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UB Law School to Dedicate Gordon and Gretchen Gross Classroom

By Ilene Fleischmann

Release Date: June 25, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In recognition of a $250,000 gift to the University at Buffalo Law School, one of the school's most-used lecture halls will become known as the Gordon and Gretchen Gross Classroom following dedication ceremonies on July 1.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. will inaugurate the newly renamed classroom, Room 107 on the first floor of John Lord O'Brian Hall. A reception will follow.

Gordon Gross, who earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the UB Law School in 1955, is a senior partner in the Buffalo law firm Gross, Shuman, Brizdle & Gilfillan, P.C. A U.S. Army veteran, he has been active in the Buffalo community and is a member of the State University of New York Board of Trustees. Gretchen Gross, an early childhood educator, founded Audubon in College Park, a care center for young children, and has served as its director almost continually for 30 years.

The Grosses have made other significant gifts to UB, including recently $1 million to establish the Institute for Jewish Thought, Heritage and Culture, which will focus scholarship on the critical role that Judaism has played in the development and communication of Western thought, and a substantial gift to the Dr. Alan J. Gross Dental Student Fund.

"I got an excellent education at the Law School," Gordon Gross said, "and I still have strong feelings for it. I have enormous gratitude that I was able to get a first-class legal education. The university is critically important to the future of Western New York, and I hope this gift will help the Law School continue to gain a great reputation among its peers."

On a lighter note, he said, he remembers with fondness the endless games of Hearts he played with his fellow law students in the basement of the Law School's previous home on West Eagle Street.

Law School Dean Makau W. Mutua said, "No law school can aspire to greatness without devoted alumni. In this respect, Mr. Gross epitomizes the exemplar alumnus, someone who is key to the continued success of this Law School. Working closely with Gordon and Gretchen -- shoulder to shoulder -- we intend to carry UB Law to even greater heights. It is most appropriate that this signature classroom bear their names."

The resolution approving the classroom renaming was approved by the UB Council.

In addition to his service as a SUNY trustee, Gross has served on the Fourth Department Judicial Screening Committee, as a director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Weinberg Campus and St. Mary's School for the Deaf, as chair of the Foundation for Deaf Education, the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Kleinhans Music Hall Management. He received UB Law's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996. He concentrates his law practice in business counseling and corporate law, specializing in commercial transactions and leases.

Gross is also an accomplished bicyclist, and in 2000 completed a fund-raising ride of 3,250 miles across the United States.

In addition to her professional work at Audubon, Gretchen Gross has served on the New York State Division of Women Steering Committee and as a board member of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo. She also served on the Advisory Committee of United Way's Success by Six and has chaired a committee for Kids Voting in Western New York, among other volunteer activities.

Since its founding in 1887, the University at Buffalo Law School -- the State University of New York system's only law school -- has established an excellent reputation and is widely regarded as a leader in legal education. Its cutting-edge curriculum provides both a strong theoretical foundation and the practical tools graduates need to succeed in a competitive marketplace, wherever they choose to practice. A special emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, public service and opportunities for hands-on clinical education makes UB Law unique among the nation's premier public law schools.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system, and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.