Richardson Foundation gives $5 million for stadium revitalization
April 23, 2014
By Communications Staff
Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, announced today that the Richardson Foundation, the giving arm of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and Affiliated Companies, has pledged $5 million toward the revitalization of the stadium that bears the family’s name. This news follows an announcement in March that Stu Lang and his wife Kim pledged $10 million for the stadium.
“The histories of Queen’s, Kingston and the Richardson family are closely intertwined and I am sincerely thankful that the Richardsons have decided to continue that legacy through this remarkable gift,” says Principal Woolf. “George Taylor Richardson Memorial Stadium has been a fixture at Queen’s for nearly a century and we are now one step closer to securing its future for the coming decades.”
The original stadium was built in 1920 through a gift of $50,000 from alumnus and former chancellor James Armstrong Richardson. It was named for his younger brother, George, also a Queen’s graduate, who was killed in France during the First World War. The family’s support for Queen’s extends well beyond the stadium and their philanthropy has enriched many aspects of campus life. Agnes Etherington Art Centre is named for the sister of James and George, and Benidickson House (the east wing of Summerhill), Benidickson Field and the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award are all named for James’s daughter who served as chancellor from 1980-1996.
The histories of Queen’s, Kingston and the Richardson family are closely intertwined and I am sincerely thankful that the Richardsons have decided to continue that legacy through this remarkable gift.
- Principal Daniel Woolf
“The Richardson family, firm and foundation have a profound connection to Kingston and to Queen’s University,” stated Hartley Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and a Trustee of the Richardson Foundation. “My great-great grandfather established a grain merchandising business in Kingston in 1857, and he also instilled in his family the importance of giving back to the community. Queen’s University has been part of this philosophy throughout several generations, and this latest gift allows us the privilege of supporting an incredibly exciting initiative for the university while continuing to honour our great-uncle’s memory.”
The revitalization of Richardson Stadium is a $25-million priority within Queen’s $500-million Initiative Campaign. It is the next step in the university’s efforts to enhance its athletics and recreation facilities to promote the health and wellness of all students. Other recent projects include the Athletics and Recreation Centre, two new practice fields on west campus, and the redevelopment of Tindall and Nixon fields.
“For students and grads alike, Richardson Stadium reminds us of Queen’s legendary school spirit and the importance of our time at the university,” says Gord Nixon, Chair of the Initiative Campaign and President & CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada. “We are deeply grateful to the trustees of the Richardson Foundation for helping make the stadium’s revitalization possible – their philanthropic efforts have impacted countless initiatives across Canada, and Queen’s is deeply proud of its long association with them.”
A revitalized Richardson Stadium would also be of benefit to the broader Kingston community, and the university is committed to consulting with neighbouring residents, city officials, and the local sports community as specific plans for the stadium are developed.
The Initiative Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. The goal is to raise half a billion dollars to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people. The campaign will nurture a supportive campus community, enhance the student learning experience, and secure a global reputation in discovery and inquiry.