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Columbia University Law School

Columbia Law School Receives Largest Donation in School History

Columbia Law School received a $17.5 million gift — the largest single donation in school history—last week.

Alia Tutor, a 2000 Columbia Law grad and member of the Dean’s Council, donated the multi-million-dollar lead gift through her family foundation. She serves on the president’s council at the University of Southern California (USC) and is an inaugural member of the Keck Medicine of USC Board of Councilors. Tutor’s lead gift will go towards supporting the design and construction of Columbia Law’s library renovation. Upon completion, the law school library will be renamed the Alia Tutor Law Library in recognition of her generosity.

“A world-class educational environment must provide students with modern and functional spaces in which to study, convene, and collaborate,” Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, says. “That Alia shares this vision for the future and passion for the project makes her generosity all the more meaningful. Her commitment is helping make it possible to build a library that will meet the needs of students for generations to come and for the Law School to maintain its position at the pinnacle of legal education.


The library renovation project is part of a major initiative of the five-year Campaign for Columbia Law—Dean Gillian Lester’s ambitious vision for student and community life at Columbia Law.

As part of the library renovation, the law school will create much-needed space for individual and group study, incorporate state-of-the-art technology, and increase capacity for students by up to 70%.

Tutor says the library project aligns with her giving philosophy and her personal connection to Columbia Law.

“Reflecting on what the library meant to me as a student—being able to study and collaborate on campus—and knowing the breadth of impact this project will have on literally thousands of students and aspiring lawyers, it became obvious to me that I should help meet this really substantial area of need,” she says.

The library project includes a total renovation of three floors of Jerome L. Greene Hall—nearly 50,000 square feet to help facilitate a new space for Columbia Law students to come together.

“It’s difficult to put into words, but certainly ‘humbling’ and ‘gratifying’ come to mind when I consider how integral and meaningful CLS has been in my—and my family’s—life,” Tutor says. “When this beautiful new library opens, it won’t only be my name I see. It will be my grandmother’s, my mother’s and father’s, my grandfather’s, my great-grandfather’s names. This project will evoke the contributions of my entire family and everyone who touched my life, from childhood through my time as a student, all the way up to the present. It’s an unbelievable feeling of pride, for which I am extremely thankful. And, hopefully, my children will feel the same way one day, as will future generations.”

Sources: Columbia Law School, Columbia Law School