Philanthropist, lawyer, educator, advocate

Chancellor Douglas R Stollery's exceptional service has greatly benefited UAlberta Law

Sarah Kent - 31 January 2020

Douglas R. Stollery's four-year term as chancellor of the University of Alberta ends in June 2020, but his remarkable leadership has been an asset to the university and to the Faculty of Law for decades.

Stollery, '76 LLB, has known the Faculty at all levels - as a student, a lecturer, a member of the Faculty of Law Advisory Committee, and as a director of the Alberta Law Reform Institute.

His generosity has firmly supported UAlberta Law students' experiential learning through financial sponsorship of the Wilson Moot since 2014. It promotes students' exploration of legal issues regarding women and minorities and encourages students to understand social justice issues, values that strongly align with Stollery's own advocacy work. The Faculty's competitive moot program is a significant milestone in law students' education, and Stollery's support allows students to refine their advocacy skills through participating in the Wilson Moot.

"I am so proud of the work of our Wilson moot teams," says Stollery. "Our students continually demonstrate not only strong advocacy skills but also a keen commitment to social justice issues."

Currently serving as the University of Alberta's 21st chancellor, Stollery has tirelessly dedicated his career to bettering the community. In the volunteer position of chancellor, he is the honorary head of the university, the chair of the university Senate and a member of its board of governors. He presides over convocation to confer all degrees, and he represents the university at ceremonial occasions.

His commitment to human rights and social justice cannot be overstated. During his law career, Stollery's pro bono work included Vriend vs. Alberta, a monumental human rights decision at the Supreme Court of Canada that is considered one of the Top 10 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms decisions. The case led to the amendment of Alberta's human rights legislation to include sexual orientation as a protected class.

Stollery was a practising lawyer for more than 30 years, specializing in Construction Law, Corporate and Commercial Law, and Constitutional Law with Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP. He also served as director of the Legal Education Society of Alberta and the president of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Bar Association. From 2006 to 2013, he was general counsel with PCL Constructors Inc.

Appointed as Queen's Counsel in 1994, Stollery's exceptional achievements have earned him numerous recognitions, including a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian General Counsel Association, a distinguished alumni award from the University of Alberta, and a distinguished citizen award and honorary degree from MacEwan University.

Philanthropy is a cornerstone of Stollery's commitment to the wider community. He is president of the Stollery Charitable Foundation, dedicated to helping communities, families, and individuals flourish and overcome barriers. He also serves as director of CARE Canada, a charitable organization that economically empowers women and girls, and as a director of The Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports individuals impacted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

"I am forever grateful to the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta for providing me with the foundational knowledge, skills and values that have enabled me to pursue my career and my interests in the community."