The gifts, which include $10 million from the Charles Koch Foundation and a $20 million anonymous commitment, will help establish three new scholarship programs that could benefit hundreds of law students at the university. In recognition of the pledges, which together comprise the largest gift in GMU history, the law school will be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University, after the late U.S. Supreme Court justice. Scalia, who spoke at the dedication of the law school building in 1999, was a frequent guest lecturer at the university.
The new scholarships include the Antonin Scalia Scholarship, which will be awarded to students with excellent academic credentials; the A. Linwood Holton Jr. Leadership Scholarship, which will be awarded to students who overcame barriers to academic success, demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities, and/or who have helped others overcome discrimination in any facet of life; and the F.A. Hayek Law, Legislation, and Liberty Scholarship, which will be awarded to students who have demonstrated interest in studying and application of economic principles to the law. Holton was a former governor of Virginia, while Hayek, author of the Road to Serfdom, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1974.
"Justice Scalia was a law teacher, public servant, legal commentator, and jurist nonpareil," said Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "As a colleague who held him in highest esteem and great affection, I miss his bright company and the stimulus he provided, his opinions ever challenging me to meet his best efforts with my own. It is a tribute altogether fitting that George Mason University's law school will bear his name. May the funds for scholarships, faculty growth, and curricular development aid the Antonin Scalia School of Law to achieve the excellence characteristic of Justice Scalia, grand master in life and law."