This donor profile is from the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Nexus.

Clay Horner, LLB 1983Clay Horner, LLB 1983, was only too eager to be a part of the Law Building Campaign, and volunteered as co-chair. It was an easy decision to make, says Olsers’ partner and chair.

“The contributions of U of T law school to the legal and broader community are fantastic. And on a personal note, the law school had an incredible impact on my life, in terms of the relationships I made while I was a student, and with prior and subsequent classes of students, and with top faculty. So I wanted to be able to be part of the leadership team and return a little bit of what the law school gave to me.”

Horner says he’d like to engage as many alumni as possible to think back on their law school days, and consider carefully the relationship they have with the Faculty of Law. “It’s a special relationship. I think alumni will recognize we need a new facility to ensure the incredible richness of our programs, not only for our unbelievably talented student body but also for our renowned faculty. And also to ensure we continue to have a vibrant forum so the Faculty of Law remains at the forefront of legal scholarship and relevance in the broader policy community.”

And while many alumni have a fondness for the traditional ivy and- brick law buildings, there’s definitely no love lost over the lack of communal space or abundance of dark space. It was time, says Horner, for modernity. “The building will create the environment and a facility to allow us to take advantage of the richness in digital teaching technology and other methods to engage with the community.”

And that’s why his partners and colleagues at Osler came through for the Faculty of Law. Osler matched individual gifts from its lawyers, and the resulting gift set a new benchmark in Canadian law firm giving.

“It was time for us to step up again and renew our commitment to the importance of legal education. Nobody is in a position to see the value of a great legal education—and be able to finance it better— than the people who directly benefited from the talents and learning of the students who come from the U of T law school.”