Monday Morning Message 1.24.22 What is a Quasquicentennial?

Posted 2022-01-24 10:55am

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “THE PAST IS PROLOGUE.”  Inscription over the door of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. “What do you think that means?,” General Eisenhower asked the cabby driving him through the nation’s capital. “ It means, said the cabby, “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

2022 marks CSU Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s Quasquicentennialthe 125th anniversary of our founding in 1897 and we will be celebrating our past, present, and future all year.

Our 125th year celebration will be about honoring our past, planning for our future, investing in our strengths, and believing in ourselves.

We welcome and encourage your ideas on how to best celebrate our 125th anniversary. Please email me at with the subject line “125.”

We have a long, proud history dating back to 1897. See also Professor David Forte’s Your Witness Blog.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law was the first law school in Ohio to admit women and one of the first in the nation to admit minorities. It was our graduates who laid the foundation for the Cleveland legal profession and who led the fight for civil rights and social justice in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland-Marshall is the direct descendant of three law schools, Baldwin University Law School founded 125 years ago in 1897; Cleveland Law School, also founded in 1897; and the John Marshall Law School, founded in 1916. Baldwin University Law School merged with Cleveland Law School in 1899 and they were incorporated into the Cleveland Law College of Baldwin University (later known as Baldwin-Wallace College.) The new law school was known as Cleveland Law School.

When our parent law schools opened their doors in 1897, Ohioan William McKinley was President of the United States. Our principal founders were Ohio Appellate Court Judge Willis Vickery (Baldwin University Law School) and Judge F.W. Wing of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Cleveland Law School). The first Dean of the merged law schools was Charles Bentley. One of our most prominent trustees was Newton D. Baker, Mayor of Cleveland, founder of BakerHostetler, and President Wilson’s Secretary of War. Annual tuition was $50!

Thanks to the excellent work of Louise Mooney, former communications coordinator of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, we know much about our history. Louise wrote, “A part-time night law school suited a hope-filled time, for it offered distinct advantages to a generation just forming itself- the children of hardworking immigrants, persons of limited resources, individuals with families to support, whoever hoped to build a new life and could study law only if they could continue to work.”

The principal founders of John Marshall Law School in 1916 were Cleveland attorneys Alfred A. Benesh, founder of Benesch Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, now Benesch Frank T. Cullivan, and David Channing. The first Dean was David Meck, Sr., a law professor who left the Cleveland Law School to open the John Marshall School of Law. Another law professor who joined him was Walter L. Flory, one of the founders of Thompson Hine & Flory, now Thompson Hine.

In 1946, the Cleveland Law School merged with the John Marshall School of Law to become the Cleveland-Marshall Law School. In 1969, the law school joined Cleveland’s new public university as its sixth college and was renamed the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law of Cleveland State University.

For 125 years, we have been a law school that opens doors, shatters ceilings, and charts new paths.

For 125 years, we have been a law school that not only makes great lawyers; we make great leaders.

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.

Have a great day. Have a great week.

For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages

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My best,


Lee Fisher

Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law


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