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Western University Be Extraordinary The Campaign For Western

It's a family affair

by Krista Habermehl, MA'05 | June 27, 2017

Larry Rosen, LLB/MBA'82, and Susan Jackson, LLB'83, recently gave $100,000 to Western Law because of their profound family connection to Western.

Larry Rosen and Susan Jackson felt compelled to support Western Law because of a profound connection with the institution that goes far beyond their degrees.

“How could I not support the law school?” asked Rosen, LLB/MBA’82, Chairman and CEO of Harry Rosen Inc., a premier Canadian provider of luxury global menswear collections. “Susan and I met there. It’s a romantic place for us. It has a lot of history with us. I’m very proud of my connection with Western; I’m proud of my family’s connection with Western. It was a defining experience for me.

“It’s a great law school that positions itself well as Canada’s business law school. They’re doing some great work. I wanted to be part of a group that stands up as big supporters and gives back to the school.”

Larry and his wife of 33 years, Susan Jackson, LLB’83, recently made a gift of $100,000 to Western’s Faculty of Law to support the Dean’s Circle, an unrestricted fund established to address the most immediate and pressing needs of the faculty. The fund offers the flexibility to seize emerging opportunities and provide an innovative educational experience unlike any other law school in the country.

“We were delighted to receive the gift from Larry Rosen and Susan Jackson in support of the Dean’s Circle. With this gift, Western Law will continue to invest in our strengths and provide our students with a top-tier legal education,” said Iain Scott, former Western Law Dean. “It is an honour to be associated with the iconic Rosen brand, a testament to excellence in Canada.”

Founded by Harry Rosen in 1954, as a single 500-square-foot store in Cabbagetown, Toronto, Harry Rosen Inc. now operates 18 stores in eight major Canadian markets, employing more than 1,000 associates. After practicing corporate law in Toronto for a few years, Larry joined his father’s company as a buyer in 1986 and was named Chairman and CEO in 2000. Susan, who practiced commercial real estate law on Bay Street for many years, has recently retired and now focuses on philanthropy work.

For Larry and Susan, it makes good business sense to provide Western Law with unrestricted support.

“From my involvement with charitable boards, I’ve learned the most valuable funds are the ones that aren’t designated. Undesignated funds are valuable because they allow the institution to direct support to where it’s most needed,” said Rosen, who is a member of the Ivey Advisory Board, the Ivey Entrepreneurship Advisory Council and the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation Board. “When the dean explained that to me, I thought, ‘Who knows better than the dean of the law school where the funds are needed?’ It was a great way to direct charitable dollars.”

As a businessman, Larry is pleased with the school’s focus on business legal education, as he believes it’s essential for lawyers to understand the business world.

“One of the biggest weaknesses in legal education is they pump out these lawyers who don’t understand the first thing about business,” said Larry, who began learning the family business as a teenager, working summers as a sales associate. “Western Law has a strong affiliation with the Ivey Business School – that’s just a great direction. I hope our gift will help keep the school innovative and focused on being the best business legal education in the country.”

Larry and Susan have three sons who are also purple and proud – Ian and Graham graduated with HBA degrees from Ivey; Daniel graduated from Western Law in the Class of 2017 and will begin articling this August.

“Education is important. In an era where government funding is being cut back, it’s important to step up. If a school gives you the means to be successful, it’s great to be able to give back and support the school,” Rosen said. “I wouldn’t be who I am or doing what I’m doing without the great background from Western – there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use my legal education in some part of business. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

In addition to their support of Western Law, Larry and Susan are strong supporters of the Ivey Business School, with total donations to the university of more than $1.2 million.

For more information, or to support Western Law, contact Manon Bone, Director, Alumni Relations and Development, Western Law (519.661.2111 ext. 83953 or mbone2@uwo.ca) or visit extraordinary.westernu.ca.


This article appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Impact Western
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