Communities Building Legacies
Nov 24, 2021
Through commemorative community giving, our alumni are establishing legacies for individuals whose lives and work have made an indelible impression on the law school and the legal community. By spearheading in-memoriam initiatives and encouraging their peers to give, they are creating vital financial support for students while honouring a beloved colleague, friend or family member. Here, some of our in-memoriam organizers share what inspired them to take the lead on commemorative community giving.
W. Wesley Pue Memorial Fund
by Douglas Harris
Wes was a teacher, a mentor, a colleague and a friend. As teacher, he steered me towards scholarly work that would animate my scholarship for years. As mentor and colleague, he was an unfailing enthusiast with a seemingly inexhaustible capacity to create opportunities for others. And as friend, it was simply a pleasure to be in his company.
But it also seemed important to recognize the extraordinary contributions that Wes made to the academy. Wes’s contributions to the graduate program at Allard Law were transformative; his work at UBC Press, including the creation of a book series, helped to establish the university as a hub of law and society scholarship; his leadership of national and international scholarly associations built extraordinary communities of scholars; and his work in the central administration at UBC Vancouver and Okanagan reflected a deep commitment to public post-secondary education.
It also seemed important to mark just how much Wes is missed and remembered.
— Douglas Harris (LLM 1998) established the W. Wesley Pue Memorial Fund in Law together with Karin Mickelson (LLB 1988) and W. Wesley Pue’s family.
Steven Volrich Memorial Bursary
by Diane Bell, QC
Steve Volrich was a friendly but rather shy, private guy with an amazing bright smile. All of us knew him, but what we didn’t all know at the time was that Steven was battling stomach cancer while attending law school. I was privileged to have become his friend and helped him through the rigours of law school exams. I met all his family members. His mother adored him; his father was so very proud of his son; and his little sister looked up to him just like any little sister would. As time went on, I realized how sick he was; however, he never complained or looked for sympathy. He confronted his illness with humour and courage.
We all graduated law school, but tragically, Steven was never called to the bar along with the rest of us, since the cancer eventually took his young life during articles. His family was devastated. I wanted to honour and preserve his memory, so with his family’s permission, I set about establishing the Class of 1984 Steven Volrich Memorial Bursary to help those struggling with any form of disability or illness while attending law school. In the face of such great adversity, Steven graduated with the law school class of 1984; I wanted to help others facing similar challenges do the same. My classmates continue to honour Steve’s memory by contributing to the Bursary at our reunion events, where we honour him and our other colleagues who have since passed on.
Diane Bell, QC (LLB 1984), established the Steven Volrich Memorial Bursary together with Jane Shackell, QC (LLB 1984), Anne Giardini, OC, OBC, QC (LLB 1984), Jackie Morris (LLB 1984) and Steven Volrich’s family.
Irene M. Stewart Memorial Award
by Barry Fraser
Fraser Litigation Group was inspired to establish a scholarship in Irene Stewart’s name because she was such an exceptional lawyer for a career that spanned nearly five decades.
Irene specialized in corporate and commercial law. Lawyers in this field do not receive the attention and accolades given to lawyers in other fields, and Irene never sought out personal recognition, but their importance cannot be understated. It is often forgotten that practitioners of corporate and commercial law are essential to the functioning of our economy. In particular, the complexity and sophistication of our modern business would not be possible without the services of lawyers like Irene.
Irene was exceptional for her brilliance as a lawyer, her incredible work ethic and her unwavering commitment to her clients. She achieved the highest standards a lawyer can attain, and she continued to practice at that level to her final day. She was also especially caring, compassionate and generous, as her clients, colleagues and friends will attest.
Irene was an icon of the legal profession and cherished by those that had the privilege of knowing her. Having Irene’s name on a scholarship will make it particularly special for anyone who is fortunate enough to receive it.
Barry Fraser (LLB 1977) established the Irene M. Stewart Memorial Award in Law together with Irene M. Stewart’s family.
This article was originally featured in the 2021 Allard Law alumni magazine. Read the magazine online.
- Allard School of Law