Ban Righ Centre

Ban Righ Centre

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History of the Ban Righ Centre

A community forms more quickly, and possibly indelibly, when it has a roof over its head, walls and a kitchen.

- Joanne Page

Ban Righ Centre founders cutting the ribbon to the Ban Righ Centre in 1974

Since the 1880s, when they first started taking classes at Queen’s University, women have worked with determination to gain higher education. They overcame initial resistance to their right to be students working for a degree. In the early 1900s women students banded together to live communally in various houses in Kingston. By 1926, early Alumnae built the first university residence, Ban Righ Hall.

They also built the tradition of Queen’s women working to “secure for those coming after them, access to all the resources of the University and the same benefits of communal life and study they themselves had known.”

The original funding for the work of the Ban Righ Foundation came from nearly 50 years of management of the women’s residences by the Ban Righ (Residence) Board and the women students.

The Ban Righ Centre was founded in 1974 by women graduates of Queen’s with money earned and invested by alumnae who built and administered the women’s residences until the 1970s.

Our Founders

Special Committee of the Ban Righ Residence Board set up to consider the use of accumulated savings:

  • Helen Anderson, Arts ’46
  • Kiloran German, Arts ’74
  • Gladys Heinz, Arts ’37, M.A. ’38 (President of the Alumnae Association)
  • Evelyn Reid, Dean of Women
  • Rosemary Richardson, Arts ’53
  • Jean Royce, Arts ’30, LLD’68 (Chair)

Founding Board of Management of the Ban Righ Foundation for Continuing University Education:

  • Helen Anderson, Arts ’46
  • Margaret Griffin, Arts ’65, BFA ’83
  • Gladys Heinz, Arts ’37, MA ’38 (past president of the Alumnae Association)
  • Margaret Hooey, Secretary of the University
  • Sylva MacKay, Arts ’44 (president of the Alumnae Association)
  • Helen Mathers, Director of the Ban Righ Foundation
  • Kathleen Morand, Professor of Art History, (Chair)
  • Evelyn Reid, Dean of Women

A support group of four alumnae were designated to assist the Board of Management for the first year:

  • Norah Frood, Arts ’49
  • Bonnie Judge, Arts ’45
  • Rosemary Richardson, Arts ’53
  • Lillian Slater, Arts ’42