You are now in the main content area

Ryerson renames law school after the Honourable Lincoln Alexander

University pays tribute to Alexander’s legacy as a leader in the fight for racial equality
April 06, 2021
Lincoln Alexander

Lincoln Alexander was the first Black person to be elected to Canada’s House of Commons, to serve as a federal Cabinet Minister and to be appointed as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Photo credit: Peter Bregg CM.

Ryerson University is proud to announce that its Faculty of Law will be renamed the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at Ryerson University. The renaming will be made official at an inaugural year-end celebration, which will take place virtually on May 6, 2021. A brilliant lawyer and distinguished public servant, Lincoln Alexander (1922 - 2012) played a key role in promoting multiculturalism, education and youth leadership.

“Throughout his career, Mr. Alexander demonstrated a longstanding commitment to championing education and youth initiatives and advancing racial equality,” said Ryerson University President and Vice-Chancellor Mohamed Lachemi. “Today’s announcement is a very fitting testament to those commitments and we hope that our students will similarly serve and support others in their future careers holding true to their values with the same fervor that he did.”

A new kind of law school

The renaming of Ryerson’s Faculty of Law marks the culmination of Ryerson Law’s inaugural year as Toronto’s newest law school in over a century. In September 2020, Ryerson welcomed its first class of 170 law students with a mission to equip the lawyers of tomorrow with the contemporary skills and experience required to expand the reach of justice and respond to the evolving challenges that face Canadian society.

And, like its soon-to-be namesake, Ryerson Law’s program is both innovative and groundbreaking. The law school is committed to shaping a new kind of lawyer: one that challenges the status quo, embraces diversity and inclusion, bridges the gap between law and technology, and expands the reach of justice for all. In doing so, Ryerson is reimagining legal education in pursuit of a more just society.

“Many know that my grandfather studied law, and that his choice to do so led him on his particular journey. He made many sacrifices and worked extremely hard throughout his life,” said Erika Alexander, Lincoln Alexander’s granddaughter. “I believe having a law school named after Lincoln MacCauley Alexander provides a feeling of uniqueness, inclusiveness and relatability.”

Ryerson Law’s rigorous curriculum features a collaborative co-teaching model with faculty and practitioners from a range of backgrounds and perspectives. Many of Ryerson Law’s faculty are members of equity-deserving groups - making it among the most diverse law schools in the country.

"Throughout his decorated career, Lincoln achieved many pioneering firsts but his kindness, generosity, and devotion to family and to Canadians across the country is irrefutable. I am heartened to know that Lincoln's values and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply espoused by the law school that will bear his name, " said Mrs. Lincoln Beal-Alexander, Lincoln Alexander’s widow.

In his provincial, federal, public and private roles, Alexander championed equity, diversity and inclusion. For his pioneering contributions, he was appointed as a Companion of the Order of Canada and to the Order of Ontario.

"We are so proud that our law school will be renamed after Lincoln Alexander - an indisputable trailblazer in Canadian history,” said Donna E. Young, founding dean, Ryerson Law. “Beyond his groundbreaking career, Mr. Alexander was a man of great character, determination and resilience. His life serves as an inspiration for all Canadians, and in particular for our law students - who represent the trailblazers of tomorrow.”


More News