Queen’s Ban Righ Centre ramps up programming for upcoming 50th anniversary

a large brown brick house, the telltale signs of fall with leaves on the ground and bare trees.
The Ban Righ Centre on Queen's campus. Photo by Christena Lawrie.
Christena Lawrie - CFRC - KingstonON | 16-11-2023
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The Ban Righ Centre, a resource for women-identified students on Queen’s campus, has gotten an early start to celebrating its 50th anniversary coming up in 2024 with a new campaign.

Located at 32 Bader Lane, The Ban Righ Centre supports women-identified students, with a focus on mature women students at Queen’s. They provide resources like financial assistance, academic advising, as well as both practical and personal support.

“The center is unique in that we have, since its inception, been committed to providing a real sort of wraparound approach to student support. We're a child-friendly space, so people can bring their kids in with them, we work with lots of moms, we work with mature students from all faculties, as I've mentioned,” describes Susan Belyea, Director of the Centre. 

“You really have to visit to get a sense of what makes us special," she continues. "But, really, I think in an increasingly busy and sometimes impersonal world, such as our campuses are all becoming these days, everything's so busy, everything's kind of high intensity, a place like the Ban Righ Centre, anyone can just walk through the door. You don't need an appointment.” 

On the weekend, the centre launched their annual “Who is She?” fundraising campaign, informally kicking off the lead-up to their 50th anniversary celebrations. For this campaign, donors make a contribution in honour of a woman who has been important in their lives. They have extended the campaign to last longer than previous years, allowing for contributions until June 2024. The women who inspire these donations will also be recognized at their culminating 50th anniversary gala, according to Belyea.

“It's just lovely to see people reflecting on the women who've been important in their lives. I think we all have somebody, right? We all have somebody who's made a difference, who has gone a bit above and beyond and has just. you know, been a model or been had your back,” states Belyea.

The centre plans to host various special events throughout the year to keep the momentum going before the official anniversary celebrations.

For more details about the Ban Righ Centre, their upcoming events, and to contribute to the “Who is She?” fundraiser, you can visit the centre’s webpage here.

“I am so privileged to be in the position as director as we head into this milestone year," Belyea states. "Right now, we're in our 49th year and everything we do this year leads us to our 50th anniversary, which will be in October of 2024. And I'm just so privileged to be the one who gets to see this through. Although I have to say that I would do a pretty poor job if it wasn't for the fabulous staff team that I have working with me.”

Listen to the story below, featuring an interview with Susan Belyea: