College of Law moves into stunning new home; Architectural design, commissioned statue reflect themes of justice
Following 22 months of excavation and construction, the new Randall and Sadie Baskin Center officially opened this morning in a ribbon cutting celebration attended by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Congressman Jim Cooper, members of the Belmont University campus and other special guests. Click here to view photos from this morning’s celebration.
The 75,000 square foot, three-story brick and limestone building sits atop a five-level underground garage and houses Belmont University’s College of Law, a program starting its second year of classes. Building namesakes Randall and Sadie Baskin were also in attendance to celebrate the building’s grand opening ceremony, which was followed by self-guided tours of the Center and a moot court event held in the structure’s Anne Lowry Russell Appellate Courtroom.
Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “If environments inspire performance, then there’s no question that future Belmont College of Law graduates will represent the greatest legal minds of their generation. This building is beautiful. Even better, it unites classroom space with rooms that can provide hands-on legal experience. Belmont lawyers will not only know the law inside and out; they will also know how to represent their cases in real courtrooms.”
Randall Baskin, the owner of the Randall Baskin Co. and the founder/ former owner of Brentwood-based Continental Life Insurance Co., first served on Belmont University’s Board of Trustees in 1982. Known throughout Middle Tennessee for their significant philanthropy and generosity, Randall and his wife Sadie provided a $7 million leadership gift for the College of Law’s new home. The Baskins also endow a major scholarship fund at Belmont which currently supports seven students based on financial need, commitment to work and motivation to succeed. To date more than 100 students have benefited from the scholarship since it was established in 1983.
The Baskin Center’s copper-roofed dome features a skylight at the top, which appropriately represents the “eye of God” guiding human law, and the building offers four different porticos to represent the four types of law: local, state, federal and God’s. Inside, the Baskin Center contains more than a dozen classrooms, a 21st Century trial courtroom, an appellate courtroom, a two-story law library and more than 20 faculty offices.
At a private gala Monday night, guests were treated to the unveiling in the rotunda of “Solomon: A Wise Ruling,” a commissioned statue by acclaimed Nashville artist Anthony Novak. The statue sits in the rotunda directly opposite the Barbara and Doyle Rogers Lobby and reflects upon the biblical narrative in I Kings 3:16-28 in which Solomon wisely administers justice in a conflict. The commissioned work of art was made possible through the generous support of Jan and Larry Thrailkill.
In keeping with Belmont University’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the Baskin Center is seeking LEED certification. The footprint of the Baskin Center is minimized with its 500-space underground parking accommodations, which include spaces dedicated to electric vehicle charging stations, while open space and green space are maximized. Also, a geothermal system will provide heating and cooling for the building, which will allow 27 percent energy savings, based upon whole building energy modeling.
The Baskin Center is one of several construction projects on Belmont’s campus, all reflecting the institution’s phenomenal growth and ongoing commitment to Middle Tennessee. Visit http://bebelmont.com/nashville/ for more information on Belmont’s engagement with Nashville.
On Oct. 7, 2009, Belmont University announced the launch of a College of Law, the first new law school in Middle Tennessee in nearly a century. The College’s charter class of 132 students began in fall 2011. Of the 17 private law schools in the southern U.S. that have applied for American Bar Association (ABA) approval since 1980, Belmont’s charter class had both the highest median LSAT (154) and highest median GPA (3.29). In fact, the median LSAT was higher than that of 58 ABA-approved law schools. Women comprised 55 percent of the charter class, and 17 percent identified themselves with underrepresented minority groups.
About Belmont’s College of Law
The mission of Belmont University College of Law is to prepare qualified students with an excellent understanding of the law that will equip them to become professional counselors, advocates, and judges; researchers, teachers, and philosophers of the law; entrepreneurs; and thoughtful citizens. In addition to graduating practice-ready attorneys and community leaders, the College of Law offers legal education in a global context while also providing local attorneys to mentor each new student. Moreover, this program is designed to complement Belmont University’s areas of expertise and offer specialties consummate to the Nashville area, certificates in Entertainment and Music Business Law as well as Health Law.