Trent Press Release


June 19, 2002



Endowed fund to create academic award for nursing students pursuing careers in the treatment of dementia

The Peterborough and Area Alzheimer Society will announce tomorrow the creation of a $100,000 scholarship for students enrolled in the Trent/Fleming Nursing program, in honor of the late Janet Patricia Bews.

Professor Bews, who died of cancer in 2000, was a strong advocate for the Alzheimer movement and served as President of the Peterborough and Area Alzheimer Society, 1998-2000. Professor Bews was also an outstanding academic and a member of the Trent faculty in the Classics Department between 1966-1999.

The new endowed scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and an essay application process to a candidate showing a career interest in nursing care for persons with dementia.

Janet Bews

Mr. Lachlan MacQuarrie, President of the Alzheimer Society, explained why the society created the scholarship. "We felt it was important to honor Janet Bews who gave back so much to the Alzheimer Society. Our members also believed an endowed scholarship would provide the necessary financial assistance to help nursing students, who are interested in caring for persons with dementia, to graduate from their studies and apply their knowledge and skills to those who suffer from this disease."

Bonnie Patterson, President and Vice Chancellor, emphasizes that creation of a scholarship will have a lasting impact on Trent's nursing students. "By reputation, I know that Professor Bews was a valued member of our faculty and a key contributor to the local Alzheimer's movement. On behalf of our faculty and students I want to thank the Peterborough and Area Alzheimer Society for their generous investment in our nursing students and for choosing to name the scholarship after one of our esteemed faculty members."

Professor Lesley Lewis, Director of the Trent/Fleming Nursing Program praised the Alzheimer Society for its support of the Nursing program. "The endowed nursing scholarship will provide approximately $4,000 per year to a fourth year nursing student. This lasting gift has the potential of helping generations of future nursing graduates contribute to better understanding and treatment of this disease. The society, and the many friends and supporters of Professor Bews, are to be commended for this initiative in her honor."

The Trent/Fleming Nursing program is a new collaborative initiative that began in 2001. 102 students enrolled in its first year creating a cadre of new graduates to the supply the local area as of 2004. Students are introduced to a fundamental knowledge base of institutional and community practice in the first three years of the program, and are encouraged to focus on an independent field of study in their fourth year, developing a breadth and depth of knowledge and practice in a specialty area, such as dementing illnesses. Many of the present students have chosen nursing as a second career, and have family responsibilities in addition to a commitment to excellence in their studies. They are motivated and eager to develop competence as a health professional and help to address a nursing shortage in the province.

Note to Media:

A detailed biography about Professor Bews is attached to this news release. Information about the Peterborough and Area Alzheimer Society is available from: or at 748-5131.

For information about the Trent/Fleming Nursing program contact:

A digital photograph of Professor Bews is available upon request from the Communications Office, 748-1011, ext. 1218.


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For more information contact:

Lachlan MacQuarrie, President, Alzheimer Society of Peterborough and Area, (705) 748-5131 or

Professor Ian Storey, Professor, Ancient History and Classics, Trent University, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1813 or

Professor Lesley Lewis, Director, Trent/Fleming Nursing Program, (705) 748-1011, ext. 5335


Professor Janet Patricia Bews

1938 - 2000


Janet Patricia Bews (1938 - 2000), a native of Kingston, Ontario, worked as a Professor in the Ancient History and Classics Department, Trent University, from 1966 to 1999. She received her BA from Queen's and her MA and Ph.D from Royal Holloway College, London.

A voracious reader, she developed a particularly keen interest in how epic poetry, especially Virgil's Aeneid and Dante's Divine Comedy, and also myth, opened windows onto deep mystery surrounding the human journey. Her scholarly interests included Tacitus and Vergil, Julian of Norwich, Hildegard of Bingen, Dante, C.S. Lewis, Gilgamesh, and Charles Williams. Bews was Senior Don (1966) and Senior Tutor (1982, 1986) at Traill College, and was Chair of the Classics Department (1974 - 1978). Professor Bews retired from Trent University in 1999 and was awarded Professor Emeritus at that time.

Janet's personal journey went through suffering to strong faith, and through faith to a peace which not even her incurable cancer could destroy. Her journey led her to reach out to others in their suffering as she did so generously in her volunteer work for the Alzheimer Society of Peterborough and Area.

Professor Bews died of cancer on August 27, 2000.


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