Signing Celebration Marks Completion of East Wing's Steel Frame
King Hall alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends gathered May 14 for the King Hall Expansion Signing Celebration marking the completion of the steel frame of King Hall's new east wing. The event featured remarks from Dean Kevin R. Johnson, UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef, UC Davis Provost Enrique Lavernia, former Dean Rex Perschbacher, and King Hall Alumni Board President Steve Boutin '72, followed by a toast and hard hat tours that included an opportunity to sign a column in the new structure.
Dean Johnson thanked the many friends, alumni, faculty, staff, and campus administrators who have supported the King Hall Expansion and Renovation. "We are excited that in the coming year, our students, faculty, and staff will be moving" to the new building, said Dean Johnson. "The new King Hall will be aesthetically striking, a state-of-the-art facility, and will provide a beautiful new entryway and façade befitting a world-class law school."
Chancellor Vanderhoef spoke of the project's long history and thanked the many people in the Law School, on campus, and in the community who worked over the years to make it a reality. "We can all be very proud of this, and we should be," the chancellor said. "This is something that will really make a difference for the Law School but also for the campus. It's the kind of thing that people will look at and say, ‘That's our law school. That's UC Davis.' And that's something I'm very proud about."
Provost Lavernia said that he shared the chancellor's pride in the project and in the Law School's accomplishments. "The renovation will support faculty, staff, and students as they continue to set new standards in legal education," Lavernia said. "But really what is remarkable about our Law School is the passionate commitment to the principles of Martin Luther King of equality and social justice, which I think mirror the principles we describe in our UC Davis Principles of Community document."
Former Dean Perschbacher called the new building "a monumental undertaking," and said that "there are no words to describe how many people have been essential to this project."
"We have a great law school here, and it's appropriate that it should be recognized by its physical presence as well as the more important aspects of the law school: the things it stands for, the education that the students receive, the quality of the faculty, staff, and students," said Perschbacher.
Steve Boutin said that he was honored to be representing King Hall's 6,000 alumni at the celebration, recalled the Law School's formative years, and praised the way its commitment to social justice has endured through its 40-year history.
"Law schools can manufacture technocrats, technicians, hired guns, and millionaires, or law schools can make the choice and they can create and mold advisors, counselors, and people who are proud of being part of a learned profession where reputation is important and the first obligation is to serving others and serving society, not serving themselves," Boutin said. "King Hall has never forgotten that message, in great tribute to the leaders we've had."
Boutin's remarks were followed by a toast led by Dean Johnson. Most of the roughly 60 guests participated in the hard hat tours that followed, with many also choosing to sign a specially marked column inside the new structure.