“This is a group that makes things happen,” according to class organizer Mary Clancy (’74). Along with classmates Brent Cotter (’74, LLM’79) and David Meadows (’74), Clancy was on hand during reunion celebrations for the inaugural presentation of the Dean’s Cup, awarded to fundraising projects that reach a $100,000 milestone—a goal far surpassed by the Class of ’74 bursary challenge.
The Class of ’74 award, established in 2009 by classmate Jim Coleman, provides up to six bursaries annually to students in need at the Law School. Each bursary is named after one of six “beloved professors” from the Class of ’74 student days.
“The early 70s were a kind of golden age at the law school,” says Clancy. “To have the blazing intellect and rapier wit of Innis Christie at 8:30 a.m., the empathy, experience and charm of Bill Charles at 10 a.m., and the warm, welcoming personality of John Yogis after that could actually make your head spin.”
All of these beloved professors were “not just academic brains, but they embodied the ideal of public service,” says Clancy. “It was a privilege to watch them conduct a class. Members of our class went on to achieve great success.”
Indeed, the Class of ’74 boasts more than its fair share of accomplished grads. Many have distinguished themselves in public and private law practice and in business careers. A dozen became judges, four of whom have served in Courts of Appeal. At least eight became law professors, including five deans. Two became members of parliament, one a cabinet minister and deputy prime minister. Another became a diplomat for Canada. A number served in senior positions in the public service, including leadership of the Law Society of Upper Canada, of Canada’s Competition Bureau, and of the Ontario Securities Commission. And the present and past Chancellors of Dalhousie University are graduates of the Class of ’74.
Contributing to the Class of ’74 bursary is one way for individual members of the class to pay tribute to their Dalhousie experience. “Simply put, if you do well, you should give back,” says Clancy. “Universities are hugely important to the community in every way.”
The Beloved Professors
“A shining example of the Weldon Tradition, Murray died far too young. He was always there for us during that terrifying first year, rolling up his sleeves in Torts class and saying, ‘Okay, what are the insane rumours floating around this week?’”
“Innis scared the living daylights out of us because he was so tough. He was possessed of a brilliant mind and an incredible wit, behind which lay a very kind heart.”
“The best friend of the class to this day, John’s door was always open and he was particularly encouraging to women. We had 25 women in our class, so it was a watershed year. There were only five in the year before.”
”The recipient of the class ring, Bill Charles was “the uncle figure—always a reservoir of avuncular good advice.”
“Our first year of law school was also Hugh’s first year teaching, and we basically adopted him because he was the same age as us. He was our buddy and just like another classmate.”
“Peter was Everyman. He had a wonderful quiet wit and he was marvelously accessible. He made us feel better, as if we really could make it through law school after all.”