Sept. 17, 2014

Faculty of Law celebrates largest law-firm donor in school's history

Event marks latest gift from Bennett Jones LLP and the life of founder, Mac Jones
From left: Dean Ian Holloway, Faculty of Law; the Honorable Justice Craig Jones (Mac Jones' son); Perry Spitznagel, vice-chairman and Calgary managing partner, Bennett Jones LLP.

Ian Holloway, the Honorable Justice Craig Jones, and Perry Spitznagel.

The Faculty of Law celebrated Bennett Jones LLP’s latest gift to the law school on Tuesday — $600,000 to name the Bennett Jones Lecture Theatre. This gift establishes Bennett Jones as the largest cumulative law firm donor in the law school’s history, and the most recent donor to the Inspiring Energy.Skills.Excellence campaign.

The gift will support technology upgrades in the law school’s largest teaching and learning space, as well as the Maclean (Mac) Jones QC Memorial Scholarship.

“Bennett Jones has given more than $2 million in both donations of cash and gifts in kind, which also includes the naming of the Bennett Jones Law Library in 2005,” said Ian Holloway, dean of the law school. “We are very thankful for the ongoing support from the firm and its lawyers. Their continued generosity speaks volumes about their commitment to the success of our students — and through them, to the continued vitality of our profession.”

The event also commemorated the life of Bennett Jones founder Maclean (Mac) Everett Jones, QC, who made significant contributions to the legal community in Calgary. He passed away in March.

“In many ways, he was the builder of the modern Bennett Jones,” said Perry Spitznagel QC, vice-chairman and Calgary managing partner of Bennett Jones. “He dictated our culture through the way he practiced law. He was a very practical lawyer — business-minded, straight-talking and for Mac, it was all about getting the deal done. He was a true pioneer of Canadian energy law and a great and selfless mentor.”

In addition to naming the lecture theatre, the gift will also establish a new scholarship for students, the Maclean (Mac) Jones Memorial Scholarship, and will be given to a student who exemplifies the values held by Jones and the firm.

“Mac’s commitment to Bennett Jones spanned nearly 75 years,” said The Honourable Justice Craig Jones, son of Mac Jones. “He was very proud of this involvement with the University of Calgary, and would have been honoured to be remembered in this fashion.”