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Trent University Announces Kenneth Mark Drain Endowed Chair in Ethics

$2 Million Gift Marks Largest Gift of its Kind in Trent History and Signals Launch of a New Era for the University

Wednesday, October 3, 2007, Peterborough

Today the Trent University community proudly celebrated its commitment to the humanities and critical thinking with the announcement of the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics, the first Endowed Chair in the University’s history and the largest gift given to Trent by living donors, valued at $2 million.

“Today is indeed a momentous occasion in Trent’s history,” said Trent President Bonnie Patterson. “This pace-setting philanthropic gift from our alumni and close friends signifies the launch of a new era for our University.  It will enable Trent to build upon our national and international reputation as a leader in liberal arts and sciences education.  It brings life to our Vision Statement to create a learning environment where students think critically, are socially conscious and are prepared to make a difference in society.”

The generous $2 million gift was given to the University by members of the Patterson and Drain families as a tribute to the life of Kenneth Mark Drain. Born on December 27, 1923, Mr. Drain is described as “a quintessential son of Peterborough,” havinglived and worked in Peterborough County all his life.  Ken Drain passed away on September 10, 2007 in Peterborough, but knew of his family’s intention to honour him through the creation of the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics.

 David Patterson (’66), the representative for the Patterson and Drain families, explains his pride in being a graduate of Trent University.  “Thirteen members of our extended family have either graduated from Trent University or have taken courses at Trent and completed their degree elsewhere.  The “Trent experience” – with its outstanding teaching and research, anchored in strong social and ethical values – convinced us as a family to invest in Trent’s future.  We are impressed with Trent’s leadership and its bold plans leading up to its 50th anniversary, and hope our gift will inspire other alumni and community leaders to step up to the plate.  Our Uncle Ken epitomized a man of joy, tenacity, self-sufficiency and generosity. He was an exemplary volunteer and lived a life of quiet deeds. We are honoured that his name is now associated with the Chair in Ethics at Trent University.”

As the University’s first Endowed Chair, the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics will create a prestigious faculty position within Trent’s Department of Philosophy for a national or international leader in the ever-growing field of ethics. To fill the position, Trent University will seek a scholar of the highest calibre who will explore ethics from multiple perspectives through his or her leadership in teaching, research and community life.

An Endowed Chair is a philanthropic initiative established to enhance the academic mission of the University by facilitating the strategic recruitment and retention of excellent faculty. As an endowed fund, the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics will exist at Trent in perpetuity, ensuring that the University is able to attract and retain the finest faculty for years to come.

“By establishing the University’s inaugural Endowed Chair, the Drain and Patterson families have made a significant investment in the intellectual capital of Trent University,” explained Dianne Lister, vice-president of external relations and advancement. “This transformational gift symbolizes pace-setting philanthropy and will help showcase the interdisciplinary and multiple lenses approach that Trent values.”

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University is renowned for striking a unique balance between outstanding teaching and leading-edge research. The University is consistently recognized nationally for faculty who maintain a high level of innovative research activity and a deep commitment to the individual student. Distinguished by excellence in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and increasingly popular professional and graduate programs, Trent is dedicated to providing its students with an exceptional world view, producing graduates who are ready to succeed and make a difference in the world. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River. Together with its satellite campus in Oshawa, Trent draws excellent students from throughout the country and around the world.


For more information, please contact:
Marilyn Burns
Director, Marketing & Communications
 705-748-1011 ext. 6184 or mburns@trentu.ca or visit the Chair in Ethics web site.