Volume 95, Issue 3
Thursday, June 7, 2001
$1 million in beer money for King's
The queen of Canada's most legendary brewery has made students at King's College feel like true royalty.
Speakers expressed their admiration for the late Elizabeth A. "Bessie" Labatt at a reception on Tuesday, including her son Arthur Labatt, who made a $1 million dollar donation to King's College on his mother's behalf.
"Mother's life revolved around the church and she loved bright young people. Her desire to help people goes hand in hand with the values of this school," said Arthur, son of London brewer John S. Labatt.
Elizabeth's daughter Mary, Arthur's wife Sonya, along with over 100 dignitaries, family, faculty and staff attended the reception.
"The whole family is very proud to be honouring mother at this time to this institution," Arthur said.
The donation represents the largest single donation in the history of King's College and will go towards building an academic centre which will be named after Elizabeth, said the principal of King's College, Gerald Killan.
"I can say I like this woman and can't think of a more appropriate person to name this centre after," Killan said. "Your gift is one that will make a big difference and shape our future. King's College could not be prouder that their building will carry her name."
Killan said Elizabeth was a person with a caring nature and generous spirit who was actively involved in a variety of groups and organizations such as St. John Ambulance and the Family Service Bureau.
The building of the academic centre is part of King's $5.5 campaign called the "Building Faith, Building Future" campaign, he explained.
"[I hope] the people who come here will be given the opportunity to learn about her life and imitate it because that is the purpose of King's College," said Bishop John Sherlock, the honourary chair of the campaign.
The campaign is part of King's plan for controlled growth, in preparation for the huge influx of students the double cohort and the baby boomers' children will bring. The academic centre will allow King's to grow to 2,400 students while still maintaining small classroom sizes.
Amanda Baird, the associate development and alumni officer for King's College, said the campaign has been around for awhile, but has not been launched publicly. "This donation is going to help start us and let the public know," she said.
Labatt's donation will be matched by a cash influx from the Superbuild Growth Fund, an initiative of the Ontario government.
The academic centre will be built at the corner of Epworth Avenue and
Waterloo Street and is due for completion in September 2003. The centre
will include classrooms, computer labs, faculty offices, meeting rooms,
a cafeteria, student common area and rooms for special events.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000