Benefactors thanked at Biolchini Hall dedication

by Chuck Williams

Biolchini Hall of Law

Notre Dame Law School’s completely renovated Biolchini Hall of Law was dedicated on Oct. 8, with Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, blessing the building after a Mass of celebration in the University’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

The hall is named in honor of the Biolchini family. Robert Biolchini is a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees, and a $15,000,000 gift from him and his wife, Fran, and a number of additional generous benefactors made the renovation possible.

A private reception and dinner was held for all the benefactors after the ceremonies. Among the honored guests and speakers was U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito Jr.

Connected by a covered archway and student commons to the Law School’s new Eck Hall of Law (consisting of 92,000 square feet), the renovated Biolchini Hall of Law (consisting of 106,500 square feet) now houses:

  • an expanded Kresge Law Library
  • two new 50-seat classrooms
  • new space for Notre Dame Law Review
  • new offices and work space for admissions, career services, and library staff
  • a new seminar room
  • 26 new rooms for collaborative study

The Biolchinis’ gift is a component of the $1.5 billion Spirit of Notre Dame capital campaign – the largest such endeavor in the history of Catholic higher education. The Biolchinis previously endowed The Biolchini Family Chair in Law, which currently is held by the philosopher John Finnis, and the Erma V. Biolchini Endowed Scholarship Fund, honoring Robert’s mother.

The Biolchinis

Robert Biolchini graduated from Notre Dame in 1962 with a bachelor of arts degree. He received his law degree in 1965 from George Washington University and is a partner with the Tulsa, Okla., law firm of Stuart, Biolchini & Turner.

Active in the Catholic Church, Biolchini is a Knight of The Sovereign Military Order of Malta and of the Holy Sepulchre, and he recently served as chair of the Diocese of Tulsa’s Fund for the Future. He also served as chair of the board of trustees of the Gilcrease Museum and Monte Casino School in Tulsa.

Biolchini also serves as president and chief executive officer of PennWell Corp., a privately owned Tulsa-based media company founded in 1910 that publishes 75 international weekly and monthly business-to-business magazines and conducts more than 60 business-to-business conferences and exhibitions on six continents. He is chief executive officer of Bancshares of Jackson Hole (Wyo.), Valley National Bank, Lake Bancshares, Ameritrust, and is a director of American Business Media.

Fran Biolchini, a graduate of Trinity College, is active in numerous Tulsa community organizations, including the Girl Scouts, the Gilcrease Museum, Catholic Charities, and other civic and charitable projects.

The Biolchinis dedicated The Biolchini Hall of Law “to their six children and to all those who study here, seeking God’s Justice through Faith and the Rule of Law.”