September 17, 2012
In keeping with its business law focus, Western Law has created the new W. Geoff Beattie Chair in Corporate Law and put additional funds towards the Torys LLP Corporate & Securities Law Forum following a $1.5-million donation from Torys and Geoff Beattie, president and CEO of Woodbridge Company Ltd., which Western University then matched for a grand total of $3 million.
Western’s donation matching program was a key factor in obtaining this gift, says [Western Law dean Iain] Scott. “For me, understanding the importance of leverage, being able to go to donors and say, ‘Listen, if you give me this $1.5 million, I’m going to be able to match it for you so it’s 2-1 on your dollar and we can do more things with your gift,’” he says.
Mitch Frazer admits that was a selling point on the deal. “There’s only so many dollars; there’s a finite amount of money. So you want to get the biggest bang for your buck,” he says.
With more law schools seeking private donations, the pressure is also on law firms in terms of where to allocate their funds.
In this case, Mitch says it was an easy decision. “We’ve had long-standing relations with Western Law and a very big reason is our long-standing relations with Geoff Beattie, who was a former partner of Torys before he went on to Woodbridge,” he says.