Back in the 1950s, a young Yves Fortier left his hometown of Quebec City to study law at McGill University in Montreal. It was a daring decision at the time, but the intervening years have proven the wisdom of his choice.
Today, L. Yves Fortier, CC, OQ, QC, BCL ’58, LLD ’05, is known as one of the premier international arbitrators in the world. He is Chairman and Senior Partner of the law firm, Ogilvy Renault, has served as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, president of the UN Security Council, was a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague Tribunal, is an ad hoc judge on the International Court of Justice and has served as President of the London Court of International Arbitration. He is also one of three co-chairs of Campaign McGill, the university’s largest-ever fundraising drive.
Now – with a mind to honour young people who exhibit the same passion for bilingualism that he did as an aspiring young jurist – Mr. Fortier has created the most generous entrance scholarship ever to be awarded by the Faculty of Law. Starting in the fall of 2009, the L. Yves Fortier Entrance Scholarship, valued at $10,000, will be given to outstanding students entering full-time studies at the Faculty of Law. Every year, one recipient will be chosen based on their proven interest and commitment to bilingualism. These scholarships will be funded through income generated by Mr. Fortier’s endowed $200,000 donation to the Faculty of Law.
Mr. Fortier also created an additional $50,000 endowment to support the John E.C. Brierley Memorial Lectures at the Faculty of Law. Named after a former professor and Dean of Law who worked in the area of arbitration, this lecture series was established in 2003, with Yves Fortier as the inaugural speaker.
The creation of the L. Yves Fortier Entrance Scholarship and Brierley Memorial Lecture Fund comes less than two months after international aluminium leader Rio Tinto Alcan announced a $3-million gift to McGill’s Faculty of Law to establish a research and teaching position in honouring Yves Fortier’s leadership in the field of arbitration – the L. Yves Fortier Chair in International Arbitration and International Commercial Law.