Many of Frederick Q. Lawson's memories of his grandfather involve law books.

While the family would vacation at its summer house at Bear Lake, S.J. "Joe" Quinney would get up early, sit at the kitchen table and pore over his well-worn leather-bound law books.When the then-young boy would visit Quinney's law offices, he was impressed by the hundreds of books in lawyers' offices, the firms' library and the stacks that filled the hallways.

"As I grew up, I realized my grandfather and law books were inseparable, they were constant companions," Lawson said.

Quinney's family thought it fitting then to name a law library after the prominent attorney, Lawson said during a ceremony Thursday to christen the University of Utah College of Law library the S.J. Quinney Law Library.

Although Quinney never attended the U., he felt a deep connection to the law school, Lawson said. When the firm needed attorneys, "it sought out lawyers from this excellent school of law, that's how this link was formed," Lawson said.

Quinney was a founder of Ray, Quinney & Nebeker, one of Utah's oldest law firms.

The honor recognizes Quinney's lifelong contributions to the legal and business communities and a $2.5 million gift to the U. College of Law from the S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney Foundation.

The gift is the largest donation the U. law school has received in its history, said Lee E. Teitelbaum, dean of the College of Law.

The money will be awarded over a five-year period and allocated to four endowment funds, with $1 million for student scholarships, $500,000 for the law library, $500,000 for the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and Environment and a $500,000 endowed scholarship at the center.

The grant for the law library will be used to improve the natural resources and public lands collections, which are used daily by local attorneys, judges, students and the general public.

U. law library director Rita Reusch said she was delighted when she learned of the gift.

"I said, `It's about time it got a name.' Before today, the three libraries at the U. were called the Eccles, the Marriott and the law," she said.

Quinney, who died in 1983, was born in Logan. He earned an undergraduate degree from Utah Agricultural College - now Utah State University - and graduated from Harvard University Law School in 1919.

Quinney was known as the "father of Utah skiing," having participated and promoted the sport and industry for nearly 50 years. He formed the Salt Lake Winter Sports Association and his leadership helped develop Alta ski resort in a world-class ski area. In 1975, he was elected a member of the National Ski Hall of Fame.