The University of British Columbia's law school has unveiled the largest single donation in its history, just days before moving into a long-awaited and tailor-made new building.
The lion's share of an $11.86-million gift from alumnus Peter Allard, a lawyer and investment manager, goes to complete the $56-million capital campaign for what will now be called Allard Hall. The rest of the funds will establish a global prize in international integrity and an online archive of the Faculty of Law's history.
Since the mid-1990s, UBC Law has been pushing for a new home to act as a catalyst to become more globally connected and, in recent years, to build on core strengths in such regional areas as environmental and natural resources law and aboriginal legal issues.
Starting Friday, the faculty begins moving out of a Brutalist poured-concrete structure that has had "students alternately dressed in shorts and parkas depending on what the heating and cooling system was doing," said dean Mary Anne Bobinski.
Designed by Diamond + Schmitt Architects, Allard Hall will host its first classes in September and is wired with new web and other distance-learning technologies, allowing the school to disseminate its work widely. It also has classrooms designed to foster more back-and-forth between teachers and students.
"Teaching law has moved from a brilliant person standing in front of a room lecturing to a very problem-oriented, active learning environment," Dr. Bobinski said.
The annual Allard Prize for International Integrity will recognize individuals or entities fighting around the world for "freedom, human rights and against corruption."
"There is no more important class in my mind than the first-year course in ethics," Mr. Allard said in a statement. "Honesty, integrity and the unofficial 'smell test' are the hallmarks of the rule of law, and with the rule of law comes justice."