Whopping donation nets naming rights at UBC law school

The University of British Columbia’s law school is getting a name change after receiving a whooping $30-million donation from a former student yesterday. That amount is the largest gift ever to a Canadian law school.

UBC’s law school is now dubbed the Peter A. Allard School of Law in honour of Peter Allard, who in 2011 had previously given the school another $12 million for the construction of the building that now houses the faculty of law.

“It’s our largest donation; it’s the largest individual donation in our university’s $1.5-billion dollar [fundraising] campaign, and it’s the largest donation to legal education in Canada ever,” says law school dean Mary Anne Bobinski about the latest gift.

“We’re thrilled by [Allard’s] generous support and grateful for the way in which that support will help students’ experience and faculty research, and allow us to have an impact for generations to come,” she adds.

Allard, who is a lawyer, businessman, and philanthropist, received both his undergraduate and law degrees from UBC. After graduating, he practised law for 20 years and founded his own firm, Allard and Co. He has since been involved in a variety of business enterprises, including the investment firm Peterco Holdings Ltd.

“As a proud UBC alumnus, I am pleased to make an investment today that will enable students to pursue a profession that strives to create a more just society,” Allard said in a statement.

“My intention is to create a permanent and growing revenue stream that will help to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members, provide support to ensure that the most promising students are able to participate, and ensure that exceptional learning programs are offered.”

Bobinski says the new donation will be used to create several endowments at the law school. Some $5 million will go into creating student support that includes scholarships and bursaries as well as summer employment opportunities.

Another $4 million will go into experiential learning that will allow students “to take what they learn in the classroom and use it to help clients in need in society,” says Bobinski, who also adds the funds will also go into recruiting the best faculty.

“This allows us to go to the next level of trying to ensure that we’re recruiting the very best students, that we have fantastic faculty. Those two together, the students and the faculty, can, through their research and clinical work, have a real impact nationally and globally on issues like human rights,” she says.

Part of the new funding will help support an international prize created under Allard’s name. The Allard Prize for International Integrity supports global organizations that are involved in fighting corruption and promoting human rights, ethics, transparency, and the rule of law around the world.

In addition, with the new money, UBC’s law school has launched a $10-million fundraising campaign to encourage others to join Allard in supporting the law school.

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