$1 million gift will improve MU Law School library

Saturday, September 17, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:10 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 6, 2008

The MU School of Law has received a $1 million to improve its law library. The latest contribution to the “For All We Call Mizzou” campaign -- which has now raised more than its $600 million goal in private donations -- came from George Ashley, who graduated from the Law School in 1948.

“This university has meant a great deal to me all my life, and I’m gratified I’m in a position to do this,” Ashley said Friday at a ceremony to announce the gift.

The money will go toward physical improvements and salaries. Ashley, who makes his home in Dallas, wanted his donation to benefit the law library because it is used by students, faculty and staff and he thinks it could use some help.

“This is one of the areas in which we don’t measure up very well to our peers around the country,” he said.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said that he and Lawrence Dessem, dean of the Law School, have discussed the need to improve law library.

“It is a very critical component of the Law School that has to be strengthened to have the kind of excellence in the Law School that we want,” Deaton said.

Dessem said that library improvements are still being planned but that the money provides the financial wherewithal to make them happen.

“The library really is its services,” Dessem said. “And that is, obviously, the books on the shelf, that may be the electronic sources; but that also, of course, is the individual that provides that information, whether it be to a student, faculty member or an attorney.”

The public will benefit, he said. “Judges and lawyers across the state use the library.”

Ashley, who is on the For All We Call Mizzou School of Law Campaign Committee, is a former adjunct professor in the MU School of Law. He said he has thought about making this donation for years.

“It’s a great satisfaction to be able to do it,” he said.

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