Fifty years ago, on a cold winter’s eve, the tables were set in Lady Eaton College’s (LEC) brand new dining hall and students, faculty and staff were welcomed to the official opening of Trent University’s second college. Half a century later, on Friday, January 18, 2019, 50 years to the day of the official opening, guests joined together for the Founders Dinner, a formal celebration of LEC’s golden anniversary.
Over a menu inspired by the grand dining rooms of Lady Flora McCrae Eaton, guests shared memories of the past five decades and toasted to the five still to come.
Jonathan Pinto ’06, served as master of ceremonies and welcomed founding president Dr. Tom Symons, current students, and past principals to speak on the occasion. LEC alumni spoke fondly about their time as students. Susan Brown ’68 offered a glimpse into the early years at Trent, when LEC was a women’s-only residence, and Brandon Smith ’04, described the sentiments of belonging, community engagement, and critical thinking that struck him deeply as an LEC student. Mr. Smith was presented with the Alumni Young Leader Award by Lee Hayes, director of alumni engagement and services. The evening ended with college principal, Dr. Christine Freeman-Roth presiding over a traditional scarf ceremony.
“Whether you are drawn to the history and architecture, the beautiful setting nestled in the drumlin, or the people, Lady Eaton College is an inviting and inclusive space,” said Principal Freeman-Roth.
The Founders Dinner was the capstone event of a year of celebrations, spanning September 2018 to April of this year. In September the college threw a 50th Birthday Bash for new student orientation, and students and alumni celebrated at the Head of the Trent during an unveiling of a stunning painting by artist and LEC alumnus Ryan Lamoureux ’12. Still to come is a week-long visit by Canadian War Museum Historian, Dr. Tim Cook ’90, for LEC’s Alumni in Residence program, and a public mural project that will engage the community to highlight the unique qualities of the college.
“This anniversary year offers the chance to renew our commitment to building an accepting community which encourages leadership, engagement, and creativity,” said Principal Freeman-Roth. “LEC Students and fellows are always welcome here and will always have a place at the table.”