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New Sunderland Plaza at Lewis & Clark Law School Welcomes Visitors

April 16, 2018

  • The plaza view from the steps of the law school.
    The plaza view from the steps of the law school.
  • The plaza view from the walkway.
    The plaza view from the walkway.
  • Dean Jennifer Johnson at the new plaza's ribbon cutting.
    Dean Jennifer Johnson at the new plaza's ribbon cutting.

The new Sunderland Plaza at Lewis & Clark Law School, inaugurated in a March 2018 ceremony, serves as an official entrance to the school and its many buildings. The plaza is a welcoming feature that naturally leads visitors and students to one of several directions, including the amphitheater, Admissions Office, McCarty Classrooms, Boley Library, Wood Hall and the Legal Research Center.

Alum Thom Sunderland ’14 and his family foundation generously donated the funds for the project. Originally from Kansas, Thom still has a deep connection to Portland and continues to host a weekly radio show on xray.fm, 91.1 called “Perfectly Toasted.” After he graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School, Thom and his wife Brooke founded Golden Brown, an independent record label. The couple now reside in Los Angeles, where the record label is currently based.

“We are indebted to Thom and his family for providing us with the funds to make this happen,” said Dean Jennifer Johnson. “Because the law school buildings were each built in their own time, there was no one feature bringing them all together and guiding visitors to the right place. This plaza addresses that need with beauty as well as function.”

John Kennedy and Rick Sundberg with SKL Architects, designed the plaza project. Both have extensive experience designing buildings for educational institutions. The plaza features a rock fountain, lighted steel sentinels to mark the path, and nine benches among the landscaped areas.

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