WSU Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights to break ground May 17

The Damon Keith Law Center at Wayne State University will break ground on May 17 with completion in time for classes in the fall of 2011. The largest gift in the school's history, from A. Alfred Taubman, along with contributions from the Henry Ford II Fund, the Edsel B. Ford II Fund and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, facilitated the $5.7 million project. "It will be nice to see some construction cranes up in the city of Detroit," says Ackerman. "(It's) great for the law school, the community and the development of Detroit."

The center will comprise a 10,000-square-foot addition to as well as a renovation of a portion of the existing law school building. It will house an entry area that will also be used for exhibits and a reception area for the school's clinics, office space, two conference rooms, and a 60-seat lecture hall.

The Keith Center will focus on civil rights, including the appointment of a Damon J. Keith Distinguished Visiting Professor and the institution of a Keith Biennial Lecture. It will house the Keith Law Collection as well as archives of other African-American jurists. "Partly through curriculum and partly through special programs and lectures, (the center) will heighten awareness of civil rights in both the law school and in the broader community and, of course, honor the legacy of Judge Damon Keith," says Ackerman. "Civil rights is a major portion of the curriculum training of our students."

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. on May 17 at the northwest end of the Law School complex at 471 W. Palmer.  Parking is available in Structure #1 on Palmer Street in front of the Law School.

Source: Robert M Ackerman, WSU Law School
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh

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