The Cecil Allan Fraser Bursary has been established as a joint initiative between the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) Queen's Chapter and the Queen's Pre-Law Society to commemorate the laudable efforts of Cecil Allan Fraser, B.A. 1958, LL.B. 1961, the first Black student and graduate of Queen’s University Law. To many people, Cecil is a pioneer in the Canadian legal profession and embodies the Faculty of Law’s motto, “Soit droit fait.” (Let law be made./Let right be done.)
Cecil, of West Indian descent, understood the importance of education, but he also appreciated the financial burden it posed. Obtaining a legal degree required discipline, determination, and a strong support system. Cecil had that support through his wife, Rose. Cecil and Rose both worked during the academic years to assure that Cecil would graduate. Rose became a part of the male-dominant Law’61 class, many of whom still hold her in high esteem and remember her as the “aunt” of the group.
Despite being the first, and at the time only, Black law student while balancing employment demands with his legal education, Cecil excelled in his legal studies. Upon graduation, he went directly into the Federal Government Civil Service in Ottawa as a Senior Solicitor. While in Ottawa, Cecil led a successful legal career and upon retirement was universally respected for his talents.
Cecil is remembered as a gleeful man. In reminiscing on his memory, Cecil’s classmates fondly describe him as being a good-humoured person – one who was capable of lifting anyone’s spirits when low and making the entire group of classmates laugh at a moment’s notice. Cecil personifies the consummate legal professional – one who is dignified in their practice and compassionate to all.
The Cecil Allan Fraser Bursary provides financial support to Black Canadian or visible minority/racialized students enrolled in any year of the JD degree program in the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University.