After graduating from the University of Toronto with degrees in electrical engineering and law, Ted Donegan spent 25 years advising newspapers and doing the legal work that builds towns, refineries and mines, before taking over management of one of Toronto’s largest law firms.
Now the 70-year-old former chairman of Blake, Cassels & Graydon wants other students to have the same advantages he had – a U of T education free of debt – and has donated $2 million to the faculties of Engineering and Law.
Donegan, who planned to use his degrees to practise patent law but ended up in business law before retiring as chairman of Blake, Cassels in 1994, was the first in his Sudbury, Ontario, family to attend university. He has given $600,000 to the Faculty of Engineering and $800,000 to the Faculty of Law for endowed student scholarships, $500,000 for a proposed law conference centre, and $100,000 for a student facility at engineering.
The engineering scholarships will be directed to top high-school students who have been accepted into U of T engineering and plan to take a law degree. The law scholarships are for top students from Canadian engineering schools entering U of T law.
“I’d like to help U of T continue to train lawyers as well as it has trained me,” says Donegan. “I hope they get a really great job on Bay Street and one day lead their law firm, the way I did.”
He says he’s pleased to be able to give back to the university and hopes his scholarship recipients will one day do the same.