The University of Denver celebrated a longtime collaboration with Denver attorney John Moye on Aug. 23, naming the new campus home of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System in his honor.
The newly dedicated John Moye Hall sits along DU's Driscoll Green, adjacent to the Sturm College of Law. The facility, a former fraternity house renovated with support from University benefactors Ralph and Trish Nagel, will become a permanent headquarters for the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), a national independent research center at DU dedicated to the improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system.
That Moye's name is on the new building is no accident. Moye has long championed the University, from his first days as an adjunct law instructor in 1969 through the present. He has served as a tenured professor and associate dean, and he is a longtime benefactor. His name already adorns the faculty library on the fourth floor of the law school, and Moye is credited with developing the idea for the project that became IAALS, along with Chancellor Emeritus Daniel Ritchie, IAALS Executive Director Rebecca Love Kourlis, Charlie Gates, Chancellor Robert Coombe and U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch.
As he welcomed some 300 guests to the ceremony, Denver Law Dean Martin Katz cited Moye's long association with the University, going back to his start as an adjunct law professor.
"We are both thrilled and honored to dedicate this building at the University of Denver in his name," Katz said.
Trish Nagel said the dedication of a building in Moye's name was a way of honoring his work and support, citing his passion and presence.
"Our interest is that all who see and hear about John Moye Hall would be inspired by John's brand," she said.
Coombe called the dedication "a joyful day in the life of the University of Denver."
He added that the new headquarters affirms the University's commitment to the public good through its support of IAALS, which is committed to improving a legal system that serves all.
He said IAALS is "emblematic of what the University of Denver is trying to accomplish."
Kourlis reviewed Moye's extensive list of accomplishments and his dedication to the University.
"Whatever he does, he does full bore," she said. "He doesn't see obstacles, only challenges."
Moye received a standing ovation when his time came to speak.
He said the renovation of the 85-year-old building that bears his name is symbolic of the work done inside. While the building started out new and fresh, over the years it had been abused, damaged, run down. The American legal system, too, was at one time a shining example of jurisprudence, he said, but through years of neglect has become dysfunctional, something IAALS is set on fixing.
"The Institute is taking the legal system back to its studs, back to its finishings," he said.
In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, Moye—who practices law with the Denver firm Moye White—reflected on what it means to have a building named in his own honor.
It's the kind of honor I never would have imagined would have come to me," Moye said. "And I feel very strongly that while it is an incredible honor, it is also a great responsibility. The generosity of the people who have donated in my name is just flabbergasting. ... It is one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me."
The responsibility that comes with accepting such an honor, he said, includes a commitment to continue his involvement both with Denver Law and with IAALS.
To officially open the building, Coombe presented Moye with golden scissors to cut the ribbon.
In his official opening toast, the Chancellor said, "May the institute in this building flourish for years and years to come. ... May it change the lives of countless, countless people in positive ways."