Giving Exceptional Students Exceptional Opportunities
Queen’s strength is its people. Its teachers, its researchers and especially its students: our future artists, scientists and entrepreneurs. Scholarships such as the Betty Jean and John M. Bankes National Entrance Award ensure that exceptional students – students who are compelled to do well in school and in their communities – can come to Queen's.
What do you get a man who has everything? That was the question facing John Bankes, Artsci’73, and the members of his family as his father, John M. Bankes, faced what he calls a "threshold" birthday.
Bankes had gone to Queen’s, as had his sister Leslie and his niece, Nancy. His parents had been strong believers in continuing education and lifelong learning, encouraging him to pursue academic success. So the university seemed a good place to start.
Aware that today’s students must bear ever more of the costs of a university education themselves, they decided to fund the Betty Jean and John M. Bankes National Entrance Award. "We felt," says Bankes, "that an entrance scholarship would be one way of minimizing the financial hardship for students contemplating a university education."
The university benefits as well. "Based on my own experience at Queen's, and at York [where he took JD and MBA degrees] it is very obvious that university recruiting has become very competitive. And because the marketplace is so competitive, we need to be encouraging the most motivated, the most dedicated – and the smartest – students to come to Queen’s."
More than fifteen incoming students have received the award since its introduction in 2004-2005. Says Bankes, "We get heartfelt notes from the students on a regular basis saying, 'Thank you. Without your help, I couldn’t have gone to Queen’s.'"