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College of Law Breaks Ground on Randall and Sadie Baskin Center

Baskins provide $7 million gift in support of new law building, which will feature law library, trial courtroom, five-level parking garage
Law 15th persp rendering.jpgBelmont University celebrated today the official groundbreaking for the Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, a 71,000 square foot facility which will serve as the home for the new College of Law and state-of-the-art law library. Randall Baskin, the owner of the Randall Baskin Co. and the founder/ former owner of Brentwood-based Continental Life Insurance Co., has served on Belmont University’s Board of Trustees for 19 years.

Known throughout Middle Tennessee for their significant philanthropy and generosity, the Baskins are providing a $7 million leadership gift for the College of Law’s new building. The Baskins already endow a major scholarship fund at Belmont which currently supports five 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. (Click here to see more photos from the groundbreaking.)

Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Randall Baskin built his company the old-fashioned way, through remarkable hard work and dedication. Now, he and Sadie are investing their resources in the people and projects that will shape the future and impact our world, providing an exceptional example of what it means to give back. Opening this College of Law represents a tremendous step for Belmont University, and I’m so proud this building will bear the name of such extraordinary people. The lawyers educated here will one day be community leaders and change agents in Middle Tennessee and around the world, fulfilling the Belmont mission of ‘engaging and transforming the world’ through their efforts on behalf of justice.”

Click here to see comments from Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher and Mr. Baskin.

Click here to view Mayor Karl Dean’s comments at the groundbreaking.

Click here to view Congressman Cooper’s comments at the groundbreaking.

Click here to view comments from College of Law Dean Jeff Kinsler.
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Randall Baskin said, “I’ve been a part of the Belmont family for a long time, watching this university grow and change at an exponential rate. Throughout my time on the Board, the university’s focus on its Christian mission has remained paramount. Sadie and I take great joy in supporting those efforts. We believe this law school can provide many dedicated students a chance to not only build better lives for themselves, but to also impact their community for years to come.”

The Randall and Sadie Baskin Center will be located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Acklen and 15th Avenues and will include a five-level underground parking garage accommodating more than 500 parking spaces. Total cost for the project is estimated at $32 million once the building is completely outfitted. Slated to open in fall 2012, the Baskin Center is being designed and built by locally-owned companies—Earl Swensson Associates and R.C. Mathews—and will create jobs for hundreds in Middle Tennessee.

The Baskin Center will contain more than a dozen classrooms, a 21st Century trial courtroom, an appellate courtroom, a two-story law library, and more than 20 faculty offices. The building is being designed with the needs of law students in mind and will feature numerous amenities including a student commons, wireless Internet access, offices for student organizations, a locker room and food service.

Jeff Kinsler, the founding dean of Belmont’s College of Law, said, “This state-of-the-art building will be the perfect venue for our first-rate students, faculty and staff. We designed the building for student-centered instruction; it is ideal for preparing professional, practice-ready attorneys for today’s global legal market.”


Baskinswithcake2.jpgThe Baskin Center will also seek to attain silver LEED certification. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The new building will feature a geo-thermal mechanical system and numerous energy conservation measures within the building to reduce power consumption as part of these efforts.

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. Belmont’s College of Law, the university’s seventh college and fourth doctoral program, represents the university’s most recent venue for educating students to use their talents to meet the world’s needs. The College will begin classes in fall 2011, and when at full capacity, it will enroll approximately 360 students.

The Juris Doctor program will integrate legal analysis, practical legal skills, and professionalism. The unique aspect of the curriculum is the Practicum offered each semester. Through Practicum work, students become proficient in the “practice” of law. Prior to the fourth semester, students elect a “Track” either in Dispute Resolution or Business. Practicum work then concentrates in the specific tracks. Within the Business Track, students may complete a certificate program in Entertainment and Music Business Law. The College of Law’s curricular offerings complement Belmont’s present curricular strengths.

Belmont’s College of Law has also recently completed the hiring for the faculty needed for the charter class.