Thrower Gift Opens Gates To Legal Aid Site
$100,000 donation from longtime backer bolsters society's building campaign
The Atlanta Legal Aid Society has received a major and symbolic gift toward the capital campaign for its landmark new building from Randolph Thrower, one of the giants of the Atlanta bar, and his family.
The Throwers have donated $100,000 in honor of his 100th birthday, which was Sept. 5.
Atlanta Legal Aid is naming the distinctive, filigreed-iron entrance gates to the historic building at 54 Ellis St. N.E. the Randolph and Margaret Thrower Gates of Justice to honor Thrower and his wife, Margaret Munroe Thrower. The Thrower name will be the first of a Legal Aid supporter to go on the building.
"It seemed fitting to have the gates—the access point to justice—named after him," said Atlanta Legal Aid's executive director, Steven Gottlieb.
Thrower is an important part of the group's history and has been a moral leader for the Atlanta legal community, Gottlieb said. "He dignifies us with this involvement."
A tax lawyer at Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, Thrower gave his time and energy to innumerable worthy and, at times, sensitive causes in Atlanta civic life, the legal community and government service for more than six decades. He was not afraid to take unpopular positions. Thrower, who was IRS commissioner during the Nixon administration, resigned after refusing to use his post for political ends.
"We wanted to do something special to honor Dad on his 100th birthday. He's had a long history of support and interest in Atlanta Legal Aid," said Thrower's daughter, Patricia Barmeyer, a partner at King & Spalding.
Thrower led a key fundraising campaign for Atlanta Legal Aid in 1982, for the first time asking local firms for contributions because the group's federal funding, which made up three-quarters of its budget, was threatened by politics.
"We knew the need now is so great, with the existing building so inadequate. It is a wonderful opportunity to place Legal Aid in a location that is wonderful for their clients and has the stature and substance that befits the mission and the outreach they do for our community," Barmeyer said.
The $100,000 gift is from Thrower, his wife, Barmeyer and their other four children, 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. The other children are Margaret Thrower MacCary, Laura Thrower Harris, Randolph William Thrower Jr. and Mary Thrower Wickham.