The new Faculty of Law is the beneficiary of one of the largest gifts ever presented to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay.

At a news conference Tuesday at the law school, the Paterson Foundation announced a $1 million gift to help fund renovations at the former Port Arthur Collegiate Institute.

Lakehead University law school

Renovations to Thunder Bay's former Port Arthur Collegiate will be supported with Paterson Foundation donation. PACI is now home to Lakehead University's law school.

The school's main auditorium will also be named The John Paterson Auditorium in recognition of the donation.

Don Paterson, president of the foundation, said the Paterson family has been a supporter of Lakehead University from its inception.

"It is our hope that this ... will help to highlight the importance of Lakehead University, particularly the Faculty of Law ... and will encourage others both in the community and beyond our borders to become involved," he said.

The law school's Dean, Lee Stuesser, said the gift will help transform PACI into a space "where students will be inspired by their studies."

The Foundation's previous gifts to LU include to the main library (the Chancellor Paterson Library) and the Advanced Technology and Academic Centre.

The inaugural law school consists of 60 students from Ontario and other provinces.

The Paterson Foundation was started in 1970 by Senator Norman McLeod Paterson.