Get To Know The Names Behind The Spring Branch Awards

Agnes Benidickson, Padre Laverty and Jim Bennett
Three of the people that Queen's has awards named after

It is time to nominate someone for one of the three spring QUAA Branch awards – the Padre Laverty Award and Jim Bennett Award, handed out by the Kingston Branch, and the Ottawa Branch’s highest honour, the Agnes Benidickson Award.

But who are these legendary Queen’s figures who are important enough to have major awards named in their honour? If you don’t know, it’s time for a quick history lesson.

Padre Laverty served as Chaplain at Queen's for 36 years (1947-1983) and was well-loved by professors, staff and students. Over the years, he performed countless baptisms, marriage ceremonies, and funeral services, and he and his wife would regularly invite students to their homes for tea. He also had a knack for remembering every student’s name – even years after they graduated. 

Agnes Benidickson was Queen’s first female Chancellor, holding the position from 1980 to 1996, and was a long-time Ottawa Branch volunteer. Her family has strong ties to Queen’s – her dad James Richardson  was also a Queen's Chancellor  from 1929-1939, and Richardson Stadium is named in honour of her uncle George, who died in the First World War. 

Jim Bennett, Sc’58, MSc’60, was a Queen’s engineering professor and Kingston Township councillor who was involved with many community groups. From winning a Queen’s Engineering Society “Golden Apple” teaching award, to helping to raise $8 million for Ice Storm relief for Kingston residents, he had an outstanding impact on Queen’s and the Kingston community.

The most recent Branch Award recipients, who help carry on the spirit of these great Queen’s leaders, were Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson (Agnes Benidickson), long-time volunteer David Pattenden (Padre Laverty) and Transformix Engineering CEO Peng-Sang Cau (Jim Bennett). 

If you know a worthy candidate for next year’s awards, the nomination deadline is Nov. 15. Anyone can submit a nomination.

Check out the award website for more details on award criteria and to submit an online nomination.