Donation ‘snowballs’ to support student-mothers and their families

Donation ‘snowballs’ to support student-mothers and their families

By Nikta Sadati, Division of Student Affairs

February 28, 2023


The Ban Righ Centre is a campus hub for mature women-identified students and student-mothers that focuses on building community and offering services, including advising, financial assistance, and personal support.

Recently, the Ban Righ Centre received a $3,000 donation, which was matched within a week, and distributed to students through small bursaries so they could purchase winter clothing for themselves or their children, or help cover costs for special meals and gifts.

“We know that funds are always tight for students with children,” says Susan Belyea, Director of the Ban Righ Centre. “This donor’s gift provided us an opportunity to help, and the money was very much appreciated by all the recipients.”

The original donation came from Claude Chapdelaine (ArtSci ’64), a long-time supporter of the centre and its students.

“When I heard of the pressing need for winter clothes, it tugged at my heart,” Chapdelaine says. “I am so happy to hear that my contribution had a snowball effect. I am a great fan of the Ban Righ Centre which helps mature women who return to school, often in difficult circumstances.”

Chapdelaine’s donation was matched by the Estate of Larry Gibson and individual donations from Kingston community members and several Queen’s University faculty and staff. In total, the Ban Righ Centre raised over $6,500 to distribute to student-mothers in several programs, and at various stages of their studies. Staff identified 23 students with a total of 42 children who had applied for bursaries and were able to provide each student with $100, as well as another $100 for each child.

In 2022, the Ban Righ Centre provided approximately $150,000 in emergency bursaries to mature women students.

Looking ahead, the upcoming Ban Righ Foundation’s Spring Awards will be presented at the end of the academic year in the form of bursaries. Established by donors, the Spring Awards celebrate the determination and successes of mature women students and mothers at Queen’s. All applicants must identify as women, have had an interruption in their education, and/or have children. Applicants will be considered based on financial need. The 2023 awards will be presented on April 27 at the Ban Righ Foundation Inspiring Women: An Evening at the Isabel event. The deadline to apply for Spring Awards is March 7.

For more information about the Ban Righ Centre and their events, services, and initiatives, visit their website.