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Trent University President Bonnie Patterson named One of Canada’s Most Powerful Women


Receives Trailblazer & Trendsetter Award at Toronto Ceremony

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, Toronto

Trent University President Bonnie Patterson was announced as the winner of a 2006 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award in the Trailblazers & Trendsetters category at an official awards ceremony held by the Women’s Executive Network at noon in Toronto today.

Trent University’s chair of the Board of Governors, Reid Morden, lauded Professor Patterson for the commitment, determination and remarkable achievements that led to today’s announcement. "Bonnie Patterson is dynamism personified,” said Mr. Morden. “Her extraordinary contributions to Trent, to the Peterborough community and to the post-secondary education sector nationally are virtually without number. This award is so well deserved."

In being selected for the Trailblazers & Trendsetters Award, Professor Patterson was recognized for a list of accomplishments past and present – among them a long record of ‘firsts’ in taking on leadership roles not previously held by women.

As Canada’s first female dean of business at Ryerson, Prof. Patterson was a part of the team integral to transforming Ryerson from a polytechnic to a fully-funded, degree-granting university; she transformed a hotel facility into the ‘International Living and Learning Centre;’ and reinvigorated Ryerson’s capital campaign in the 1990s. In 1995, Prof. Patterson was appointed the first female president of the Council of Ontario Universities where she embarked on an advocacy campaign promoting the link between a strong university sector and the future prosperity of Ontario and Canada; she promoted the importance of the ‘digital library,’ a legacy which benefits thousands of Ontario university students today; and brought to the government’s attention the magnitude of the decision to eliminate Grade 13, resulting in the ‘Double Cohort’ strategy that had an impact on institutions provincially and nationwide.

In 1998, Professor Patterson was appointed the first female president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. During her tenure, Trent’s enrollment has grown from 4,977 in 1998-99 to 8,207 in 2005-06. Since 2000, she has presented five consecutive balanced budgets to the Board of Governors and led the adoption of the University’s first capital development strategy, reducing Trent’s accumulated debt from 18 per cent to 7.2 per cent of the operating budget – while expanding facilities through a $70 million building program. The University’s Beyond Our Walls campaign surpassed its goal and raised over $17.2 million, immediately followed by another campaign that exceeded expectations, raising $5.7 million.

Under her leadership, Trent opened the Chemical Sciences Building, Peter Gzowski College and the first-in-class ‘Worsfold Water Quality Centre’ in 2004, and the new DNA Building in 2006, the latter capitalizing on Trent’s considerable assets in DNA, wildlife and forensics research – and leading to a regional economic cluster specializing in DNA forensics. Unprecedented in the Canadian university system, Trent University was named Research University of the Year three years running from 2002 to 2005 while continuing to receive national acclaim for the quality of its teaching and learning environment.

Prof. Patterson received a new mandate from the Board of Governors, being re-appointed as president for the term 2004 to 2009.

In its fourth year, Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards is a symbol of the success women have attained and represents a unique array of proven achievers from many walks of life. Under the leadership of Women’s Executive Network, an independent advisory board selected winners in eight categories, including the Trailblazers & Trendsetters category for which Professor Patterson was selected. A day-long summit celebrates the recipients culminating in an evening reception which allows fellow award-winners to meet and mingle.

Other winners in the Trailblazers & Trendsetters category include: Stacey Allaster, president, Sony Ericsson Women’s Tennis Association Tour; Lenna Bradburn, executive director, municipal licensing and standards division, City of Toronto; Beverly Busson, deputy commissioner, RCMP “E” Division Headquarters; Catherine Callbeck, senator (PEI); Ruth Corbin, CEO and managing partner, Corbin Partners Inc.; Diane Finegood, scientific director, CIHR Institute of Nutrition , Metabolism and Diabetes, Simon Fraser, University; Eileen Gillese, the Honourable Justice, Court of appeal for Ontario; Ruth Goldbloom, driving force behind the Pier 21 Museum; Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal; Silken Laumann, president, Silken & Co. Productions Ltd.; Lilo Ljubisic, Lilo Inspires; Catherine McQueen, professor, broadcaster, journalist, Schulick School of Business; and Bette Stephenson, physician and former Ontario cabinet minister. 


For more information, please contact Marilyn Burns, director of marketing and communications, Trent University (705) 748-1303.