Indiana University Maurer School of Law announces $20 million gift

  • March 25, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Maurer School of Law announced today a significant $20 million estate gift from Lowell E. Baier, a 1964 graduate of the school.

In recognition of his gift, the law school building will be renamed Baier Hall, and the law library will be renamed the Jerome Hall Law Library in honor of a longtime law school professor who was a mentor to Baier and many other alumni. The gift, which will be distributed annually over a period of years, will be used to enhance the law school’s facilities, including its long-term renovation and expansion.

“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,” said Baier. “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.”

“Lowell Baier’s exceptionally generous gift will play a transformative role in the continued evolution of the Maurer School of Law,” said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. “It is only fitting that the school name its building in honor of Lowell, whose passion for the Maurer School of Law will allow us to make positive changes to our facilities that will benefit students for generations to come.”

“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 the Indianapolis entrepreneur whose $35 million gift for student scholarships resulted in the renaming of the law school in his honor in 2008. “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.”

A native of Jasper County, Ind., Baier received his B.A. in economics and political science from Valparaiso University in 1961 and his law degree in 1964. While practicing law in Washington, D.C., in 1967, he formed Baier Properties Inc., a Bethesda, Md., based developer of warehouses, residential properties and award-winning office buildings and shopping centers.

A passionate conservationist, Baier is one of 14 original founders of the Wild Sheep Foundation, which for 40 years has funded over $2.4 million annually to re-establish the habitat of the four species of wild sheep in North America. His exploratory work led to similar programs in Russia and Mongolia. Since 1975, Baier has been active in the Boone and Crockett Club, America’s oldest wildlife conservation organization, founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, and is its first president emeritus.

A 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.

From 1992-2010, Baier led in the Boone and Crockett Club’s creation of Ph.D. programs at five universities dedicated to postgraduate studies in natural resources and wildlife conservation management. From 2004-2007, he led a national campaign to raise $6.5 million to purchase for the federal government the last and largest remaining piece of private land that was initially President Theodore Roosevelt’s historic Elkhorn Ranch adjacent to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Baier recently completed a book to be published this year titled “Inside the Equal Access to Justice Act: Environmental Litigation and the Crippling Battle over America’s Lands, Endangered Species, and Their Critical Habitat.” His next book, “Voices from the Wilderness: A Biography,” which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, will be published in 2016. He is vice chairman of the National Conservation Leadership Institute, one of 12 members of the Conservation Leadership Council sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund, a member of the Roosevelt-Rockefeller Brothers Conservation Roundtable and on the President’s Council of the National Wildlife Federation.

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 has the traits that are so common in our graduates,” Parrish said. “He has led an exemplary life where smarts and a hard-work ethic have led to his success, and now he is giving back in a way that will further strengthen the school.”

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.

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.

This is the third eight-figure gift that the Maurer School of Law has received in recent years, all of which have had a major impact. In addition to the Maurer gift, the school received a $25 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. in 2007 dedicated to faculty recruitment. The ninth-oldest law school in the nation and the first public law school in the Midwest, the Maurer School of Law has over 10,000 alumni throughout the United States and the world.

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Ken Turchi

Assistant dean for finance and administration

James Boyd