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St. Thomas University Renames its Law School After Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump

The College of Law at St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida, became the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law this month — marking it the first law school in the US named after a practicing Black attorney, according to a press release from St. Thomas University.

“The naming of the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law at St. Thomas University is the latest step in an effort to encourage bridge-building among the legal profession, law enforcement, and our communities,” said David A. Armstrong, J.D., President of St. Thomas University.

On February 8, Crump was honored by the University in a ceremony that included many of Crump's supporters and even some high-profile friends. In addition to his ceremonial honors, TMZ reports that Will Smith, George Clinton, and Bishop T.D. Jakes all joined forces to raise $10 million for the new institution. “I want you all to know that I feel like I’m the most blessed man on the face of the Earth today,” said Ben Crump during the ceremony.

During the ceremony, Will Smith, a longtime friend of Crump, spoke to the crowd regarding his support of the attorney. “Ben has been an absolutely spectacular friend and guide. And that’s why it is important for me to be here with him today. There are very, very few people in the world with a heart like this,” Smith shared. “So, it is my deepest honor and my deepest pleasure to be here to support and show some love and congratulations on this historic honor.”

Crump, beloved as “Black America’s attorney general” and renowned for his work on major civil rights cases in America, is most recognized for his recent work in representing the families of victims of police brutality, including George Floyd, Michael Brown, and more recently, Tyre Nichols.

“It is special because of what we’re going to do at the St. Thomas University to make a better world for all of our children,” said Crump to CBS News Miami.

STU is one of the country’s most diverse law schools ranking #1 “Greatest Resources for Minority Students” in the 2022 and 2023 Princeton Review Best Law Schools, along with being rated among the top-ten Best Schools for Racial Justice (2022) in the United States by preLaw Magazine. According to the univesity's press release, attorney Ben Crump partnered with St. Thomas University and its College of Law, in part, because it is situated in a global city that is replete with ethnic and racial diversity.

“I just came to salute him,” said Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, to WSVN. “And let him know that I’m proud of him for the work that he not only did for the Trayvon Martin Foundation but that he did for so many other families.”

“Let’s use the law as an instrument for good, and never let it be used as a weapon for evil,” said Crump during his speech. “I welcome you to the Ben Crump College of Law at the St. Thomas University.”

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