New year begins with brand-new student commons
The intermittent sound of the opening and closing of wooden lockers could be heard in the northeast corner of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law on Aug. 16. The area was bustling with excitement from faculty, staff, and students filtering into the space to see the new Dinsmore & Shohl Student Commons for the first time.
“On behalf of the Moritz community, I’m expressing our deepest gratitude to Dinsmore & Shohl for their very significant contribution that made it possible for us to remodel the student commons area,” Dean Alan C. Michaels, Edwin M. Cooperman Professor of Law, said to the crowd.
Addressing 1L students, he said, “I hope a good portion of you visited the college last spring before deciding to come here because I don’t think you can fully appreciate the difference the new Dinsmore & Shohl Commons makes unless you saw the old student locker room.” Michaels joked there were a few “legacy lockers” left behind if anyone wanted to take one last gander.
Renovations to the old student locker area, which was built in 1959, began in May and included new lockers, flooring, ceilings, utilities, mailboxes, furniture, and other details, courtesy of Moritz alumni at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and a matching gift from the firm.
The fundraising initiative was led by Frank C. Woodside III ’69 and Donald B. Leach ’82, who secured contributions from their fellow Moritz alumni, ranging from the classes of 1966 through 2009.
“There’s nothing that ever happened in this room that related to the study of law,” Woodside told the packed commons Thursday. Reflecting on playing cards and joking about “gambling through law school” in the old locker area Woodside said, Dinsmore & Shohl alumni were a bit “chagrin” to hear the space had not been renovated.
“We had a lot of good times in this room,” Woodside said. “We sincerely hope that with the changes and upgrading that have been made to this room that you all will have just as great of an experience as we did. And when you get out, you’ll remember this place as fondly as we do.”
Heather Sobel ’12 spoke on behalf of the Class of 2012, which raised more than $2,600 to purchase video screens, as a class gift, for the commons.
“There followeth after me today a youth whose feet must pass this way,” Sobel read from a poem The Bridge Builder, which was about an old man rebuilding a rickety bridge to ensure those who came later would cross it more safely than he had.
“There’s something that’s in the Moritz community about giving back and making something better for those who come after you,” Sobel said. “Whether you’re new to the Moritz community or an alum of many years, I hope you’re as proud as I am to be in a community of bridge-builders.”
After recognizing the project committee comprised of Moritz faculty, staff, and students who worked with M+A Architects to design the space, Michaels snipped the red ribbon, officially opening the Dinsmore & Shohl Student Commons.
“That was the last remaining part of the original building, yet to be remodeled,” Michaels said. “It’s our fondest hope and expectation that this will once again become a place that you want to be in and an exciting gathering spot for our students.”
This article was written by Sarah Pfledderer.