The elegant Common Room of Old Chancellor Day Hall was abuzz with students, professors, and friends of the Faculty last March 29, as eighteen student award-winners got to nosh canapés, clink a glass with their benefactors, and personally thank them for their generous support.
For Cristina Toteda, who was awarded the Daniel Mettarlin Memorial Scholarship, it was an occasion to “let the donors know how important their contribution to student awards is and, in my case, how helpful it has been for my own career.”
Among those present were Andrew Rosenhek, winner of the Richard Golick Extracurricular Achievement Prize, awarded to a student who brings recognition to the Faculty through work in the community, and Katie Webber, the recipient of several awards, including the Maurice Goldenberg Memorial Scholarship and the Maurice Alexander Scholarship.
Both Rosenhek and Webber (both pictured at top) spoke on behalf of McGill
law students who benefit from awards such as these. “In my personal experience,” said Webber, “awards and scholarships are important because they help students create multiple spheres of engagement within the Faculty. They give us the confidence to pursue areas of legal research that we are truly passionate about, and also enable student-initiated creative endeavours, which can help bring some levity to an at-times stressful environment, and foster a sense of community that spans across all years of study.”
According to Rosenhek, these awards also allow students to complement their legal education with first-hand experiences, which can inspire them to explore the career paths that really interest them. “For instance, while I’ve taken classes in International Human Rights Law and Public International Law, it was through my experience in Ghana working with survivors of human rights abuses that I was really able to understand what this area of law is about,” he says.
Virginia Lam (pictured on right, 4th row), of De Grandpré Chait, which sponsors the De Grandpré Chait Real Estate Award, also addressed the gathering, stressing the need for alumni and corporations to give back to the Faculty.
The Faculty of Law distributes well over $200,000 every year in scholarships, prizes, bursaries and internship stipends. Through their generous gifts, donors and friends of the Faculty have created a broad range of awards that highlight academic success, supporting community outreach, providing financial assistance to students, and recognize their extraordinary citizenship and engagement.
The evening was “a wonderful opportunity for donors to encounter our uniquely committed and talented students,” said Dean Daniel Jutras, “and for the prizewinners to discover a bit more about the history of these awards, connecting the past, the present and the future of the Faculty.”
Story by Bridget Wayland. Photos by Nicolas Morin.