Male students, faculty, and visitors to the Law School’s new Wasserstein Hall will have the opportunity to use the newly christened “Falik Men’s Room”—a cleverly named restroom bequeathed by Harvard Law School graduate William A. Falik.
Falik donated $100,000 to the Law School to establish a public interest law fellowship in honor of his father’s centennial birthday. The Law School named the restroom in his honor.
Several years ago, Falik met with then-Dean of the Law School Elena Kagan to discuss the donation and naming opportunities.
Falik said that he told Kagan that “the only thing I've ever been able to name with a name like Falik is a restroom,” and that he would be interested in the possibility of naming one in Wasserstein Hall, which opened its doors this winter.
According to Falik, Kagan was receptive to the idea and “she essentially said something to the effect, ‘sounds good to me, let me check it out.’”
Falik has previously sprinkled his name on another restroom. At the University of California Berkeley, where Falik currently teaches law, Falik created a public interest law fellowship and sponsored a restroom in Berkeley’s Boalt Hall.
Before that, Falik had made a donation to Berkeley Repertory's Roda Theater while serving on their board and helped to plan the creation of the Falik Gentlemen's Lounge.
"That was the beginning of this series of men's rooms, and I think I have now ended it," Falik said. "This is my hat trick."
According to Falik, his restrooms often receive more attention from the press than the fellowships he has created.
"The men's room has obviously more attraction to them in sort of the irony of the name Falik adjacent to a men's room, but some people have talked to me about the scholarship, and that's really what this whole thing's about." Falik said.
Falik said that naming a public interest law fellowship after his father seemed like a natural choice.
At his father's 100th birthday celebration, Falik presented his father with plaques from Elena Kagan and Dean of Berkeley School of Law Christopher F. Edley, Jr.
"He was just deeply moved by it, and he also got a great laugh out of the naming of men's rooms," Falik said. "My dad lived that long—he lived to 102—because he had a great sense of humor."
—Staff writer Juliet R. Bailin can be reached at email@example.com.
CORRECTION: February 12, 2012.
An earlier version of this article said that William A. Falik sponsored a restroom at Harvard Law School. In fact, the Law School named the restroom in honor of Falik, who donated $100,000 to establish a fellowship at the Law School.
10 Peculiar Bequests in Harvard's HistoryHarvard can claim the largest university library in the nation, multiple companies around the world, much of Boston and Allston, and lots of money. But the University also owns some bizarre things thanks to past bequests by donors. FM researched some of the most shocking and peculiar donations made in the history of the University to learn more about their origins and how they came under Harvard’s possession.