UC Law Students

UC College of Law to name courtroom for Honorable Sandra S. Beckwith

Fellow alumni from the Class of 1968 donate over $500,000 in honor of the trailblazing alumna

CINCINNATI – Aug. 25, 2020 – The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved the naming of the Honorable Sandra S. Beckwith Courtroom as the primary mock trial courtroom for the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Thanks to the generosity of her classmates, the accomplished and pioneering judge’s name will now permanently reside at a place of honor within the college.

Eight donors of the College of Law Class of 1968 contributed a total of $522,208.51 toward the college’s building campaign, seeking recognition of their colleague and classmate, Judge Sandra S. Beckwith (A&S ‘65, Law ’68).

Sandra S. Beckwith“We are deeply proud to call Judge Beckwith a Bearcat, and to recognize her notable accomplishments in our College of Law,” said UC President Neville G. Pinto. “From her time at UC to her impressive career, she has served as a model of leadership and an advocate for justice.”

“I can’t think of a more fitting dedication for our courtroom or a more fitting way to honor a one of our trailblazing alumni,” said Verna Williams, Dean and Nippert Professor of Law. “Sandra has had such a significant career, opening many doors for women in the field. She is an inspiration to our current and future students. And clearly, someone long-respected by her peers, who have come together to honor her with this gift to the college.”

The Honorable Sandra S. Beckwith Courtroom will be in the new College of Law building, to be renovated at the site of the former Lindner College of Business at 2925 Campus Green Dr. “I am deeply honored by my law school classmates’ kind recognition of my professional achievements,” said Judge Beckwith. “The University of Cincinnati has a large place in my heart. My parents, my siblings and my paternal grandfather all graduated from UC.”

Judge Beckwith, a distinguished member of the law class of 1968, was one of three women in her class in the late 1960s. She was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in 1992 — becoming the first woman Chief Judge of the court on September 1, 2004.

She also serves on the Defender Services Committee of the United States Judicial Conference.

Beckwith started her career at her father’s private law practice in Harrison, Ohio, where she quickly rose through the ranks within Hamilton County as the first woman to hold several key court positions. In 1977, she was appointed and then elected as the first woman to the Hamilton County Municipal Court. In 1987 she was the first woman elected to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, and in 1989 she was the first woman appointed to be a member of the Board of County Commissioners of Hamilton County, Ohio, by Governor James A. Rhodes. She was elected in 1990 as the first woman member of the Board of County Commissioners of Hamilton County, Ohio.

She was elected president of the Board of County Commissioners in 1990 by her fellow Commissioners, the first woman to hold the office. While serving as county commissioner, she also practiced law with the firm of Graydon Head & Ritchey from 1989 to 1992.

She has served on numerous boards including United Way of Cincinnati, Great Rivers Girl Scout Council, National Association of Women Judges, UC College of Law Alumni, UC Friends of Women’s Studies, UC College of Law Board of Visitors, and the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Red Cross. She has been a member of numerous legal organizations and remains a member of the Federal Judges Association, and currently serves locally as the chair of the Federal Bar Association Executive Committee.

This donation supports the priorities of Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati, the comprehensive fundraising effort for UC and UC Health.

Learn more about Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati at: nextnow.uc.edu.


About Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati
With its focus on innovation and impact, Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati is where ambition meets action. As the comprehensive fundraising campaign for the University of Cincinnati and UC Health, the Next, Now Campaign will raise at least $2 billion for scholarships and graduate fellowships, research, the health and well-being of our region, and the signature programs and initiatives unique to UC and UC Health.

About the University of Cincinnati Foundation
Established in 1975, the University of Cincinnati Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation and the private sector fundraising entity for the University of Cincinnati and UC Health. The Foundation supports UC’s aspirations through philanthropic collaboration with the colleges, the Academic Health Center, UC Health and other units to maximize private support. The Foundation’s advancement efforts promote the development of productive, enduring relationships with alumni, friends, colleagues, students, foundations, corporations and the Greater Cincinnati community. For more information, please visit foundation.uc.edu.