ASU’s new Beus Center for Law and Society in Downtown Phoenix named after longtime philanthropists

Arizona State University has named its new center for law and society, an open and inviting structure on the Downtown Phoenix Campus, after two longtime friends and generous donors who share ASU’s mission of transforming higher education and fulfilling the university’s responsibility to the community around it.

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The new Beus Center for Law and Society is named after distinguished local attorney Leo Beus and his wife, Annette. Through both form and function, the center connects students, visitors, and the general public to the role of justice in society. The center, which includes the new home of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, was officially opened and the name unveiled during a ceremony on August 15.

Over the years, the Beus family has given ASU $15 million, including a $10 million contribution in 2014 to ASU Law’s capital campaign for the center. It is the largest gift in ASU Law’s history.

“Annette and Leo Beus are Sun Devil family,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Their support of ASU over the years grew out of a shared belief that the university should strengthen the social, economic and overall health of the community around us. Their generosity helped make possible this beautiful new space, highlighted by innovations such as its legal triage help for the public and the nation’s first teaching law firm, the ASU Alumni Law Group, and anchored by our top-ranked law school.”

The Beuses joined Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Judge Diane Humetewa, Arizona Board of Regent Greg Patterson, Crow, ASU Law Dean Douglas J. Sylvester, and other distinguished guests in officially opening BCLS to the public.

“This university is transforming education across the country,” Leo Beus said during the ceremony. “We were such a blessed community to have this here.”

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Plans for the BCLS were unveiled in December 2013, with construction on the six-story, $129 million state-of-the-art project beginning in the summer of 2014. Funding for the project included bonds issued by ASU, a $12 million gift of land from the City of Phoenix, and generous gifts from ASU Law alumni and other supporters in the legal and business communities.

“The Beus Center for Law and Society truly exemplifies the mutually beneficial relationship the City of Phoenix and Arizona State University have formed over the years,” Stanton said. “The BCLS is more than just another gorgeous ASU building in downtown Phoenix. It will provide the community with needed legal services and facilitate important discussions about the role of justice in society that are so critical to the smooth functioning of any city.”

The BCLS was designed to be inviting, engaging and accessible to everyone who is interested in learning about the law, its effect on our daily lives, and the many services and resources available through ASU and other building occupants.

“It was very important that ASU Law’s new home be in a place that is open to the community,” Dean Sylvester said. “There are enough law schools in this country that are constructed out of marble and expensive wood and give off an aura of exclusivity that makes members of the community feel unwelcome. The Beus Center for Law and Society is not that kind of place and we couldn’t be more proud.”

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ASU Law students are now steps away from the legal, political, and economic center of Arizona, offering an array of opportunities for learning, experience, mentoring, collaboration and careers.

The BCLS fosters collaboration among its occupants, including the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, The McCain Institute for International Leadership, the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute, Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, Arizona Justice Project, Arizona Legal Center, and the ASU Alumni Law Group— the nation’s first teaching law firm that also helps the community gain access to affordable legal services.

Further, the BCLS will play a major role in helping members of the community understand their legal rights through the Arizona Legal Center, which will act as a conduit for the public to access legal support.