Dorothy Mae Sheldon

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Tributes |


A Community Project to honour women who have enriched our lives

The Ban Righ Centre supports mature women who are starting or returning to education at Queen’s University. In taking this significant step, these women found role models, advocates and inspiration in other women. Then, as they engage in their studies and in their activities beyond Queen’s with friends, family, peers and colleagues, these students effect continual and positive change, extending the reach of their mentors and the Ban Righ Centre. Through “Who Is She?” we honour women who make a difference.

Dorothy Mae Sheldon

Honoured by: Erin Sheldon

I’ve been blessed by so many amazing women in my life. But I think the first amazing woman to touch my life was my grandmother, Dorothy Mae Sheldon. My grandmother was a professor of education. She pioneered women’s studies and gifted education. When I was a quaint, bored student at school, my grandmother recognized that I was gifted and pushed me to develop my interests and skills. She gave me tireless, enthusiastic support in whatever direction my mind wanted to go. I don’t know any other grandmother who organized outings to learn sign language with chimpanzees or hosted creativity fairs to teach creative writing over the long summer months! My grandmother still lives in the former schoolhouse where we spent our summers as children. I remember all her books, the red velvet curtains on her stage where we put on countless plays, and all the clever toys and trinkets that kept my interest for hours. My grandmother has never been a product of her generation or her time. She has evolved with each decade of her life and her schoolhouse has evolved with her. She has been a teacher, a veteran, a mother, a policy leader, a professor, a feminist, an activist, a minister and an organic free-range egg farmer. Her thirst for constantly developing her own intellect and making the world a better place has never been quenched. I can’t think of someone who would better appreciate what Ban Righ provides for mature women students than my grandmother.