Cardozo has always placed far more emphasis on what happens within a classroom rather than on what that classroom looks like. Indeed, at times, it often felt as if we made a virtue of our functional but uninspired facilities as a way of reinforcing the notion that we valued learning and the life of the mind more than bricks and mortar. But now, having spent nearly $40 million to expand and restore our facilities, we have so totally changed our environment, that while new bricks and mortar may not affect one iota what we think, they certainly have a markedly discernible impact on how we feel when we enter the Law School and how we perceive Cardozo in its entirety.
The effort has been mammoth, requiring the time and attention of many Law School and University officials, Cardozo's Board of Directors, two architectural firms, and many construction engineers. This exceptional effort would not have been completed without the impressive generosity of long-standing benefactors, new friends and donors, and a supportive university.
The renovation projects disrupted normal, daily life at the Law School for nearly six years. Our entire community was affected, but it was our students who were most inconvenienced for the longest periods. Although on occasion they let loose howls of impatience with the noise and the dislocations, our students were admirably patient, understanding, and supportive, deserving of our collective thanks.
I would be remiss if I did not also point out that there is still more to
accomplish. Some parts of our physical plant cry out for attention. We must
continuously strengthen our support of faculty scholarship and teaching. We
need to enhance our scholarship program for students who now shoulder huge
loans. In addition, if the Law School is to do more for its students, faculty,
and general communal life, it must fortify its lean infrastructure.
So challenges remain, which is always true for an institution that takes its
endeavors seriously and seeks to constantly improve. For the moment, however,
we take pleasure, if not joy, in Cardozo's exceptional accomplishments.