The University of British Columbia has received an $11.86 million gift from law alumnus Peter Allard, which will support the UBC Faculty of Law's new building, establish an international prize that supports freedom, integrity and human rights, and create an online historical faculty archive. The gift is the single largest donation to UBC's Faculty of Law, and one of the largest donations ever to a Canadian law school.
In honour of Mr. Allard's generosity, the university will name its soon-to-be-completed law building Allard Hall.
A lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Allard leads investment company Peterco Holdings Ltd. and previously founded his own law firm, Allard and Co. In 1993, he established the Highbury Foundation, which has supported medical research, equipment and scholarships for universities and colleges in Western Canada.
"I am a proud UBC alumnus," says Mr. Allard, who received his Bachelor of Arts and Law degrees from UBC in 1968 and 1971, respectively. "Ever since my days at UBC, I have possessed a strong belief in the enduring and transformative power of a legal education, and I believe this profession provides for the long term greater good of society."
"Peter Allard's generosity reflects a defining characteristic of UBC Faculty of Law graduates: a commitment to the pursuit of justice," says Professor Stephen Toope, President of UBC. "Like others before him, Mr. Allard has sought to inspire and provoke, persuade and persevere, and to pursue justice at the local and international levels. UBC is grateful for his passion and leadership."
Inspired by the strong support from the legal community for the law building campaign, Mr. Allard directed $9.825 million of his gift towards the completion of the new building. Private fundraising for the building will thus total nearly $35 million, making the campaign the most successful private fundraising effort in history for a Canadian law school building. The University has committed the remaining $21 million toward the building's $56 million cost.
"With the funding for the building now in place," said Toope, "UBC Law, in its new home at Allard Hall, will be able to focus its talented faculty, staff and students on carrying out its strategic plan to be one of the world's great centres for legal education and research."
"The UBC Faculty of Law is extremely proud that our new building will bear the Allard name," said Mary Anne Bobinski, Dean of the Faculty of Law. "Allard's generous contributions to the Faculty of Law will support legal education in British Columbia for many generations to come."
An amount of up to $1.75 million will establish the annual Allard Prize for International Integrity, which will recognize one or more individuals or entities worldwide for their fight for freedom, human rights and against corruption.
"This prize will enable UBC Law at Allard Hall to take a leadership role in promoting the transparency, accountability and checks and balances necessary to establish human rights and economic development around the world," Mr. Allard says. "In looking back over my many years in law, there is no more important class in my mind than the first year course in ethics. Honesty, integrity and the unofficial 'smell test' are the hallmarks of the Rule of Law, and with the Rule of Law comes justice. Lawyers are involved in and affect every segment of our lives, often behind the scenes, and deal with ethics, honesty, integrity and accountability on a daily basis."
Mr. Allard's gift also includes $175,000 to help preserve the Faculty's rich history through the creation of an online archive, as well as a sculpture by Native American artist Allan Houser entitled "Legends Begin." Valued at more than $110,000, the sculpture will be displayed in Allard Hall.