The Jacqueline Hodgins Kelly Bursary

Donor Story:

Created by Stacy Kelly, Artsci’93.  I established this bursary to honour all that my mother sacrificed to provide the best life she could for me. She was quite young and was a single parent, so my mother had to forego her education so she could work to support us. My mom always stressed the importance of education and she pushed me to do the best I could. This was a healthy push, though. There was no neurosis about overall standing or an allowance if I got a certain grade. The message was to apply myself and to do my best.

I believe my mom understood that education was key to opportunities. Frankly, these opportunities were closed to her. I’m filled with emotion when I think of the many menial jobs she did to provide us a home.  One of the things that stays with me is that she could have given me up.  She was offered; it was frequently suggested, but in the end my mother chose to keep me.  To make that decision at such a young age and to understand it meant giving up a possible future is a profound act of love. I understand now that this is the kind of thing that mothers do all the time. When later she married and had two more children, the sacrifices continued.

In the summer of 1989 my mom called me at work to tell me that a letter had come from Queen's and she had opened it.  She informed me that I had been accepted. I remember being upset that she had opened my mail, but I later understood that my thrill and excitement at getting into Queen's was also her thrill and her excitement.  I also know that when I graduated, my enormous pride in being a Queen's graduate was also her enormous pride. Surely for a woman who didn't finish high school to have a child graduate from Queen's meant a great deal more than I will ever truly understand.

But this award is not just about the past.  It is about the future. At 52, my mom is going back to school to earn her high school diploma. She is scared, she is convinced she cannot do it, and she is certain she will fail. But she is not as alone as she thinks she is. This time around it is my time to tell her to apply herself and do her best. This time around my sisters and I are supporting my mom in doing something she has not done in a long time--doing something for herself.   What we look forward to doing for our mom is what the Ban Righ Centre does for all the women who come into its doors, and it is something worth honouring and supporting with this bursary.

Fund Description:

Established in honour of Jacqueline Hodgins Kelly by her son, Stacy Kelly, BA(Hons)'96.  Awarded on the basis of financial need to female students who, after an interruption in formal education, are beginning or returning to university studies.