Thanks to a generous donation, Western Law has added a boost to their teaching and researching of corporate law.
On Wednesday afternoon, a $1.5 million gift from W. Geoff Beattie and Torys LLP was matched by Western in order to establish the W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law and support the Torys LLP Corporate & Securities Law Forum.
The fund will help Western Law recruit a new faculty member in the field of corporate law. After the announcement, Western president Amit Chakma explained the fund will make a meaningful improvement to the law faculty, specifically the business law area.
“First of all, Western Law is a relatively small faculty with about 30 faculty members, so when you add one on top of 30 that is significant,” he said.
What is also significant about the donation is that it forms Western Law’s first endowed chair, and Western’s eighth official one, which furthers Western’s goal of creating 100 new endowed chairs by 2020.
Chakma went on to explain the increase in endowed chairs not only benefits Western in attracting top professionals to teach here, but the more chairs that are created, the less Western has to rely on government funding.
Beattie is a graduate of Western Law and is currently the president and CEO of Woodbridge Company Limited, and Deputy Chairman of Thomson Reuters. Beattie revealed that part of the reason he decided to donate to Western is because he attributes much of his success to his time here.
“It does take a number of years as you move forth in your career before you truly appreciate what gave you your start,” he explained. “You look back and you realize that a good part of your success in life as a person and as a business person can be attributed to your start.”
Along with the hope that this fund will help strengthen the faculty’s corporate law section, Beattie also hopes this donation will create a lasting tradition.
“I hope the gift is a leadership gift in the sense that it encourages other people to do it.”