MORGANTOWN -– A $500,000 gift from the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC will help fund a $24 million renovation project at the West Virginia University College of Law.
"We're very proud to present this gift to WVU and partner with the College of Law," Susan Brewer, the firm's CEO said. "Steptoe & Johnson is committed to advancing the legal profession and supporting the communities our firm calls home. This gift supports both missions as we work together with the WVU College of Law to build on its reputation of excellence and attract a new generation of lawyers to Morgantown."
More than 100 of Steptoe & Johnson's 230 lawyers are WVU Law alumni. The firm, a leader in the energy industry, is headquartered in Bridgeport and has 11 offices – six in West Virginia, two in Pennsylvania and one each in Kentucky, Ohio and Texas.
"WVU has committed $13 million in capital funds for the College of Law's building project with the other half expected to come from private sources," Valerie Hunt, the school's assistant dean of development, said. "The firm's lead commitment of half a million dollars combined with several other major gifts expected in the next few months, will allow the College to begin construction this summer."
Part of the $24 million will be used for construction of an addition to the College, which will include the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, a high tech courtroom, two classrooms, a distance learning classroom, a wing dedicated to the clinical law programs and faculty offices. The rest of the money will be used to renovate the interior of the existing building.
"West Virginia University College of Law is at a critical moment in its growth," WVU College of Law Dean Joyce McConnell said. "This generous gift from Steptoe & Johnson 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.