Monumental Moments

Story by Karen Tinsley
Photography courtesy University of Windsor

On the weekend of October 27, Windsor Law, at the corner of University West and Sunset Avenue, reopened its doors for the first time since 2020. 

Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations Canada/Officeholder Gary Anandasangaree.

The extensive reimagination within the walls of the Ron W. Ianni Faculty of Law building was finally complete; it was now time to welcome the world.  

The reopening was a resounding success with hundreds of alumni, supporters and distinguished special guests on site to see and experience the final result for themselves.  

Grand inauguration festivities featured numerous honourable guests, including the Right Honourable Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada, the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Canada and Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk.

In his November 1 address to the House of Commons, Kusmierczyk showed his “Windsor Law pride”:

“Speaker, this weekend I attended the grand reopening of the Ron W. Ianni Faculty of Law building at the University of Windsor after transformative renovations. I met generations of alumni, like Frank and Peter, who made the drive to Windsor to reconnect over the two-day celebration. On hand were the chief justices of Canada and Ontario. The $38-million renovation is truly spectacular. The architects pulled off the impossible: inserting light into a stone. The moot court is a showpiece, with gorgeous views of the campus, the Ambassador Bridge and Assumption Church. A generous gift provided by the Rodzik family, the court is fully accessible, and is set up to host smudge ceremonies.

“Seeing all the alumni and donors highlighted the real sense of family and pride that are the hallmark of University of Windsor Law. I know my predecessor and founding Dean, the late Honourable Mark MacGuigan, was smiling proudly on this day too.”

Left to right are Chancellor Mary Jo Haddad, Dean Reem Bahdi, Chief Justice Wagner, Dr. Beverly Jacobs, President Robert Gordon.

Justice Chris Uwagboe and Law Society of Ontario Treasurer Jacqueline Horvat were Masters of Ceremonies.  

‘Sky Woman’, an Indigenous work of art commissioned to Six Nations artist Arnold Jacobs, was unveiled in the magnificent Don Rodzik Moot Court by Dr. Beverly Jacobs, Windsor Law professor and Senior Advisor to the President’s Office. A plaque honouring the attendance of Chief Justice of Canada Wagner was also unveiled.    

Architects Diamond Schmidt gave a fulsome presentation on the star of the show: the state-of-the-art 275-seat Don Rodzik Moot Court.  

Led by distinguished Windsor Law faculty, interactive discussions in various fields of law engaged and stimulated participants.  

Alumni filled the building, taking in the remarkable transformation of the place they once called home during some of the most formative years of their lives. Any alumni who graduated this past summer would only have experienced remote learning during their time at Windsor Law; the reopening celebrations marked the first time any of them had ever set foot in the Ron W. Ianni Law building! 

Enthusiastic energy was everywhere as faculty and students showcased their innovative research and potent programming. Classmates from all graduation years gathered in club and decade reunions to remember and reminisce about the time they spent at Windsor Law, while making new memories in the re-imagined space.   

The reopening marked a monumental moment for Windsor Law, as the past and present met the future.

Reem Bhadi, Dean of Windsor Law, couldn’t be prouder. 

Indigenous Legal Studies Coordinator, Michelle Nahdee and Dr. Beverly Jacobs, Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Relations and Outreach.

“From the first day of their studies, Windsor Law students are surrounded by intelligent, hard-working, creative and social-justice oriented people. For the next three years, they will be immersed in a learning journey that comprises rich academic programs and experiential learning opportunities that will empower them to pursue their interests and access the skills and resources to achieve their goals–all in one of the most beautiful, contemporary and inspiring law campuses in Canada and beyond.”  

“I am thrilled to help lead Windsor Law into a new era.”

Dr. Rob Gordon, President and Vice Chancellor said, “We want to be a law school that is not only responsive to the changing needs of the legal profession, but also proactive in shaping its future.”

By all accounts, the Ron W. Ianni Faculty of Law Building is proof positive of that.  

Welcome to the next generation of Windsor Law! 

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