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Feb. 11, 2003


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Left to Right: "The Godwin Gruber Trial Courtroom was dedicated in a special ceremony at the law school Feb. 4. In attendance were SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Diane Gruber, Michael Gruber, Carmen Godwin, Donald Godwin and SMU Law Dean John Attanasio."

DALLAS (SMU) -- A $200,000 gift from the Dallas law firm Godwin Gruber has fulfilled a critical space need for SMU's Dedman School of Law by financing a newly remodeled courtroom.

What was once an old administrative hearing room is now the Godwin Gruber Trial Courtoom, located on the second floor of the law school's 79-year-old Florence Hall. The new courtroom will be used for courses in trial advocacy and mock and moot court competitions. Among its many new features are a wood-paneled jury box, judge's bench, witness stand and spectator seating as well as the latest in audio-visual capability, including a document camera, overhead projector, touch screen controls at the counsel table and judge's bench, and electronic hook-ups for laptop and Internet access. In addition, video cameras positioned around the room will allow for taping of student trials and may be played back for instructional purposes.

Donald E. Godwin is a 1973 graduate of the law school and Michael Gruber is a 1981 graduate of the school.

"It is always gratifying when our alumni come forward to fund improvements that are important to the quality of education for current students," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "The firm of Godwin Gruber is helping to ensure that today's law students will have the tools they will need to succeed in their profession. We are thankful for their generosity and foresight."

The Godwin Gruber Trial Courtroom was dedicated in a special ceremony at the law school Feb. 4, with remarks by President Turner and SMU Law Dean John Attanasio. Several members of the firm, including its two named partners, Godwin and Gruber, attended the dedication.

"Today's courtrooms have considerable amounts of technology. Our students will live and work in a technologically advanced world, and the same should be expected in their course of study here," said Dean Attanasio. "We are very grateful that Godwin Gruber has recognized the need for state-of-the-art facilities such as this and that they have generously funded this room."

The Fort Worth firm of Sheffield Architects designed the new room and contractor Ross Allison Inc. handled the construction. The work is part of a major renovation by the Dedman School of Law, which has renovated several of its facilities in the last three years.