Andrew Kent, LLB 1976, of McMillan LLPThis donor profile is from the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Nexus.

As CEO of Toronto-based McMillan LLP, Andrew Kent, LLB 1976, likes to joke that he's very popular among law school deans. The University of Toronto is no exception.

"They'd been talking about the need to improve their facilities for a long time," says Kent, who attended the Faculty of Law in the 1970s, and has very fond memories of his time there. "We were pleased to help."

Beyond Kent's own very personal connection, the firm and the law school are intertwined at many levels. Law students and graduates flow through McMillan's doors, often finding a permanent home in the company fold. They populate every department—from legal client services, to recruitment, training, and knowledge management. Conversely, McMillan's lawyers frequently teach and give talks at the Faculty of Law, exchanging their practical know-how with students and professors familiar with a more theoretical perspective.

Kent has happy memories of attending classes in historic Falconer Hall, where he says professors would play ping-pong in the attic, while students tackled pinball in the basement. Those were magical times of learning and living. But like the city it calls home, the law school has evolved. Investing in its future, Kent says, is an investment in the grand social experiment that is Toronto.

"More than half of the people who live in Toronto were not born in the city," he observes. "You've got this remarkable diversity of personal histories trying to meld together. The law school has become a very diverse institution. It's important to have that in the heart of the city."