Alumni celebrated at Awards Ceremony

October 27, 2011

Alumni award

(l-r) Geoff Beattie '84, Roberta Jamieson '76, Mitch Frazer '99 and Dean Iain Scott at the Alumni Awards Dinner

Western Law alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends enjoyed an evening of celebration on Thursday, October 20 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto and honoured three outstanding alumni, Mitch Frazer '99, Geoff Beattie '84 and Roberta Jamieson '76.

Heather Hiscox, host of CBC News: Morning, a Western alumna and recent Western honoury degree recipient, emceed the evening’s event which raised $20,000 for law student scholarships.

“This is an excellent example of the legacy that Western alumni continually leave for tomorrow’s students,” Hiscox noted.

Western’s President Amit Chakma welcomed the audience and highlighted Western’s global aspirations—and the important role the Faculty of Law and its alumni play in helping achieve them.

“Your engagement makes your law school stronger, and that ensures a stronger university,” he said.

The evening also provided an opportunity to introduce Western Law’s new Dean, W. Iain Scott, to the Toronto alumni community.

“I was drawn to this important role in the hopes that my experience and perspective would contribute to something fundamentally important – shaping our next generation of leaders,” Dean Scott remarked. “But it’s not a challenge I take on alone, it is a challenge we all must embrace.”

While the law school has bestowed honours to alumni in the past, this year’s awards established new categories to build on that legacy: awards for community service, business leadership and the Ivan Rand Alumni Award – named for the Law School’s first Dean.

The awards, generously sponsored by Torys LLP, were presented by Les Viner, Managing Partner of Torys.

The Community Service award was presented to Roberta Jamieson, a woman who has built her career on achieving things “first”. Jamieson was the first woman from a First Nation in Canada to graduate from a law school; the first woman to be appointed Ombudsman of Ontario; the first woman to head the Six Nations of the Grand River, Canada's most populous reserve; and the first non-parliamentarian appointed to a House of Commons committee.

As CEO and president of the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation since 2004, Jamieson is dedicated to realizing the potential of First Nation, Métis and Inuit youth through scholarship assistance and other supports.

Mitch Frazer, a Partner at Torys LLP, was honoured with the Ivan Rand Alumni Award. This distinction recognizes superior contributions to both the Law School and to the alumni community.

Frazer, a true ambassador for the Faculty of Law, has served the law school in a number of roles and capacities. As President of the Western Law Alumni Association (UWOLAA) he revitalized the association and took a lead role in the creation of the Torys LLP “Pre-Eminent Speaker Series”.

Frazer is head of the Pensions and Benefits Practice Group at Torys LLP, and Chambers Global has noted him as a leading lawyer in his field for the past four years.

Geoff Beattie, President of The Woodbridge Company, was awarded the 2011 Business Leadership Award which recognizes significant and sustained achievements in business.

Throughout his career Beattie has embraced the many challenges of leadership. He began his career at Torys LLP before switching gears and joining Wood Gundy where he tackled the world of investment banking.

He later rejoined Torys and put his new skills in investment banking to use as he practiced business law. This carefully executed “sideways step” would ultimately place him on a well-executed path to success.

In 1998 he assumed the helm as President of The Woodbridge Company, the investment company of the Thomson family.

In keeping with his philosophy of giving back, he is lending his significant talents to his alma mater as Western’s Campaign Chair.

 “It was a special night of celebration and friendship. We were thrilled so many of our alumni made it out to the event,” says Matoula Charitsis, Director of External Relations for Western Law. "A special thanks to our lead dinner sponsor, Wildeboer Dellelce, who were instrumental in ensuring a terrific night.”

The crowd was entertained by a special performance by Jeff Madden (Frankie Valli in the hit musical Jersey Boys), with Levon Ichkhanian (lead guitarist from Jersey Boys) and his band, featuring songs from Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli.

Western Law thanks all the generous sponsors of this event; Lead Dinner Sponsor Wildeboer Dellelce LLP; Platinum Sponsors Torys LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP; Gold Sponsor Manulife Financial; and Silver Sponsors Goodmans LLP, ZSA Legal Recruitment, Georgeson, Thornton Grout Finnigan LLP and Fasken Martineau LLP.

Thank you to our dedicated leaders on the Dinner Committee: Perry Dellelce, BA’85, Managing Partner, Wildeboer Dellelce; Bill Braithwaite, LLB’76, Partner, Stikeman Elliott LLP; Gary Girvan, LLB’76, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP; Tracey Tremayne-Lloyd, LLB’83, Partner, Gardiner Roberts LLP; Jay Carfagnini, LLB’80, Partner, Goodmans LLP; Warren Bongard, LLB’91, President, Z.S.A. Legal Recruitment; and Western Law Professor Richard McLaren, LLB’71.