include construction of a 20,000 square foot addition to the College of Law, which will house the new Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, a high tech courtroom, two classrooms, a distance learning classroom, a wing dedicated to clinical law programs and faculty offices. Renovations also will be made to the interior of the existing building.
"West Virginia University College of Law is at a critical moment in its growth." McConnell said. "This generous gift from Bowles Rice will make it possible to support its upward trajectory with a new and sophisticated facility. We are proud of our role in creating lawyers and leaders who contribute so much to the state and beyond. We are grateful to our alumni and friends for enhancing the College of Law for the future."
The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University.