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Editorial: A landmark gift for the University of Maryland School of Law

The $30 million gift to the University of Maryland School of Law from the W.P. Carey Foundation means much, much more than a name change.

As the largest donation in the law school’s history and one of the largest ever in legal education, this gift has the potential to vault the school — now called the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law — into the ranks of the most elite legal institutions.

William Polk Carey, the foundation’s namesake, set the bar even higher in announcing the gift Monday. “Hopefully this gift gives you the support you need to make this the greatest law school in the world,” he said.

The Carey Foundation’s gift to the law school was its second major bequest to Maryland higher education in recent years. In 2006 the business school at the Johns Hopkins University, now known as the Carey Business School, received $50 million.

The Carey family has long, strong ties to Baltimore. Careys have served as the first president of Provident Savings Bank, president of the City Council and founder of the Gilman School.

In making these landmark gifts, the Carey family has shown great faith in two of Maryland’s finest institutions of higher learning and has underscored the schools’ importance in the future of our state. Now it falls to us to be faithful stewards of their generosity.

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