By Mark Campbell; photo, Danny Abriel

Part of the Dalhousie Difference series

With twelve lawyers in the family, Ruth Pink (BSC’36) and her late husband Irving (BA, LLB ’36) have certainly contributed to the legacy of Nova Scotia’s legal community. It’s a legacy Ruth continues to build on through the creation of the Irving and Ruth Pink Fund for Youth & the Law.

Established in July 2012, the fund provides resources to Dalhousie Legal Aid Service to work with vulnerable and at-risk youth and tackle related economic, social, and human rights. The funds will enable Legal Aid to undertake vital projects each year, and to hire, provide a bursary to, or support a student whose academic work focuses on at-risk youth.

“From my own knowledge, and certainly from the law practice of Irving, I am aware there is a real need to support young people who get into trouble,” says Ruth. “Often that involves trouble with the law. Having seen the need, I wanted to do something to ensure that the issues that arise from youth in conflict with the law might, in some modest way, be addressed.”

A longtime donor with her husband to Dalhousie, Ruth also established and continues to contribute to a fund in Irving’s memory at the University’s Medical Research Foundation to support studies on Alzheimer’s Disease.

“I think alumni giving to the university allows you to demonstrate to others that we all can do a little bit, and a lot of little bits add up.”

In that way, Ruth’s intention through her gifts is to encourage others to support both Dalhousie students and the work being done by Dalhousie Legal Aid Service.

“There are tremendous needs. My hope is that there will be a greater recognition of the issues involving youth and the law, and from that understanding will come a greater appreciation of the needs, and from that hopefully more donations like mine.”

This article is part of the Dalhousie Difference series, exploring what the power of philanthropy means to the university and introducing and showcasing some of the 50 innovative projects in development. Learn more at