Southern Illinois University School of Law will change its name after receiving a $10 million gift from John and Jayne Simmons.
It will be known as Simmons Law School, pending approval from the SIU board of trustees in April.
This donation is the largest SIU Law has ever received and arrives as the law school celebrates its 50th anniversary.
“Fifty years ago, we were founded in the public interest to serve the public good,” said Camille Davidson, dean of the SIU Law. “This generous gift empowers us to advance our mission on a larger scale and with an even greater impact.”
John and Jayne Simmons contribute to the $500 million Southern Illinois University 2030 fundraising campaign.
The Simmons also committed $10.2 million to the Simmons Cancer Institute at the SIU School of Medicine.
John Simmons is a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville graduate, member of the SIU board of trustees and chairperson and founder of Simmons Hanly Conroy law firm. His and Jayne’s support will help provide more access, services and opportunities to students seeking educational opportunities.
SIU Law is the 29th law school to change its name after it received a donation, and the 16th since 2011. It follows University of South Carolina School of Law, now named University of South Carolina Joseph F. Rice School of Law, which received a $30 million gift last November.
SIU Law is the alma mater of more than 180 local, state and federal judges. It has alumni practicing law in 48 states and more than 10 countries. It also features legal clinics that serve members of underrepresented communities and offer students real-world experience. The largest gift in the history of Southern Illinois University Carbondale will lead to great enhancements at the SIU School of Law.
The $10 million gift from John and Jayne Simmons will impact generations of SIU-Carbondale law students and strengthen the law school’s ability to serve its students and the region.
During a news conference announcing the gift, John Simmons talked about the naming process.
State Representative Patrick Windhorst, a graduate of SIU Law School, said this will greatly benefit the region.