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From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-May 4, 2007

Almost 60 years after graduating from Marquette University, a couple who made their fortune moving cargo up and down the Mississippi River will donate $51 million to the university, a gift that will launch construction of a new law school building.

The grant is believed to be the largest single gift by individuals to a Wisconsin university or college and one of the largest gifts on record to a law school in the United States.

The new $80 million law school building will be in a high-visibility location overlooking the Marquette Interchange, MU officials said Thursday. They hope to break ground on the four-story structure next spring and move in by fall 2009.

The donors are Raymond and Kathryn Eckstein, who live now in Boca Raton, Fla., but spend several months a year in Cassville, the small town in Grant County on the Mississippi River where he grew up and worked for many years. Raymond Eckstein, 81, launched and developed two businesses operating boats and barges that moved traffic on the Mississippi and other inland waterways.

Eckstein said Thursday that he was eager to do something for Marquette and he was now in a position where he could make a gift of this size.

"They do need a new law school," he said. "We wanted to make it a good contribution so it could spearhead this so they could get started on this right away."

Father Robert A. Wild, Marquette's president, said: "I think it certainly ensures that the much-needed project of building a new law school will be achieved, and will be achieved in style. More people will have to get involved, true, but we're energized. I also think it lifts people's sight and imagination about what Marquette is able to accomplish."

The new building is likely to become Marquette's most visible face for the public at large. At N. 11th and W. Clybourn streets, it will sit on open land at the northwest corner of the freeway interchange, which is one of Wisconsin's most heavily traveled pieces of roadway.

Law school Dean Joseph D. Kearney said the new building, expected to have 125,000 square feet of usable space, will offer twice the room of the current law school, located just north of the new site, and much better facilities for teaching.

He said it will also have an open feeling unusual for law schools and aimed at making the building a welcoming place for community-oriented programs. The design would be in line with a new effort by the law school to connect with the wider community and promote discussion of public issues, an initiative most noted for the hiring of former television anchorman Mike Gousha as a distinguished fellow with the school.

The exterior is expected to include a large, curving wall of glass and masonry, following the curve of the Marquette Interchange, that Kearney described as noble, bold, harmonious, dramatic and confident. There will be a large parking garage underneath the building.

The building will be named for the Ecksteins, as will the law library, which includes more than 300,000 volumes.

The new building recently received its first large gift, $1 million from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation.

Kearney said a campaign will begin soon to raise the remainder of what is needed for the building and funds to support the law school itself. The campaign goal is more than $100 million, including the $80 million for the building.

Wild said Sensenbrenner Hall, the building at N. 11th St. and W. Wisconsin Ave. that now houses much of the law school, would not be torn down, although its future use has not been decided.

The donors met at Marquette, where Raymond Eckstein received his bachelor's degree and law degree. He played on the Marquette basketball team in the mid-1940s.

Kathryn Eckstein grew up in Chicago and graduated with a degree in speech, her husband said.

Raymond Eckstein grew up in Cassville and returned there after graduating from Marquette Law School in 1949.

Started two companies
"The legal business in a small town wasn't that flourishing, so I had a lot of time on my hands," he recalled in an interview Thursday. He got involved in other business, and that grew into Wisconsin Barge Lines, which hauled cargo on the river. He sold that company in 1969 to a Chicago-based conglomerate, serving as president of the company until 1978.

Then he left to start a new company, Marquette Transportation Co. - named with both the university and the French explorer-priest in mind - which also owns boats and barges for moving freight on inland waterways. That company, now run by one of his sons, is based in Paducah, Ky.

Eckstein said he and his wife, who is 80, had led good lives, including having eight children, 28 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, and finding financial success.

"I feel a lot of it we owe to our upbringing and education at Marquette," he said.

The largest previous single gift to a university in Wisconsin was $50 million from John and Tashia Morgridge to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, announced a year ago. John Morgridge is the chairman of Cisco Systems Inc. In a separate gift in 2004, the Morgridges gave $31 million to the Madison campus.

Marquette has done very well in receiving mega-gifts in recent years.

In December, the university announced a $25 million grant from donors who wanted to remain anonymous to improve engineering education.

In May 2005, J. William and Mary Diederich unveiled plans to give Marquette's College of Communication $28 million. J. William Diederich was a top executive of the company that created the Weather Channel.

In 2004, the estate of Helen Way Klingler made a grant of $18 million.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: MARQUETTE WAITLIST
« on: May 02, 2007, 03:33:34 PM »
I'm not sure if this is of any help, but I know the 2nd deposits are due June 1...maybe there will be some movement on the waitlist pending the receipt (or non-receipt) of those deposits?  Good luck!

I started at a Jesuit school (an order of Catholic priests) for undergrad and my closest friends were Hindu, Agnostic, and Lutheran.  It's definitely not forced on you, but if you want to make it part of your experience, it's available.  I don't think you would feel out of place, there were people from practically every religious and ethnic background at my school, but it just happened to have a religious affiliation.

I'd already sent them this:

Addendum Pertaining to Guaranteed Matriculation

As tuition deposit deadlines approach, I hereby reiterate my continued interest in attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to admission at George Mason University, I am willing to pass up the following scholarship offers to attend law school in my home state:
$9,000 at the University of Tennessee (contingent on good standing)
$25,500 at the University of Indiana-Bloomington (contingent on a 3.0 GPA)
$30,000 at the University of Arkansas (contingent on a 2.0 GPA)
$45,000 at DePaul University (contingent on a 3.3 GPA)
$60,000 at the University of St. Thomas (contingent on good standing)
$68,400 at Hamline University (contingent on a 3.0 GPA)

And I need to update my file or something... ARGH! I'M FREAKING OUT!

Dear Madison,
Who do I have to sleep with to get into your school?

I feel your pain...I sent them a pseudo-LOCI this week as well.  I guess it's not a real LOCI considering that I haven't heard anything yet...Ahhh!  I just want to know either way at this point. 

Here's another question. The more I read these blogs and other things, the more I get the impression that T3 and T4 people are essentially screwed from making a healthy living.  Are we really bottom-feeders like the Harvard people want us to think?

I definitely think that people who attend T3 and T4 schools have a plethora of opportunities...much like other educational institutions, the name of your school will only get you so far.  It's what you make of yourself after graduating that will be the true determinant of success.  I asked a judge his opinions of some T2, T3, and T4 schools I was considering and he said that so much emphasis is placed on the rankings, but in the end, he has equally capable attorneys before him that have graduated from "top" schools and T4 schools. 

waitlisted at the university of the pacific and accepted at south texas law school. I'm between st. mary's, stlc, and ave maria with $. Any opinions about where to go or about the schools are appreciated.

I assume you're aware, but just to be safe, Ave Maria will be relocating to Florida and expects the incoming 1L class to do the same after spending the first two years at the Michigan campus...definitely something worth taking into consideration, especially since it might detrimentally affect their accreditation.  Also, Pacific, St. Mary's, STLC, and Ave are all quite spread out throughout the country, is there a particular region that you would eventually like to practice in? 

Tag for later-I'd like to know the answer as well

Although I'm a fan of Marquette and will probably be there this fall, if I were in your position, I couldn't imagine passing up the opportunity to attend Minnesota!  You may incur more debt in the immediate future, but I think there is definitely a greater potential to make more money upon graduating.  Good luck with your final decision!

Law School Admissions / Re: honors thesis on resume or what
« on: April 29, 2007, 01:03:32 PM »
Will your thesis be published anywhere upon its completion?  If so, I was told to make a "Publications" heading and include the date that it would be published (at the time I sent out my apps, it was still in progress).

I am on pins and needles waiting to hear from Wisconsin...unfortunately, I took the February LSAT and didn't go complete until mid-March, so I'm not anticipating a response anytime soon.  The news others received at their ASW about the admittance of an already large class doesn't bode well either.   :-\

last year they e-mailed their waitlist applicants and basically (in really nice words) told them that there was zero chance they would be getting in because they already had more seat deposits than they expected.

Not to put you down or anything....

haha great...I wish they'd just get it over with and tell me that so I could finalize my other plans-I appreciate your insights.

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