George Mason University School of Law has been renamed. It is now the Antonin Scalia School of Law.
This is NOT an April Fools' joke. They're serious. $30 million serious.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the name of the school will change to the Antonin Scalia School of Law (ASSLaw for short, or alternatively, ASSol) after receviing $30 million in donations, $10 million of which came from the Charles Koch Foundation.
Alumni may not be too happy about that.
Good lord. You are deemphasizing the name of a founding father to honor a man who fetishisized the beliefs held at the founding? A guy who didn’t go there, or have any connection to the school, who wouldn’t have hired a George Mason Law student as a bathroom attendant, much less a Supreme Court clerk? That’s the guy you are renaming your law school after? Your Twitter hashtag is now #ASSLaw (Antonin Scalia School of Law). Who was in second place, Donald Trump?
Is there any reason for this?
We talk a lot about the law school application crunch, and how that crunch disproportionately dings middling law schools like George Mason. There is a flight to quality, there is a flight to “free,” and schools that are neither are having a heck of a time filling their seats.
But branding themselves as “Antonin Scalia,” who most people even lightly interested in law have heard of before, versus “George Mason,” who you should have learned about in AP History but probably didn’t because he’s not a Kardashian, might help them.
Even if Scalia Law generates some push in application and matriculation revenue, would it be enough to offset the negatives? Changing the school’s name in this way is sure to piss off some alumni.
I'd love to see how graduates put this on their resumés.