$500,000 gift supports Reflection Circle and land acquisition for King's
January 12, 2021
As a first installation on the King’s Green, the land acquired by King’s University College from the Diocese of London in 2018, a Reflection Circle will be created thanks to the generosity of Joanne and Peter Kenny, long-time supporters of King’s. In addition to contributing to the purchase of the land through the Imagine the Future campaign, which supports the acquisition made by King’s of 18 acres at Huron and Waterloo Streets, the $500,000 donation will establish an inclusive space for private reflection or group gatherings.
“Joanne and Peter Kenny’s generous history of supporting King’s further shapes and improves our campus by helping our Indigenous community access their right to practice and manifest their cultural and spiritual traditions and customs as we work towards reconciliation. This gift of a Reflection Circle will significantly shape and enhance the student experience. The Reflection Circle further supports our students by encouraging them to explore meaningful ways of interacting with each other, with nature, and independently in self-reflection. Whether used for prayer, quiet contemplation, or ceremonial gatherings, I am confident the Reflection Circle will benefit the social and spiritual well-being of our entire community,” says Dr. David Malloy, King’s Principal.
The Reflection Circle is intended to be accessible by all King’s students, faculty, staff, and community members, and people of all faiths and backgrounds. Designed in consultation with King’s students and a number of stakeholder groups across King’s as well as the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Western University, the Reflection Circle will also support the needs of the Indigenous community at King’s by providing an outdoor location for sacred gatherings, such as smudging ceremonies.
“Joanne and I are delighted to support King’s students as they further their education both in and outside of the classroom. Supporting Indigenous students is of particular importance to us. We are pleased to contribute to a space that will honour the heritage of the land while encouraging thoughtful gatherings and conversations for the King’s community,” says Peter Kenny, donor.
The Reflection Circle is planned to be a simple, circular structure with covered seating and an earthen fire pit at its centre, which will allow people to develop a relationship with the Circle over time. Its simple design will give the King’s community the opportunity to define how to use this space.
Joanne and Peter Kenny are loyal friends and supporters of King’s. They value the small, caring, and inclusive community at King’s, as well as the College’s leadership role as a Catholic undergraduate liberal arts institution of higher learning in Canada. As a couple, the Kennys have focused on supporting Indigenous issues in Ontario for many years and believe in the importance of designated spaces for use by the Indigenous community. Their previous support of King’s has been recognized by the naming of the Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre, which is located in the Darryl J. King Student Life Centre.
A celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Kenny’s generous donation to the Imagine the Future campaign will be held upon completion of the Reflection Circle, anticipated in spring 2021, and when it is safe to gather in person. More information about how the King’s community can access the space will be available once the structure is complete.
The London Free Press: Reflection circle at King's University College will provide outdoor area for gatherings
Academica Group: King’s receives $500K for Indigenous Reflection Circle