Rutgers-Newark names building after RBG

Gabrielle Saulsbery//December 18, 2020//

Rutgers-Newark names building after RBG

Gabrielle Saulsbery//December 18, 2020//

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exterior with blue sky, student housing, event space, chancellor's residence, 2015
The Rutgers Board of Governors unanimously approved renaming 15 Washington Street, a 17-story neoclassical icon of the Newark skyline, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall.- RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lives on at a residence hall at Rutgers-Newark. The Rutgers Board of Governors unanimously approved renaming the residence hall at 15 Washington Street Thursday Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall.

Ginsburg taught at Rutgers Law School in Newark from 1963 to 1972, where she pioneered teaching women’s rights with a seminar on the law and gender equality. She would go on to successfully argue landmark gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court before joining as its second woman justice in 1993.

“When I think of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I hope future generations will understand her perseverance, her clear-eyed pursuit of justice and equity, and her care for those people who are often seen as voiceless or without history,” Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway said in a prepared statement. “These are the principles that Ginsburg stood for. I think they are the principles that Rutgers stands for, and I’d love for future generations to understand how they are connected in that way.”

The newly christened Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall was home to the law school for nearly 25 years after Ginsburg left Rutgers. The building is now home to 330 graduate and undergraduate students, including 100 law students, and Rutgers-Newark chancellor Nancy Cantor.

Cantor proposed renaming the building following Ginsberg’s death on Sept. 18.

“Justice Ginsburg’s steadfast commitment to social justice and equal treatment under the law, and to training future generations of change-makers, is precisely at the core of the institutional identity of Rutgers Law School in Newark and of Rutgers-Newark more generally,” Cantor said in a statement. “We live that every day, in our commitment to creating social mobility and in our work in Newark and beyond as an anchor institution, collaborating in the community, across sectors, for equitable growth and opportunity.”

Daughter Jane Ginsburg, a law professor at Columbia Law School, said her family is honored a building will be named after her mother at Rutgers-Newark.

“Rutgers was one of the very few U.S. law schools willing in the 1960s to hire women, or minorities,” she said. “It is particularly appropriate that the university that gave Mother her start in law teaching would commemorate that association in such a tangible way.”

While at Rutgers, Ginsburg was the inaugural adviser to the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, the first law journal in the United States focused on issues of gender equality and justice and established by law students.