University of Calgary

Two generations of Calgary family take part in convocation

UToday HomeMay 7, 2013

By Colleen Seto

Alumna Dora Lam, QC, JD’85, will be on hand as her daughter Christina, BSc’10, receives her law degree on May 9.Alumna Dora Lam, QC, JD’85, will be on hand as her daughter Christina, BSc’10, receives her law degree on May 9. Photo by Riley BrandtConvocation is a time when many parents beam proudly as their kids cross the stage and achieve the major goal of a university degree. This is certainly the case for alumna Dora Lam, QC, JD’85, as her daughter Christina Lam, BSc’10, receives her law degree at May convocation.

It will also be an event where Christina can feel proud as her mom serves as the ceremony’s Distinguished Graduate and leads the Graduate's Pledge, affirming ongoing commitment to learning, community and being an ambassador for the University of Calgary.

“It will be much more of a family event,” says Christina. “My family can be proud of me and my mom’s achievements as well.” Father, Richard Lam, MD’85 and brother, Russell Lam, MD’08 will be there cheering for them at the convocation.

For Dora, a strong proponent of public education who has served on the University of Calgary Alumni Association’s board of directors since 1999, the honour is an immense one. “I’ve spent the last 33 years very connected to the university. I’m grateful for the education I’ve received here. With that knowledge, I’ve been able to help others.”

She started out as an immigration lawyer, but as her clients began to buy homes and open businesses, her work evolved into a general practice. Appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2000, Dora has done mainly pro bono work for non-profit organizations and charities for the last 10 years. Currently, she’s working with a First Nation to help establish a private school in Calgary for aboriginal children. “It feels good to make a difference,” she affirms.

Since Christina and Russell were children, Dora has brought them on campus. “Unlike other universities, this is a community university,” Dora emphasizes. “You can immerse your children on campus well before they are university age.” And Dora has done just that, enrolling her kids in programs like Mini U, Minds in Motion, and recreational swimming classes.

So for Christina, the decision to attend the University of Calgary was fairly easy. For one thing, she already knew her way around campus. “You don’t have to go away to get something valuable from your education,” she says.

With soon-to-be two degrees under her belt (her undergraduate degree is in biology), Christina prides herself on representing the university in a professional capacity and a community one, just as her mother does. She plans to practice environmental policy law and continue her volunteer work with seniors’ and homeless groups.

Both mother and daughter agree: “The University of Calgary is a good place to be.”


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