Saturday, May 12, 2018
Alumni Chris Graham, and Shannon Leo with law student Marie Kiluu-Ngila

Alumni Chris Graham and Shannon Leo, with law student Marie Kiluu-Ngila.

Photos by Wasila Baset

Faculty of Law donors and volunteers for this academic year were celebrated in the Jackman Law Building’s Torys Hall on May 3, recognizing those who gave back to their alma mater between May 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018.

Alumni representing a variety of class years heard from Dean Ed Iacobucci, Law Alumni Association President Jon Feldman, student financial aid Campaign Co-Chair Melissa Kennedy and law student Marie Kiluu-Ngila, who all expressed gratitude for the many ways alumni support their alma mater. The law school is also especially grateful for the donors who stepped forward early to support our campaign for student financial aid, and we look forward to celebrating with donors at the official campaign launch on September 27th.

Three shot of alumni at donor volunteer event

Alumni John Gregory with Richard Potter and Brian Westlake

Marie Kiluu-Ngila told the guests why she selected U of T for her legal education, among her many offers of admission.

“What stood out to me was this school’s needs-based financial aid program,” said Kiluu-Ngila. “I remember reading the financial aid booklet online, front to back, and crunching numbers. Needs-based funding meant that instead of having to rely on merit-based funding, my family’s household income and my ability to show need meant that I would receive proper funding to cover tuition. This tipped the scales in favour of U of T Law, and to my surprise I also received an entrance scholarship funded by a donor. Looking back, I know I made the right decision.”

Melissa Kennedy also shared her story. “Like many law students of yesterday, and today, I worked to pay for my legal education. And while I didn’t receive financial aid from the law school, I did obtain it from the province of Ontario or I likely would not have been able to attend the Faculty of Law. So I understand from a very personal point of view the great importance of deepening the financial aid funding here.”

Three shot of alumni at donor volunteer event

Alumni Tycho Manson, with Carolyn Kolers and Eliot Kolers

Not only has she supported the law school financially, Melissa is an enthusiastic campaign volunteer. “And I am here to encourage all of you to continue to give back to our law school, in whatever way you can.”

“Notwithstanding your busy lives, so many of you have chosen to volunteer to support a wide range of our programs, such as the Law Alumni Association, our alumni-student mentorship program, or any of our fantastic and busy clinic programs,” said Dean Iacobucci. “Many here tonight have stepped up as moot coaches and judges, panellists, or trainers at our various career and skills development workshops. You were speakers at our ‘Lawyers Doing Cool Things’ program or the Dean’s Leadership Luncheon lecture series…Your time, experience and energy has had a tremendously enriching impact on our students, and on our ability to deliver these outstanding programs.”

Outstanding programs means the Faculty of Law graduates outstanding law students, who join our global alumni base to become leaders in their wide range of fields.

Donor volunteer event in Torys Hall wide shot

Jon Feldman said the law school played an important role in his professional successes. “I am tremendously grateful to this law school for launching my legal career….this degree has given me and my classmates, and indeed, all alumni, a world of opportunities in the myriad fields of law, government, business, non-profit and more. That’s why I strongly believe it’s incumbent on alumni to support the lawyers of the future. This includes supporting financial aid for the brilliant students who merit admission to this law school.”

Kiluu-Ngila summed it up warmly: “As students, we understand that it is donors like yourselves that help sustain our financial aid program and events here at the school. Many of us, including myself, have had opportunities to meet and learn from alumni through events like the Dean’s Leadership Luncheons held throughout the year, along with other events in which alumni volunteer their time and effort to enrich our law school community. All of this has been made possible through our alumni’s willingness to share their resources with current students, and for this, we would like to thank you immensely.”