IU Law School in Indianapolis Gets $24 Million From Former Student
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Retired banker and attorney Robert H. McKinney is donating $24 million to the Indiana University of Law School in the city of Indianapolis.

On Thursday afternoon, university officials announced the gift and said the law school would be renamed the University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in honor of McKinney.


The gift is the largest gift that the law school has ever received. Combined with matching funds from an IUPUI fundraising campaign, the total value rises up to $31.5 million.

The law school said that the money will fund five endowed chairs to help attract and retain nationally recognized scholars to the faculty. The gift will also create a $17.5 million endowment to fund scholarships for excelling students.
”With this extremely generous gift, Bob McKinney will have a transformative impact on a law school that already has provided the academic foundation for a remarkable number of lawyers, judges and community and government leaders across Indiana and beyond,” IU President Michael A. McRobbie said in a prepared statement.

The law school, housed in Lawrence W. Inlow Hall on the IUPUI campus west of downtown Indianapolis, is the biggest law school in the state, with more than 1,000 students. The school’s 10,000 or so graduates reside in every state and several foreign countries.

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McKinney’s gift follows the renaming of IU’s law school in Bloomington in December of 2008, in honor of Indianapolis attorney and businessman Michael Maurer, who gave $35 million. Mauer is the co-owner of IBJ Media.

IU School of Law-Indianapolis Dean Gary R. Roberts said that McKinney’s gift will help the school achieve its long-term goals.

”It is impossible to overstate the impact of this gift upon the law school, the campus and the state,” said Robets in a prepared statement. ”It provides for faculty chairs and student support to create an unparalleled resource with which to realize the aspirations of our school–to become one of the finest public law schools in the nation.”

Until his retirement in 2005, McKinney served as the chairman and CEO of First Indiana Corp., parent of First Indiana Bank. First Indiana was acquired in 2008 by Wisconsin-based M&I Corp. for $529 million. Based on the 20 percent of First Indiana shares McKinney previously owned, he would have grossed more than $111 million in the deal.

McKinney also co-founded the local law firm Bose McKinney & Evens LLP, from which he retired in 1992.
Trained as an engineer, McKinney received his law degree from IU and he also holds a bachelor’s degree from the US Naval Academy.

”A law degree is a great introduction to broad areas of leadership–political leadership, business leadership and civic leadership,” said McKinney is a prepared statement. ”The IU law school in Indianapolis plays a vital rose in developing the leaders Indiana needs to succeed.”



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