Trent University Announces 2009 Eminent Service Award Winners


Two Staff Members and One Former Board Chair to Accept Award at Spring Convocation

Wednesday, April 1, 2009, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce that honorary Board member and former Board chair, Jalynn Bennett, and staff members, Shirley Rolufs and Joyce Sutton, are the recipients of the 2009 Eminent Service Award, the University’s top service award, and will be presented with the distinction during the spring convocation ceremonies.

Established in 1978, the Eminent Service Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the life of Trent University above and beyond excellence in carrying out their employment or volunteer responsibilities. It is normally awarded at the culmination of service to Trent. The award is presented on behalf of the Board of Governors, acting upon the recommendation of the Senate.

Jalynn Bennett

Jalynn Bennett’s exemplary service to Trent University spans over 20 years. She joined the Board of Governors in 1987 (one of only two women on the Board at that time) and, shortly thereafter, agreed to serve as a vice-chair of the very successful For Tomorrow fundraising campaign and later as special projects chair for the Beyond our Walls fundraising campaign. After playing a key role on several Board committees, she served one year as vice-chair of the Board, before being elected chair in 1994. Over her five year term as chair, Ms. Bennett devoted herself to the demanding role with energy, compassion and a great deal of skill. Under her experienced leadership, the Board adopted policies and practices to enhance governance and accountability which are now a model for other universities.

In 1999, Ms. Bennett became an honorary governor at Trent. In addition to her contributions to the Board, she is currently a member of Trent's Planned Giving Advisory Committee, helping to provide direction for Trent's planned giving program. This new role complements the leadership she has provided as a member of Trent's Legacy Society, which recognizes those who have publicly pledged their support for the university through a planned gift.

Over the years, Ms. Bennett has been a generous and faithful supporter of leadership, voluntarism, professionalism and academic excellence at Trent. She has supported many key initiatives and the creation of many awards and scholarships including the Ted Tremain Study Abroad Award, the Nancy Simmons Smith Staff Award, and the Board of Governors Leadership Scholarship. She was also instrumental in establishing the John de Pencier Nature Areas Fund, which recently celebrated the opening of the John de Pencier Trail in October 2008. Ms. Bennett has also helped anchor Trent's leading-edge research through her support of the CFI research in the Worsfold Water Quality Centre at Trent, and the construction of the Chemical Sciences Building.

Shirley Rolufs

Shirley Rolufs retired from Trent in June 2008 after 29 years of service. Ms. Rolufs dedicated her professional life to the advancement of the library and the University and was an unwavering supporter of intellectual and social life on campus. During the course of her service, she served five librarians and guided the transition of the administration of the library from a typewriter and paper-based environment to a world of information systems, computerized techniques and services.

During her tenure at the University, Ms. Rolufs was not only an active member of the Social and Athletic committee but was also an avid volunteer and campaign co-chair of the United Way campaign, a volunteer at countless convocation ceremonies, and a volunteer for the annual daffodil campaign, among many other volunteer commitments. During her almost thirty years of contribution to Trent and the library, Ms. Rolufs affected the lives of community members immeasurably.

Joyce Sutton

Joyce Sutton was the assistant registrar of Financial Aid when she retired from Trent after 30 years of service in 2008. She was a dedicated employee who always looked to find the best financial solutions for her students. Many students knew Ms. Sutton personally, as she shepherded them through their years of study. She worked tirelessly through a myriad of government regulations, especially in her years close to retirement when public policy changes meant that the role of the financial aid office became more and more complex.

Over her 30 years at Trent, Ms. Sutton had a great impact on thousands of students. She represented the University at many high school visits to prospective students and their parents at Open House and orientation days. She also volunteered at convocation, proud to personally congratulate the many students she had assisted.


President Bonnie Patterson will be available to speak to the media about the Eminent Service Award winners. Please contact Marilyn Burns, Director of Marketing and Communications, at (705) 748-1011 x6184 to set up a time.