Law School Dean Donald Polden helped unveil a sculpture created by alumnus Jerry Smith, B.A. ’58, J.D. ’65 in Bannan Hall’s Levy Student Lounge on March 19. The unveiling is one of the many ways the School of Law has been commemorating its 100th anniversary.
The law school’s Associate Dean Mary Emery and Senior Assistant Dean Julia Yaffee conceived of the idea to commission an art piece to mark the centennial. Emery thought of her friend Smith, a former Mayor of Saratoga, member of the California State Senate, and former justice for the California Court of Appeals. After retiring from law, Smith, who says he “always drew a lot” during his law days, has become a prolific sculptor with pieces at Bellarmine College Prep, the office of the Counsel General of Mexico, and the State Building in San Jose, Calif.
The 4’ x 6’ bas relief consists of 12 individual panels, each celebrating a piece of Santa Clara Law’s history, along with words and phrases such as compassion, pro bono, sustainability, and advocacy to further send a clear message. Faculty and deans were able to view the clay panels in progress, and a local foundry welded the pieces together.
It was ultimately decided that the sculpture, named “Centennial,” should be installed in the student lounge to send a strong, stirring message to Santa Clara law students about the school’s history and ethics.
Some 50 members of the law school’s faculty, alumni, and family members attended the event, and after a toast to the piece and artist, Polden and Smith revealed “Centennial.” Polden said that the piece “identified some of the values of the law school.”
“Centennial” was donated as a gift of four SCU Law alumni: Emery ’63, Theodore Biagini ’64, J.P. DiNapoli ’64, and Michael Shea ’65.