Tribute Gift Creates Franklin Lew Innovation Fund

“My father always remembered the life-long lessons and friendships he gained here,” explained Derek, Mr. Franklin Lew’s son. “His education and experiences at UBC Law afforded him with many outstanding opportunities that shaped his career. It’s a great privilege for us to honour him with this gift to the school, with the hopes that it will help future generations of students embrace new opportunities and achieve success.”

At the one-year anniversary celebration of Allard Hall, Joan and Derek Lew announced a $2 million dollar gift to celebrate the life and legacy of their late husband and father Franklin Lew, who graduated from UBC Law in 1961. Mr. Lew passed away in 2006 after a courageous battle with cancer. During his life, he was committed to education and will be remembered as a successful businessman and active community member.

To celebrate Mr. Lew’s legacy, the forum space in Allard Hall was named in his honour. A key feature of the building, this space is used to host conferences, symposiums, lectures and special events.

Joan and Derek’s generous gift created the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund, which provides seed funding for strategic projects that will allow the Faculty to emerge as one of the great world centres for legal education and research. Funds have assisted with the set-up costs of the Tax LL.M. Program, and the Innocence Project, as well as creating Global Environmental Law Externship Program which ran in Spring 2014. To qualify for the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund, initiatives generally must have a plan to become self-funding, thereby freeing funds and other resources for new projects. The Lew’s commitment to education will have a lasting impact on UBC’s Faculty of Law.

The Tax LL.M. ensures that law and accounting graduates from across Canada and around the world gain the knowledge and insights they need to advise clients, organizations and policy-makers in this challenging field. The Innocence Project provides accessible, independent assistance to people convicted of a serious crime who maintain their innocence.