The late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo credit: Diego Radzinschi / ALM

Rutgers University will rename a dormitory in honor of the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who began her legal career as a professor at Newark Law School.

The Rutgers Board of Governors announced on December 17 that its recently remodeled 17-story dorm building at 15 Washington Street will be renamed Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall. The 91-year-old neoclassical building used to house Rutgers Law School, but is now home to 300 graduate and undergraduate students, 100 of whom are law students.

“When I think of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I hope that future generations will understand her perseverance, her clear pursuit of justice and justice, and her care for those people who are often viewed as voiceless or without history,” said Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers in a renaming announcement. “Ginsburg stood for these principles. I think these are the principles Rutgers stands for, and I would love it if future generations understand how they are connected in this way. “

Ginsburg began teaching at Rutgers Law School in 1963 after she was notoriously turned down as a law firm for being a woman despite graduating from Columbia Law School top of the class. She taught on the Newark campus until 1972 when she accepted a faculty position in Columbia, where she became the first woman to serve in office. She spent 27 years on the Supreme Court and died on September 18. While at Rutgers, Ginsburg pioneered the law to combat gender discrimination.

New Jersey lawmakers had urged Rutgers to honor Ginsburg’s legacy by dedicating a building to it. The University Committee of the State Senate passed a resolution to this effect in October. Ginsburg’s daughter Jane, who teaches law at Columbia, said the building’s dedication to her mother was appropriate.

“Rutgers was one of the few US law schools willing to recruit women or minorities in the 1960s,” said Jane Ginsburg. “It is particularly appropriate that the university, which made it possible for mother to begin her legal studies, commemorates this association in such a tangible way.”

The renamed Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall was built in 1929 as the headquarters of the American Insurance Co. and eventually donated to the university. The law school was there until 2000 when it moved to a new campus. Law students regularly complained about the condition of the building before the move and were often stuck in the unreliable elevators. It stayed empty for 15 years until Rutgers worked with a contractor to convert the building into college dormitory for $ 83 million. The renovated building opened in 2015.

Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor suggested the renaming, saying it was appropriate for Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hall to stand in front of a public park to be renamed Harriet Tubman.

“At a time when our nation is experiencing an unprecedented rise in awareness of who among us continues to be left behind in so many areas of public and private life, and how far we must go to achieve our nation’s promise of truly equal justice reachable under the US By law, naming a building for Ginsburg is more than strikingly appropriate, ”Cantor said. “It is urgent.”