Ryerson University to rename law school after Hamilton’s Lincoln Alexander

Ontario Lt.– Gov. Lincoln Alexander reads the Ontario throne speech at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Ont. April 26, 1987. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Felstead.

A longtime Hamilton resident, who became the province’s first Black lieutenant-governor, will have another honour added to his legacy next month.

The faculty of law at Ryerson University in Toronto is set to rename the institution after Lincoln Alexander in a virtual ceremony on May 6.

Alexander, born in Toronto, spent most of his life in Hamilton where he attended McMaster University, built a law practice and raised his family.

“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 in a release.

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“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 fervour that he did.”

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Alexander was elected to represent the federal riding of Hamilton West in 1968, became the first Black man elected to parliament and eventually the country’s first Black cabinet minister under the Progressive Conservative party’s minority government headed by Joe Clark in 1979.

He would be appointed Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in 1985.

“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.”

The Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway on Hamilton’s Mountain was named after him in July 1997.


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