TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A $1 million gift for the new home of the Washburn University School of Law pushed fundraising past the $14 million mark and beyond its original goal of $13 million.

The gift from Washburn alumnus Michael C. Manning will be honored by naming the Michael C. Manning Advocacy Suite and Trial Courtroom.

“When the school approached me about naming the trial advocacy space in the new law school building, I was both surprised and humbled,” Manning said.

Carla Pratt, dean of Washburn Law, said a trial courtroom is an integral part of an outstanding law school building.

“Mike’s gift will help create an environment that fosters innovation in trial advocacy and attract top students and faculty,” Pratt said. “This new facility recognizes Mike, who I regard as one of the most accomplished and prominent trial lawyers in America. The vast and consistent achievements of his career will set the standard for generations of future Washburn Law students, and we are proud to call him one of our own.”

Manning’s gift concludes the active fundraising phase to support construction of the $34 million building project for the law school.

Groundbreaking for the new law school building is expected in May 2021.

The $34 million project will be funded by Washburn University and its Board of Regents, who have committed $20 million for the project with the remaining $14 million resulting from donor support. 

An accomplished and nationally recognized attorney, Manning is best known for his successful trial practice career.

Manning has led numerous high profile and groundbreaking cases: the Lincoln Savings & Loan/Charles Keating case, at the time the largest commercial litigation in U.S. history; and one of the largest wrongful death and civil rights settlements in Arizona history against Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.