A helping hand from the Baders
When Judith Brown took a call from Alfred Bader and Isabel Bader one sunday afternoon last September, she got a wonderful surprise. “Alfred said he wanted to establish two new awards for students,” explains Judith, Artsci’76, MA’79. “one was for the Math Department, in memory of norman and Grace Miller, who showed great kindness to Alfred (Sc’45, Arts’46, Msc’47, LLD’86) when he was a student at Queen’s”.
Bader went on to say that he wished to name the second award for Judith, and that he wanted it to help women. “I was grateful and excited,” says Judith, who is Associate Vice-Principal (Advancement), and Executive Director of Alumni Relations. “It was an opportunity to help students in a more substantial way than I ever could myself.”
First, she says, she thought about “Alfred and Isabel’s enduring commitment to helping students overcome adversity. Then I thought about the BRC,” so Judith spoke with me about how women students at the Centre often face multiple challenges because they’re returning to school after a hiatus. the competing demands of work, study, and family can put a strain on human and financial resources. in addition, many of these students are new to Canada. “A bursary for these students just felt right,” Judith concluded.
“it’s fitting, too, because Jean Royce played an important role in Alfred Bader’s life when he came to Queen’s, and she played a key role in helping to bring the BRC idea to fruition,” says Judith.
Jean Royce even helped to find the perfect campus space for the Centre – “the little brick house on Bader Lane” that had been the home of Vice-Principal W.E. McNeill, also part of Bader’s student life.
Brown is familiar with his story and knows about the barriers he faced when he arrived at a Canadian prisoner-of-war camp in 1940 as a 16-year-old war refugee from Austria. Given an opportunity, through hard work and the kindness of strangers he was able to achieve great success in his life, academically as well as in his career as a chemist. Both he and his wife Isabel, LLD’07, know that international students aren’t eligible for the same government funding that’s available to domestic students.
International mature women students also are sometimes more vulnerable because of cultural and language issues, and having a family or being older than classmates can increase the stresses. Together, the Baders and Judith Brown have found a way to make the pursuit of education a little easier for these women each year.
Judith Brown Bursaries will be available for students in financial need. Here at the BRC, we offer warmest thanks to the Baders for their generosity, and to Judith Brown for her sensitivity to students in need and for the dedicated service that has inspired the gift in her name.