Alumni rally to support Dean Ed Iacobucci’s priority to significantly deepen student financial aid

By Lucianna Ciccocioppo 

From the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Nexus

THANK YOU to these donors, early supporters to the financial aid mission

Many alumni forge lifelong friendships during their three years of law school.  That’s why alumnus Mark Wiseman, LLB/MBA 1996, didn’t hesitate to become Campaign Co-Chair—together with Melissa Kennedy, LLB 1997—when Dean Ed Iacobucci asked him. Ed and Mark were not only classmates, but also clerked together at the Supreme Court of Canada after their graduation.

“We want to support the school overall and also want to support our classmate Ed’s goals.   We think he is doing a fantastic job of taking the law school to the next level.”

Marcia Moffat, LLB/MBA 1996, echoes that same loyalty. “We believe in his vision for the law school, and it's a strategy that we're happy to support.”

Marcia and Mark have just given a tremendous gift of $1 million to the law school and to the Rotman School of Management, with the largest portion dedicated to the Moffat/Wiseman Bursaries at Law.  “We want to take away the barrier of financing, so that we continue to educate the most talented people and give them opportunities, regardless of their financial background,” says Moffat.

“We're very fortunate to have graduated from the JD/MBA program,” says Wiseman. “That education really set us on a path for success in our careers, and we were also fortunate to go to the law school at a time when it was much less costly, frankly. Even though tuition then was a fraction of the cost of what it is today, it still wasn't easy.  Today is even harder,” said Wiseman, chairman and global head of active equities of BlackRock Alternative Investors. During law school, he worked and received financial aid.

“And I had three jobs while I was in law school,” says Moffat, now the head and managing director of BlackRock Canada.

In addition to being the place where she met her spouse, Moffat says she has vivid memories of the diversity of thought during her law school days. “Stepping into that environment from a science background where I didn't have such debate, I was surrounded by people with some very strong views on either one or another end of the spectrum. It was a wonderful environment and my hope is that this environment continues to thrive.”

Wiseman agrees. As Campaign Co-Chair, he has this message for all alumni: “We have to protect, grow, and enable world-class institutions like the Faculty of Law to flourish. We need to ensure that the best students are able to achieve their excellence without financial barriers. And, we believe that anybody who is a beneficiary of that excellent institution and has the means to do so ought to give back—and pay it forward.”

Moffat is keen to drum up “some U of T Faculty of Law spirit” throughout the student body and the alumni base because “it's an institution we should all be proud of and want to support well into the future.”

The Campaign is off to a great start with momentum continuing to build. “I think we’re going to meet our goal—and then some,” says Wiseman.

And what is that goal? We’ll divulge that information on September 27, 2018. Stay tuned.