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Emory Law Centennial: Gambrell Hall (1966-1973)

The Law School Gets a New Home

As it approached its fiftieth year, the original home of the Lamar School of Law was showing its age. The school had grown exponentially, especially in the years since the end of World War II, and even the most creative renovations and repurposing of space could not overcome the facility's limitations. Prof. Nat Gozansky reminisces without nostalgia:  

"By the mid-sixties the original law building had become completely inadequate for the needs of the school. Faculty offices were jury-rigged throughout the building, with several in the basement; classrooms were antiquated and inadequate in number; technology as simple as individual phones for faculty were unavailable; and maintenance was bordering on ineffective."

The fund-raising campaign for a new building yielded its first successes in 1966 with pledges of $1 million from long-time adjunct faculty member E. Smythe Gambrell and $200 thousand from the J.M.Tull Foundation. By mobilizing a strong and enthusiastic team of alumni volunteers, the Law School was able to raise the total to $2.6 million. Emory University contributed another $1.379 million. The remaining $1 million was funded by loans secured by a grant from the U.S. Office of Education.

Gambrell Hall Design, 1970
Preparations began in February 1971 on land that had once been the site of the Emory president's 
home, and construction was completed in time for the start of the 1972-1973 school year.