Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced Wednesday that 1964 graduate Lowell E. Baier has made a $20 million estate gift to the Bloomington law school that will enhance facilities and the school’s long-term renovation and expansion.
The gift will include renaming the law school building Baier Hall and renaming the law library the Jerome Hall Law Library in recognition of a longtime professor who was a mentor to Baier and many other alumni, the school said in a statement.
“Lowell Baier’s extraordinary legacy gift provides tremendous support to the school,” said Austen L. Parrish, dean and James H. Rudy Professor of Law. “His generosity will enable us to plan for a learning environment that matches the quality of our students’ academic experience.”
“I am deeply honored by the opportunity to make this gift to the law school,” Baier said. “In particular, I am pleased that the library will be renamed in honor of Professor Hall, whose teaching and mentoring were so crucial to my success as a student, and whose wisdom has continued to guide me throughout my career. This gift will ensure the continuing integrity of the law school building and the law library, its very soul, inspiring the best in academic and scholastic achievement – remember, a sense of place creates a sense of purpose.”
A native of Jasper County, Baier received his B.A. in economics and political science from Valparaiso University in 1961 and his law degree from IU Maurer in 1964. While practicing law in Washington, D.C., in 1967, he formed Baier Properties Inc., a Bethesda, Maryland-based developer of warehouses, residential properties and office buildings and shopping centers.
A passionate conservationist and well-known adviser to elected officials on environmental and conservation issues, Baier took the lead in drafting President George H.W. Bush’s wildlife conservation agenda in 1979 and has been an adviser and counselor to all successive presidential administrations.
Baier has been recognized many times for his extraordinary public service. In 2008, he was named Conservationist of the Year by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. In 2010, Outdoor Life magazine selected Baier as the Conservationist of the Year, and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies similarly recognized him in 2013. He is a recipient of the Maurer School of Law's Distinguished Service Award and a member of its Academy of Law Alumni Fellows. This spring, Baier will receive an honorary degree from Indiana University.
“Lowell Baier's passion for excellence shines through everything he does,” said Lauren K. Robel, Indiana University Bloomington provost and executive vice president, and former dean of the law school. “His loyalty to his law school is grounded in his deep appreciation of the education he received here, and his generosity will assure future students have the same opportunities to follow their own north stars.”
“The financial impact of this gift is momentous, but an equally important gift was granted: that of the Baier name,” said Michael S. (Mickey) Maurer, a 1967 graduate of the school and the Indianapolis entrepreneur whose $35 million gift for student scholarships resulted in the renaming of the law school in his honor in 2008. Maurer is a shareholder in IBJ Media, which owns IBJ.
“It is a name representing not only success as an attorney and entrepreneur, but also class,” Maurer said. “I will be proud to enter the front door of Baier Hall. I am delighted to note that the gift provides that our library will be named in honor of Jerome Hall, one of my favorite professors.”
Jerome Hall was a faculty member at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law from 1939 to 1970. He gained worldwide recognition for his work in criminal law, comparative law and jurisprudence. Hall was awarded Indiana University’s highest faculty rank, distinguished professor, in 1957, and was also the recipient of the university’s Frederick Bachman Lieber Memorial Award for his many years of distinguished teaching.
Baier will be honored this spring at a renaming event for the library and the law school building. His gift will be administered and invested by the Indiana University Foundation.