The Dedication of Sensenbrenner Hall

Today is the 86th anniversary of the dedication of the former Marquette law building now known as Sensenbrenner Hall.  On Wednesday, August 27, 1924, a formal ceremony was held to mark the completion of the new law school building, known then only as the Law Building, shortly before the start of the 1924-25 academic year.

The new building, constructed just in front of the previous law school building, the Mackie Mansion, had been two years in the making.  Its completion helped symbolize the arrival of Marquette into the first rank of American law schools.   As the university proclaimed, “The School of Law of Marquette University has entered upon a new era.”

According to the Associated Press, the event was attended by “a great crowd of former students, current students, lawyers, judges, and state officials.” The ceremony began at 10:30 a.m. with an invocation by the Rev. Hugh McMahon, S.J., the regent of the law school.  After that, the keys to the law school were ceremonially presented to Dean Max Schoetz by the university’s president, the Rev. Albert C. Fox, S.J.  Fox lauded the accomplishments of the law school over the previous 30 years (indicating that he dated the law school’s beginnings to the Milwaukee Law School) and asked Schoetz to teach future students “that it is the law which has made us free and that there is no freedom deserving the name, save under the law.”

After remarks by Schoetz, who chaired the program, the dedicatory address was delivered by Justice Burr W. Jones of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  His address was followed by remarks by William D. Thompson, the president of the Wisconsin Bar Association.  Other speakers at the occasion included Milwaukee mayor Cornelius Corcoran, Milwaukee Circuit Judge Edward T. Fairchild (himself later a member of the state supreme court), and former students George Burns L’14 and Joseph Witmer L’24.  Speaking on behalf of the students of the Milwaukee Law Class which had preceded the Milwaukee/Marquette Law School was Milwaukee lawyer A.K. Stebbins L’08 (hon.).

The current law students used the occasion to announce the presentation of a set of Canadian Reports to the school’s library.

Medals containing an image of former Marquette president Joseph Grimmelsman on one side and an engraving of the new law building on the other were distributed to guests and students.  Several of these medals are now in the possession of the Marquette University archives.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Greg Wienke

    Hi, I’m Greg, AS 91. I found this blog entry while poking around trying to find out some info on Sensenbrenner Hall, including what it is being used for now. Are you at the Law School still using Sensenbrenner? Are there plans (that you know of, anyway) for the future use of the Hall? I’d be curious to find out!
    I was up in 2011 for my 20th Reunion (I live in NC), so I got to see Eckstein Hall! I loved it! I would figure (perhaps I’m wrong) that all Law School operations have moved over to Eckstein Hall, so I’d be curious to see if that is true, or if Sensenbrenner is being used. Thanks for your time! GO MARQUETTE!

  2. Christine Wilczynski-Vogel

    Greg, Greetings. The Law School moved into Eckstein Hall almost two years ago (July 2010). We do not have any operations in Sensenbrenner. The University is still deciding the future of Sensenbrenner Hall.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.