College of Law Counts Down to Sept. 20 Centennial Gala and Symposium

On September 20, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law will celebrate its one-hundredth birthday with an afternoon symposium at the law school followed by an evening gala at the Utah Museum of Natural History. The College graduated its first class of attorneys in 1913.

Former Utah Law Professor and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Michael McConnell, now on the faculty at Stanford Law School, will give the keynote address. The symposium will describe some of the most influential scholarship produced by law school faculty over the past century, and also highlight the faculty’s ongoing contributions to pressing legal issues facing the state, the nation and the world.

The evening Gala, which was sold out weeks in advance and will host approximately 450 law school friends and alumni, will feature a retrospective video, live music, and a toast to commemorate the College’s first century and its future.  The gala is the capstone of the College’s centennial celebration.

“We are immensely proud of the contributions made by the College of Law and its alumni over our first century, and it’s time to celebrate those achievements,” said Interim Dean Bob Adler. “As we look forward to the completion of our innovative new home in 2015, it’s only fitting that we also honor the people who have shaped the College and its legacy of excellence in legal education, service to the community, and engaged scholarship.”

Attendees are equally enthused.  Peter Stirba (‘76) said,  “I have been enriched by my educational experience and have been influenced in my practice by many of the wonderful professors who taught me at the College of Law. To this day, I still hear Professor John Flynn’s comments when I’m struggling with an ethical issue, ‘Your first duty is duty to self.’  The College is an institutional giant as a place of ideas, academic excellence and where the importance and value of the law comes alive. I am attending the Gala to celebrate what a wonderful institution this is, and to honor many of the people who have contributed to its success.”

3L Jennifer Call added,  “As a student at the College of Law, I see the gala as a way of recognizing the accomplishments of all of the College’s students—from the very first graduating class in 1913 to today’s 1L class. Since this is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to join in and honor the College’s legacy, and to look forward to the next 100 years. This is a wonderful school and I truly feel honored to be a part of its student body.”

The gala’s festivities includes a catered dinner, a video retrospective featuring interviews with graduates from the past 50 years, live music by Sweet Loretta, recognition of donors to the College of Law’s current building campaign and the opportunity for attendees to sign a steel beam that will be incorporated into the College’s new facility.

Photos of both events and a video of the Centennial Gala will be posted on the College of Law website ( shortly after September 20.

For more information on the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, please visit