ASU law school receives $3M gift from W. P. Carey Foundation to honor Armstrong legacy

December 2, 2014

The W. P. Carey Foundation honors 130 years of familial ties to Arizona State University with a $3 million gift to the Arizona Center for Law and Society, the new downtown Phoenix home of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. The gift is the second-largest in the history of the College of Law.

The gift is being made through the W. P. Carey Foundation to honor William Polk Carey’s grandfather, John Samuel Armstrong, who founded what would become ASU. The W. P. Carey Foundation’s gift recognizes John Samuel Armstrong’s legacy at the College of Law and will allow for the largest hall in the new law school to be named the Armstrong Great Hall. Download Full Image

Construction on the $129 million Arizona Center for Law and Society began in July. The new building will be ready for classes by August 2016.

The College of Law on ASU’s Tempe campus currently resides in John S. Armstrong Hall, named after the university’s founding legislator, John Samuel Armstrong. In 1885, John Samuel Armstrong, as chairman of the House Committee of Education, introduced a bill in the 13th territorial legislature to create a normal school for educating teachers, which became ASU. Armstrong Hall was dedicated in 1968.

The W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU and the W. P. Carey Foundation are named after William Polk Carey, who helped to continue the family’s tradition of generous philanthropy.

“I am grateful to the W. P. Carey Foundation for this wonderful gift, and I am honored that we can bring the Armstrong name to the Arizona Center for Law and Society,” said Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Dean Douglas Sylvester. “The Armstrong Great Hall will serve as an important link between ASU law’s past and its future.”

The Arizona Center for Law and Society will be designed and built around the Armstrong Great Hall. The heart and soul of the center, the hall will be a teaching-learning space reflecting the vision of its namesake and the continued success of the College of Law.

“We are proud to continue the Armstrong legacy for the benefit of future generations,” said J. Samuel Armstrong IV, John Samuel Armstrong’s great-grandson and a trustee of the W. P. Carey Foundation. “This gift from the W. P. Carey Foundation to create the Armstrong Great Hall is a symbol of two names that form one family that cares deeply about ASU becoming one of the great learning institutions.”

With an elevating wall able to rise more than 30 feet, the Armstrong Great Hall will become the most public entrance into the center, offering stairs, seating spaces and inviting places for informal gatherings. The Armstrong Great Hall will also have the ability to host courtroom proceedings, including oral arguments before the Arizona Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and others. The space itself, reaching two stories high, will offer 5,500 to 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art teaching and learning amenities. The Armstrong Great Hall will be an open and public civic space.

Chairman of the W. P. Carey Foundation, Francis J. Carey III, noted, “This gift enables us to support the legacies of our ancestors, John S. Armstrong and William Polk Carey. Bill was grateful when ASU originally named the main law school building at ASU in honor of his grandfather, John S. Armstrong, in 1968 and went on to support ASU with the establishment of the W. P. Carey School of Business in 2003.* He believed in the importance of both legal and business education as a way to enhance our country’s future. The W. P. Carey Foundation strives to continue to support his priorities, and hopes that this new building strengthens the national stature of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and enhances the close working relationship between the law school and the W. P. Carey School of Business.”

The Arizona Center for Law and Society is planned to be approximately 280,000 gross square feet with two levels of underground parking. It will have 18 rooms in which classes will be regularly scheduled, including one large lecture hall dedicated to university undergraduate education. Features of the new law school include a high-tech courtroom and an active learning classroom.

The Arizona Center for Law and Society also will include space for two think tanks, multiple centers with cross-disciplinary focus and the new ASU Alumni Law Group, the first teaching law firm associated with a law school.

The lead architects on the project are Ennead Architects and Jones Studios, with DPR Construction as the lead builder.

*The School of Business was endowed by W. P. Carey in 2003 and subsequently renamed. The school was first established in 1961.

Preparations begin for the 7th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition

December 2, 2014

Outstanding pianists between the ages of 13 and 32 from around the globe will make their way to Tempe, Ariz. in January 2015 for the 7th biennial Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition. Presented by the ASU School of Music and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, in collaboration with the Phoenix Symphony, the Arizona Young Artist Committee and the Arizona Piano Gallery, this biennial competition is considered one of the best in the world. The public is invited to witness these fantastic young artists from Jan. 4–11, 2015.

Almost 200 pianists from 31 countries applied to the 2013 competition. “This year we anticipate an even larger number of applicants as the competition continues to grow in prestige, becoming one of the leading competitions in the U.S. alongside the Cliburn Competition,” said Baruch Meir, ASU associate professor of piano and the competition’s founder and artistic director. Download Full Image

Legendary Argentine pianist Martha Argerich will once again join the panel of judges. Argerich, one of the most prominent pianists in the world, agrees to serve on the jury of only a few select competitions, and the USASU Competition is among them. Other members of the 2015 competition jury include Zhe Tang, Shanghai Conservatory of Music (China); Vadim Monastyrski, Rubin Academy of Music (Israel); Aleksandar Serdar, Belgrade Music Academy (Serbia) and Robert Hamilton and Baruch Meir from ASU.

“We are pleased to host an international competition of the caliber of the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition at the ASU School of Music,” said Heather Landes, director of the ASU School of Music. “The competition serves as a springboard for the development of the next generation of young artists and provides us with a reminder of the transformative power of music.”

A gala recital featuring members of the jury will open the competition week on Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Katzin Concert Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus. The competition’s live solo rounds are open to the public, Jan. 5-10, 2015. These are exciting opportunities to see participants from all over the world competing for advancement to the final round. The Bösendorfer finalists (ages 19-32) compete for a grand prize of $15,000 and an opportunity to be a featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony. The Yamaha Senior and Junior competitors, ranging in age from 13-18, will also vie for top prize money and medals. Total prize money is $50,000.

The Yamaha Competition reaches its exciting conclusion on Saturday, Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Katzin Concert Hall. Results will be announced, prizes will be awarded, and the top medalists will perform in the Winners’ Recital.

The Bösendorfer Competition culminates in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the finalists. Each plays a final concerto at Symphony Hall, accompanied by The Phoenix Symphony under the baton of conductor James Feddeck. Immediately following the concert, the jury makes its final decisions and announces the winners. Presentation of awards and medals takes place onstage. This concert and awards ceremony occurs Sunday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for all live solo rounds at Katzin Concert Hall, as well as the opening gala recital and the Yamaha Junior and Senior Winners’ Recital, can be purchased at the Herberger Institute Box Office.

Tickets for the Bösendorfer final round concert and awards ceremony at Symphony Hall can be purchased through the Phoenix Symphony Box Office.

For more information about the competition, the schedule of events and how to get involved, visit

The organizers of the competition are currently seeking host families for the competitors. If interested, email or call 480.965.8740

The School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19th in the country and eighth among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 750 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each year. To learn more about the School of Music, visit

Public and media contact: Baruch Meir, ASU School of Music, 480.965.8740,

Media Contact:
Deborah Sussman Susser