Trent Press Release


May 9, 2002


Trent University is mourning the loss of Mrs. Helen Whiteside who was the first female member of the university's Board of Governors. Mrs. Whiteside died yesterday after a lengthy illness.

A graduate of the University of Toronto, Mrs. Whiteside moved to Peterborough with her husband, Dr. John Whiteside in 1950. Dr. Whiteside was a pathologist and Chief of the Department of Pathology and Director of Laboratories at Peterborough Civic Hospital.

Helen Whiteside was a Chair of the Red Cross and Community Fund, predecessor of the United Way Community Services. She served as president of the Red Cross of Peterborough and set up a pilot home care service project providing care to patients in their homes. She was active in the YWCA and was the initiator of the Peterborough Information Centre and Volunteer Bureau, and chaired its Board of Directors from 1974-76. Mrs. Whiteside was the first chair of FourCast, an assessment and referral organization for people with addictions.

Helen Whiteside was a friend and supporter of Trent University from its beginning. In 1972, she was elected to the Trent University Board of Governors where she served until 1981 and then became an Honorary Board Member. Helen was the founding chair of the Ontario Audio Library Services, situated at Trent, and continued to read for the Audio Library twice a week. She was a member of the University Women's Club.

Mrs. Whiteside participated in the Second Decade and Fund for Excellence fundraising campaigns. In May of 1991, she was presented with Trent's Eminent Service Award at the spring convocation. When Trent University established the Legacy Society in 1999 to recognize and thank donors of future gifts to Trent and to promote planned giving, Helen was a Founding Member. Through her generosity, she endowed the Frank and Reata Scott Scholarship in memory of her parents.

Trent President Bonnie Patterson noted, "Helen was a very special friend to the university and to me personally. Last year in fact she was one of the organizers of a surprise party in my honour. It was very special and I was truly touched by Helen's efforts."

In honour of Mrs. Whiteside's contributions to Trent University and to the community the flag on top of the Bata Library will be lowered to the half-mast position.

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For more information contact:

Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224

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