Just five years after the law school at Drexel University was named The Earle Mack School of Law, the name has been changed and now it is the Drexel University School of Law. The school had been named after Earle Mack, a former ambassador to Finland and a graduate of Drexel had made a $15 million donation.
According to the University statement, “Ambassador Earle Mack has graciously stepped aside as a naming benefactor of Drexel’s law school.” Drexel had announced last week that it had completed a fund-raising campaign of $400 million and had exceeded its target by $55 million, months ahead of the scheduled conclusion of the campaign in June 2014.
The $15 million Earle Mack grant to the small law school in 2008 has lost significance in the face of other financial realities. According to the University, the new realities could not be faced with the past donation.
Indicating the name change was mutually decided, the statement mentioned, “The Earle I. Mack Foundation and Drexel jointly concluded that this will require an economic foundation beyond what was established by his gift and the university’s matching funds.”Currently, the school would continue as the Drexel University School of Law, possibly until someone steps in with a donation sizable enough to claim the naming rights.
The university had honored Earle Mack at a ceremony also attended by the then Governor Ed Rendell and former NY Governor George Pataki. The university had assured that it would match Mack’s donation with the same amount from its coffers.
However, the university maintains that the decreasing number of law students and the global financial crisis has sufficiently altered the reality to think anew about the naming of the school. The recession has already made a huge impact on the University financials in 2008 when Mack had made his donation and helped the school tide over the bad times.