The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has announced a $20 million gift from Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles T. Munger to support renovation of the student-housing portion of the school's Law Quadrangle.
The gift represents more than half the estimated total cost of the $39 million project, which will transform student rooms and other living areas inside the Lawyers Club houding complex while preserving its "collegiate gothic" exterior. Munger, who graduated from the university in 1948 with a degree in mathematics, later founded the Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson and became vice chair of Berkshire Hathaway in 1978. Pending approval of the U-M board of regents later this week, the renovated residence portion of the Lawyer's Club will be renamed in his honor.
Though the university is still at work on plans and feasibility studies for the project, it will include extensive interior renovations, technology upgrades, new roofs, and energy performance measures designed to exceed national energy efficiency standards by more than 30 percent. In addition, the project will replace the roof and upgrade fire safety features in the Lawyers Club lounge and dining hall. In 2007, Munger contributed $3 million for lighting improvements in public areas of the Law Quadrangle.
"Charlie Munger has a powerful vision of world-class facilities that will match a world-class law school at the University of Michigan," said university president Mary Sue Coleman. "I am particularly pleased because this gift directly benefits the living-learning experience for our law students."