Syracuse University Magazine

Welcome to Dineen Hall

The College of Law celebrated the opening of Dineen Hall in September with a formal dedication that showcased the building’s distinctive design and features.

Photos by Steve Sartori

Welcome to Dineen Hall

The College of Law moves into its new state-of-the-art home

By Renee Gearhart Levy

Light. Open. Modern. Before the first students strolled the halls or the inaugural classroom lectures were given, Syracuse University’s new Dineen Hall was already listed among the 50 most impressive law school buildings in the country. The verdict was clear: The College of Law’s new home is spectacular.

That sentiment was unanimous on September 12 at the building’s formal dedication, when students, faculty, alumni, and Central New York legal dignitaries came together for a celebration of the College of Law’s bright future. “A dynamic legal education requires a learning environment that enhances connection, community engagement, and opportunity,” College of Law Dean Hannah Arterian says. “Dineen Hall reflects the perfect synergy of time, space, and energy that brings SU College of Law into a new century, with a new outlook, the latest technology, expanded faculty, and a promise to further extend our interactive, personal approach to the teaching of law.”

A decade in the planning, Dineen Hall is truly a game changer for the College of Law, which had been housed in two separate buildings connected on only two levels. The 200,000-square-foot, five-story, state-of-the-art structure—designed by School of Architecture alumnus Richard Gluckman ’70, G’71, of Gluckman Mayner architectural firm in New York City, who served as the pro­ject’s lead architect—brings the entire College of Law into one inviting space, creating a real community for legal education in the 21st century and beyond.

The most noticeable difference is the abundance of natural light that fills the building from skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides. The second important contrast is the open floor plan and the amount of community spaces, specifically designed to foster collaboration among and between students, faculty, and administrators.

Walking into Dineen Hall’s first-floor Levy Atrium, it’s hard not to be wowed. Clearly the building’s crossroads, the atrium—named in memory of David M. Levy ’41, L’48—is a place to touch base while coming or going, and a gathering spot. It is also the nexus between Dineen Hall’s other signature spaces, namely the library and the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom, which honors the 1981 College of Law graduate and SU Trustee.

Those spaces were in full usage during the opening celebration—the Honorable Theodore A. McKee L’75 gave the inaugural address in the ceremonial courtroom, followed by a panel discussion, “A Conversation from the Bench,” featuring circuit court judges McKee, the Honorable James E. Graves Jr. L’80, G’81, the
Honorable Carolyn Dineen King H’06, the Honorable Rosemary S. Pooler, and the
Honorable Thomas M. Reavley. Afterward, guests enjoyed dessert in the atrium before touring the rest of the building’s impressive facilities.

They quickly learned that Dineen Hall is far more than just fancy new bricks and mortar, but has transformed the learning experience for College of Law students. Through the intersection of best practices and well-planned spaces for learning and faculty-student interaction, the College of Law is able to provide a superior experience for students to meet the rigorous demands of a modern law degree. Designed and built specifically for legal education, the improved facilities connect space and technology in myriad ways to help students become successful attorneys—everything from deeper desk tops designed to accommodate laptop computers, to broadcasting and video capability, to courtrooms equipped with virtual environment tools that allow students to learn to do things like re­create accident scenes.

The striking, modern building also provides an anchor to the expanding west side of the Syracuse University campus, a particularly fitting location as it is adjacent to the once Irish immigrant neighborhood where building namesake Robert Dineen L’24 was raised. He and his wife, Carolyn Bareham Dineen L’32, both overcame significant obstacles to attend the College of Law and went on to successful legal careers. Their children—Carolyn Dineen King, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; attorney Kathryn Dineen Wriston; and attorney Robert E. Dineen Jr. L’66, a Syracuse Trustee—made the naming gift of $15 million to honor their parents and leave a lasting legacy at Syracuse University.

“With their generosity, the Dineen family and numerous other donors have allowed us to redefine legal education at Syracuse and better prepare students for the demands of professional careers that may change and evolve over a lifetime,” Dean Arterian says. “At Syracuse, we have always strived to provide a transformative legal education. Dineen Hall allows us to do that better.” «


With an emphasis on open, collaborative spaces and technology, Dineen Hall creates a transformative learning experience for College of Law students.

The first-floor Levy Atrium is a dramatic, high-ceilinged gathering space that includes comfortable seating and even a fireplace.

Dineen Hall Highlights

  • The LEED-certified building features many environmentally friendly highlights, including a vegetative roof garden, natural light in all classrooms and common spaces, and many locally sourced building materials.
  • The library includes a light-filled, expansive reading room, with Article III of the Constitution on its front wall and seating for 100.
  • The first-floor Levy Atrium is a dramatic, high-ceilinged gathering space that includes comfortable seating and even a fireplace.
  • Classroom spaces are all equipped with the latest technology to allow recording and/or interactive teaching.
  • The Gray Ceremonial Courtroom is a multifunctional space that can be configured as a courtroom or serve as an auditorium with seating for 300.



named_rooms.jpgPatricia and Donald MacNaughton L’68, pictured in the multipurpose collaboratory that bears their names, are among many College of Law alumni and friends who supported the building project.

library_2.jpgThe library includes a light-filled, expansive reading room, with Article III of the Constitution on its front wall and seating for 100.







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