Catharine Parr Traill College, Trent University’s downtown college, was abuzz today when Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University, and Dr. Michael Eamon, Traill College principal, announced the naming of Fry Lodge in honour of the College’s founding principal Dr. Marion Fry. At the event, the University also announced the completion of the Greg Piasetzki Traill College Challenge, unleashing a $100,000 endowment.
“I am excited to honour Traill College’s rich history and offer a vision for its future; together they strengthen Trent University’s downtown presence and its commitment to the college,” said Dr. Groarke.
Dr. Marion Fry, a Philosophy professor, started as the principal of Traill College in 1963 and held the position at Trent’s first all-women’s College for five years. She was also the associate professor of Philosophy from 1964 to 1986, winning the prestigious Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1986-87. Professor Fry then became the vice-president of Trent University from 1975 to 1979, and periodic acting president.
“I am very happy to honour Dr. Marion Fry with the newly named Fry Lodge. From the very beginning she was a groundbreaker as a woman in higher education and an inspiration for young women at a time when universities were male dominated,” said Professor Eamon. “The naming of Fry Lodge honours the College’s first principal and marks a return to the tradition for Traill buildings of naming them after notable women.”
In addition to the naming celebration, today’s event also marked the successful completion of the Greg Piazetski Traill College Challenge, launched at the annual fall Traill College Dinner on November 25, 2016, when alumnus Greg Piasetzki ‘72 issued a $50,000 matching challenge to kickstart the Traill College endowment. In four short months, alumni and friends conquered this challenge creating a $100,000 endowment.
At the event, Mr. Piasetzki reflected on his experiences at Traill, and the importance of giving back: “Trent and Traill College shaped me in many ways – from the academic subjects I studied, to the friends I made and the non-academic interests and hobbies I acquired during those years. I believe we should all give back, when the opportunity presents itself, to both the larger society in which we live and to the organizations and institutions that shaped and supported us. For me, Trent, and in particular, Traill College, was one of those influences.’’
The endowment will play a vital role in achieving the goals set out in the Traill College review, conducted last year. The review recommended restoring a strong undergraduate presence to ensure the College could flourish as a traditional residential college. To that end, 30 new residence spaces were created at the College this past year, with more to be added in 2017-18.
“The new Traill Endowment is a great step forward for the College. The collegiate tradition prides itself on offering an engaging student experience that is interdisciplinary, personal, and genuine. Students, professors, and staff should feel that the College is a true community where everyone belongs. Providing such an experience is essential, but it comes at a cost. The new endowment will help maintain Traill as a beacon of higher education for years to come,” said Prof. Eamon.