Law Professors, Law Schools

Move Over, Harvard: BYU Law Has Got Memorial Trash Cans

As we noted yesterday, it seems like law schools are eager to sell off the naming rights to, well, just about anything that exists within their hallowed hallways. At top-tier schools like Harvard Law, they name their men’s bathrooms after notable alumni. At lower ranked law schools, however, it seems that notable law professors aren’t even worthy of a urinal cake.

Instead, they’re being treated like yesterday’s garbage. That’s right, folks, BYU Law has outdone Harvard by slapping a former professor’s name on an itsy-bitsy trash can….

Not long after we spread the news about BYU Law’s illustrious bank teller position, we received this email from a tipster:

While other law schools memorialize their noteworthy alumni with their name on a moot court room or on a co-curricular competition, BYU has stooped to a new low and now memorializes its alumni on trash cans.

The trash can isn’t dedicated to an alumnus, but rather, a professor emeritus of the law school. Professor Edward L. Kimball, who retired in 1995, used to teach criminal law, and was one of the original members of the BYU Law faculty. Here’s how the law school has chosen to honor Professor Kimball (click to enlarge):

The plaque on the Little Garbage Pail That Could reads: “The Edward L. Kimball Memorial Trash Can.” How freaking insulting. Professor Kimball is 82 years old, and according to his list of publications, he seems to be the master of all things Mormon. And all you’re going to give him is a trash can?

We reached out to BYU Law for comment on this unusual “honor,” but we’ve yet to receive a response. The administration must be busy taking out the Kimball.

UPDATE (2/3/12): We received a response from BYU Law about the Kimball trash can. Here’s what the school had to say:

Professor Kimball was noted for two things: First, he had a dry sense of humor; and second, he did not take himself too seriously.

When he and his wife, Bea, gave a generous gift to the law school, the development officer indicated that there would be a plaque honoring them on the wall near the Moot Court Room. Professor Kimball objected and indicated that he would prefer to have a large, gold trash can placed in the foyer of the law school with a very small plaque stating: The Edward L. Kimball Memorial Trash Can.

Professor and Mrs. Kimball hoped that the “trash can” would bring a smile to students or visitors who read the plaque.

Well, it might not be the exactly right color, but at least Kimball got his trash can wish — people will be smiling (and scratching their heads) for years to come.

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