BLACK HISTORY: Ben Crump Becomes First Practicing Black Person To Have Law School Named After Him

Will Smith becomes a major donor to the institution, and stands with lawyer at ceremony.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, the man behind justice campaigns for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many more, has made history.

According to the Washington Informer, the College of Law at St. Thomas University will be changing its name to the Benjamin L. Crump College of Law, making it the first law school in the United States to be named after a practicing Black attorney.

Crump said of the honor, “It is a privilege to be a part of the St. Thomas University legacy through the Benjamin L. College of Law.”

“We have come such a long way in the journey to equality, but we are not there yet,” he added. “The future changemakers and civil justice leaders that will matriculate from St. Thomas will soon be passed the torch from today’s civil rights icons and I have every confidence that they will meet the moment.”

Rapper-turned-actor Will Smith was one in the number to celebrate this occasion.

“I was proud to share the stage with Will Smith – a benefactor of the groundbreaking Benjamin L. Crump College of Law at @StThomasUniv –  during the naming ceremony. It’s not an overstatement to say that lives will be changed because of the selflessness of the college’s donors,” Crump posted on Twitter.

He joins the prestigious and exclusive ranks of another civil rights lawyer to have a school with his name on it— Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court Justice.

Marshall is the namesake for the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston.

 David A. Armstrong, president of the St. Thomas University, said, “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.”

“Ben and I couldn’t be more different politically, but we share a passion for justice and the hope that by working together, we can continue to drive meaningful change,” he continued. “Our faith in God, and our belief in the tenets laid out by our founding fathers in the U.S. Constitution, enable us to go beyond race and politics, and focus on the work necessary to truly make the United States the home of the free, and the brave.”

The law school is a fine institution, ranking #1 as the Greatest Resources for Minority Students in the 2022 and 2023 Princeton Review Best Law Schools rankings.

 According to PreLaw Magazine, it is one of the top 10 Best Schools for Racial Justice (2022) in the United States.