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#CollegesOfTrentU: Leaning into University Life at Lady Eaton College

July 10, 2019

Students at Lady Eaton College learn to express themselves and lead their communities

Trent University students socializing in front of Lady Eaton College in spring.

The collegiate system shapes a huge part of the Trent experience. Within Trent’s five colleges students build community, find meaningful connections with faculty and peers, and create a “home away from home”. As part of the #CollegesofTrentU Series, we chatted with students and alum about their experiences within the colleges and what makes their college community unique. Read on to learn what two Trent students have to say about the LEC experience. 

“Never underestimate the value that friendships with your classmates can have in the pursuit of your education,” says Gytha Chapman, an Honours Philosophy student who specializes in the study of ethics.

Ms. Chapman built that type of friendship at Lady Eaton College, and she credits the college’s ready access to academics and academic supports with enriching her learning experience at Trent.

“Academic offices are close to residence living, study rooms, lecture halls, and the dining hall. It’s never difficult to reach a professor for casual conversation or intentional meetings,” notes Ms. Chapman. “These out-of-class interactions with professors helped me have the confidence to ask for grad school references and academic assistance.”

For Deondrae Thompson, the college system makes its biggest academic impact when the stakes are highest.

“Exam season is when it plays a huge factor in my education. The student spaces available give an opportunity to study, or work on unfinished assignments – some place other than at home, or in the library.”

He also takes comfort in knowing that academic supports are available – even if he hasn’t used them much.

“Each college has their own “family” of staff dedicated to helping other students succeed academically and achieve their goals,” Mr. Thompson says.

Both students credit the LEC atmosphere with helping deepen their connections to university and to Trent as a whole. The artful and energetic college has traditions that have been passed on to LEC members for 50 years.

“It’s not easy to describe what makes Lady Eaton College unique,” Ms. Chapman says. “There are the physical aspects of the college, like the beautiful quad, that provides a space for community to grow, but it's much more than that. It’s the intangible qualities that we wrack our brains to put into words: the way the sun shines through the vines on residence windows; the smell of coffee and hash browns reaching every corner of the building in the morning; knowing you’ll pass at least one person you know on your way to class; the sound of drums in the music room vibrating up to the lecture hall; or running into your professor in your pajamas. Words constantly seem to fail to describe Lady Eaton College, but we can do our best with just one word: home.”

Fast Facts about Lady Eaton College:

  • Named for Flora McCrea Eaton, a feminist ahead of her time, a nurse, a business woman, and a philanthropist
  • Known across campus as the “arts and music college”
  • Has two living learning communities:
    • Expressions: A vibrant community for students with passion for visual and performance art
    • Leadership and Civic Engagement: For those who want to lead and get involved in their community
  • Has single or double residence room options
  • Designed by Canadian architect, Ron Thom, the college is intended to blend into the environment surrounding it, and was designed to add to the view of the drumlin rather than obscure it
  • Home to the Medical Professional Stream, a one-of-a-kind preparatory program giving students direction and assistance to achieve their medical, dentistry, veterinary, or pharmacy school dreams.