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WVU law college receives largest capital gift in history; $7.5 million from McQuain Trust

Video of the gift announcement.

MORGANTOWN, WV – The West Virginia University College of Law announced today (Feb. 12) it had received $7.5 million from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, the largest capital gift in the law school’s history.

The gift will help fund a $25 million renovation and building project that broke ground last fall.

“As for all of the law students and the faculty, who we have tremendous respect for, this gift is less about them, and more about the people that they will help in their lives,” said Stephen P. Farmer, a member of the McQuain Trust Board of Trustees. “As they go forward and live their legal career as a lawyer, or law-maker, judge, or educator, they will work tirelessly every day and they will on a day-to-day basis improve the lives of the people they come in contact with.”

WVU President Jim Clements said, “Mrs. McQuain’s gifts to the University and to the Morgantown area have changed the face of our community, and our University in immeasurable ways. Her spirit of generosity and her compassion for others lives on and inspires the projects of the Charitable Trust – projects that truly change lives. We are deeply appreciative to the leaders of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust for making this historic investment in our College of Law.”

Joyce McConnell Joyce McConnell, the William J. Maier, Jr. Dean and Thomas R. Goodwin Professor of Law called the gift “transformative” and said it will “launch the law school into a new era of legal education and service. It will have a direct impact on the lives of our students, on our alumni and on the state’s attorneys who continue their education at the law center. It will also have an impact on those in our state who depend on the legal services provided by our law clinics.”

The renovation and building project, funded 50/50 by state and private support, includes an additional 20,000 square feet of space for classrooms, law clinics and the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development.

The Hazel Ruby McQuain gift to the WVU College of Law is part of A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University, a $750 million fundraising effort the WVU Foundation is conducting on behalf of the University.

“It is difficult to put into words what the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust means to WVU and our local community,” said Wayne King, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation. “Its long history of generosity toward so many different causes will be felt well beyond our years. On behalf of the WVUFoundation, we are very thankful for this wonderful gift to the College of Law and all of the contributions of the Trust and its leadership.”

WV Law Review Editor-in-Chief Amber M. Moore

To date, the combined value of Hazel Ruby McQuain’s giving, the McQuain Charitable Trust’s grants to WVU, and qualified matching state Research Trust Fund dollars, totals nearly $45 million, the University’s second largest benefactor.

The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, a renowned WVU and community benefactor, was established by Mrs. McQuain, who died in 2002 at the age of 93. The retired president of Ruby Enterprises Inc., Mrs. McQuain engaged in philanthropic endeavors of benefit to the University and local organizations for more than 20 years, including an $8 million gift toward construction of Ruby Memorial Hospital, which was named after her late husband, J.W. Ruby.

Pictured above: (left) Dean Joyce E. McConnell and (right) WV Law Review Editor-in-Chief Amber M. Moore

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