The law school at Saint Thomas University in Florida is now named for civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
“It’s about coming together. We’ve got to start building bridges past our ideology and politics and race to make this world a better place,” said STU President David A. Armstrong. “And having Ben Crump’s name on a catholic university’s college of law, we’re building those bridges.”
It’s the first law school in the country named after a practicing Black attorney.
Local leaders, activists and even celebrities were there to mark the occasion.
“Ben has been an absolutely spectacular friend and guide, and that’s why it was important for me to be here,” said actor Will Smith.
“We will never forget this moment, this historic moment for Black history, for American history,” Crump said during the dedication ceremony.
Crump, referred to by some as Black America’s attorney general, has represented many people through their agony and activism.
The families of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and most recently, Tyre Nichols, have turned to him for legal guidance and support.
“Benjamin Crump is more than just an attorney for me. He’s a friend. He’s a supporter,” said Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton.
“Mr. Crump has held me up when I felt like falling down,” added Jamal Sutherlan’s mother, Amy Sutherland.
For Crump, this honor is a continuation of a lifelong mission.
“This day is special, not so much because I’m given a recognition with the naming of the law school, but it is special because of what we are going to do at the Saint Thomas Law School to make a better world for all of our children,” Crump said.
Saint Thomas University’s Law School is considered one of the most diverse in the country, a fact that drew Crump to the institution in the first place.
“Education provides an opportunity for young people to have a seat at the table,” Crump said.
The only other law school in the nation named for a Black person is the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. The Supreme Court justice is Crump’s personal hero.