Trent University is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jalynn Bennett, former chair of the Trent Board of Governors and member of the Order of Canada, whose legacy as a consultant and corporate director is second-to-none. Her service and dedication to Trent spanned close to 30 years.
“I wish to express the profound sorrow felt across the Board of Governors at the loss of our colleague and friend, Jalynn Bennett,” said Bryan Davies, chair of the Trent University Board of Governors. “Jalynn was an exemplary leader, deeply committed to Trent. Among the many roles she played and as a former chair of the Board, she paved the way for future leaders by strengthening the groundwork of good governance. Her lasting legacy will make a difference to the University and students now and in decades to come.”
"Jalynn had a profound influence on Trent, as she did on all of Canada. I was fortunate enough to be able to meet with her soon after I became President, and was looking forward to working with her in the future,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent. “We are all saddened by her passing."
Ms. Bennett 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.
Upon completion of her term as chair in 1999, Ms. Bennett was named an honorary governor and received the University’s Eminent Service Award, which 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.
Over the years, Ms. Bennett was a generous and faithful supporter of leadership, voluntarism, professionalism and academic excellence at Trent. She was instrumental in establishing many awards and scholarships including the Board of Governors Leadership Scholarship and the John de Pencier Nature Areas Fund. She also helped profile Trent's leading-edge research through her support of research in Trent’s world-class Water Quality Centre, and the construction of the Chemical Sciences Building.
Most recently, Ms. Bennett had continued working with Trent as a member of Trent's Planned Giving Advisory Committee, helping to provide direction for Trent's planned giving program and award-winning Legacy Campaign.
Born in Toronto and a graduate of the University of Toronto, Trinity College, Ms. Bennett worked as the vice president of Corporate Development at Manufacturers Life Insurance Company before founding her own consulting firm in 1989, specializing in strategic planning and organizational development. Throughout her career she served as director with several leading companies, including the Bank of Canada, Cadillac Fairview, Bombardier, Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, and the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, to name a few. In 2000, she was made a Member of the Order of Canada. Trinity College presented Ms. Bennett with an honorary degree in 2004.
In recognition of all Ms. Bennett’s exceptional contributions to Trent University and as an expression of deep sympathies to family, friends and colleagues, the flag atop Bata Library has been lowered.
Please find a link Jalynn Bennett’s obituary:
The funeral will be held at ST. PAUL'S ANGLICAN CHURCH (227 Bloor St East) on Tuesday, February 3rd, at 2:00 p.m.