The Rev Dr. A. Marshall Laverty served as Chaplain at Queen's for 36 years (1947-1983) and was one of the university's best-known personalities.
Lavery was born in Toronto and educated at the University of Toronto, graduating with honours in 1937.
He was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Canada the same year and served in parishes in Toronto, Manitoulin Island, and Stirling, before enlisting as a Chaplain in the Canadian army in 1942 and serving with troops in Europe.
His appointment as Queen’s Chaplain in 1947 was the first of its kind to a Canadian university. His duties included assisting all religious organizations on campus. Laverty acted as a minister, advisor, counsellor, and friend, and his organizational skills and contacts across Canada were of immeasurable benefit to the university. He became known, affectionately, to generations of Queen’s students, staff, and faculty as “the Padre” – a nickname he acquired during his wartime service. Padre Laverty performed countless baptisms, marriage ceremonies, and funeral services for Queen’s people, both during his tenure and after retirement.
Famed for his rhetorical skills and prodigious memory for names, he was also active on behalf of numerous charitable organizations in the Kingston area and served on the Frontenac County Board of Education for more than 30 years. He and his wife, Frances, welcomed students and faculty into their home on a regular basis.
He retired from his position as Chaplain in 1983 but remained extremely active in the university community. He received numerous awards from Queen's and other Canadian institutions. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1985 and received an honorary doctorate from Queen's in 1991. He also received the University Council’s Distinguished Service Award, the John Orr Award, the Montreal Medal as a Maker of Queen’s, and the Alumni Association’s Kingston Award, which was renamed in his honour in 1991.
In 2003, the Padre and Frances Laverty Bursary was established by Queen’s friends to honour the couple’s longtime devotion to Queen’s students.
He died in February 2011.