The Ban Righ Centre: A celebration of women

Erin Clow and Carole Morrison at the “Inspiring Women – An Evening at the Isabel,” on October 18, 2016.

Photo by Bernard Clark

Throughout my time at Queen’s University, I have explored many spaces and places. From the secluded reading nooks in Stauffer Library to the bustling Mackintosh-Corry Hall cafeteria, no place on campus has made me feel at home quite like the Ban Righ Centre.

Located at 32 Bader Lane, the centre supports the formal and informal education of women, especially mature women returning to university. Since its opening in 1974, it has provided countless bowls of soup, a multitude of lunchtime speakers, and emergency student financial assistance to many students. The Ban Righ Centre facilitates relationships that extend well beyond graduation.

Building on Ban Righ’s mandate of fostering community, the Ban Righ Foundation, the centre’s volunteer board of directors, set out to design an event in conjunction with the 175th anniversary of Queen’s University that centred on celebrating and recognizing women and their contributions to the Queen’s and the broader Kingston communities. From these discussions, “Inspiring Women: An Evening at the Isabel” was born.

  • Sarah Harmer singing and playing guitar

    Photo by Bernard Clark

Drawing on the varied talents and lived experiences of women alumni, the event featured a panel discussion moderated by Shelagh Rogers, Artsci'77, with panellists Carol Ann Budd, Sc’89, Jane Errington, MA'81, PhD’84, Sarah Harmer, and Reena Kukreja. In addition, the evening featured music and poetry by artists including the Shout Sister choir, Chantal Thompson, and Elizabeth Greene and closed with a performance by Sarah Harmer.

Ban Righ Foundation Awards

At the heart of the evening’s celebrations was the presentation of two new awards created through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor.

The Ban Righ Foundation Mentorship Award recognizes a Queen’s University faculty member (current or retired) who self-identifies as a woman and who has supported women in achieving their goals, inspired students, and demonstrated mentorship and knowledge sharing.

The Ban Righ Foundation Leadership Award recognizes an individual who self-identifies as a woman and who has built capacity and fostered opportunities for others, made positive contributions to the Kingston community, and been inspirational.

The foundation is pleased to announce that Katherine McKittrick is the recipient of the Ban Righ Foundation Mentorship Award and that Georgette Fry is the recipient of the Ban Righ Foundation Leadership Award.

Recognized for her outstanding dedication to supporting students’ academic and personal success, Katherine McKittrick (of the Department of Gender Studies) exemplifies the criteria of the Ban Righ Foundation mentorship Award. Best described in the words of Dr. McKittrick’s nominators is her enduring passion for students. Dr. McKittrick’s “support is unwavering and her hard work goes far beyond her duties as a supervisor – she is truly nothing short of an inspirational mentor who has motivated countless academic careers.”

Described as someone who fosters inclusive vocal music and communities, Georgette Fry has made, and continues to make, positive contributions to the community. As director of the Shout Sister choir, Ms. Fry has organized a number of charitable benefits for local organizations including Interval House, Dawn House women’s shelter, and the Partners in Mission Food Bank. In particular, Ms. Fry’s nominators spoke about her “infectious ‘get-it-done’ energy” and her drive to find a space where women’s voices are heard.

As a member of the board, I am honoured to celebrate these gifted and dedicated women. The Ban Righ Centre would not be possible without the many community members, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who provide significant financial support and many volunteer hours. I am proud that my alma mater has a space like Ban Righ.

Erin Clow, PhD’14
Co-chair, Ban Righ Foundation
Board of Directors

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