September 19, 1996 * Vol . 7, No. 2

Who was Maggie Benston?

Maggie Benston joined SFU as a charter faculty member in 1966 in the department of chemistry. She was one of the founders of women's studies in the mid-'70s and taught in that program part-time.

In the late '80s she became interested in computer science, switched careers and received a joint appointment in women's studies and computing science. The effects of computer technology on women, their work and status in society, became a focus of her research.

"Maggie was a faculty member who spent a tremendous amount of time with students," recalls Meredith Kimball, psychology/women's studies, a long-time colleague and friend. "She put people at ease and made students feel that they were really worth something."

Benston, whose diverse career spanned three faculties, maintained a keen interest in students until her death from cancer in 1991 at age 52. She had also pursued a life-long interest in music and will be remembered for her leading role in establishing the now-renowned Vancouver Folk Music Festival.

"Aside from the Madge Hogarth residence, there are no campus buildings named after any of the women who have played an important role at this university," notes Judith Osborne, associate vice-president academic, and chair of the selection committee responsible for naming the new student services centre.

"Not only did Maggie epitomize the interdisciplinary approach to academic inquiry for which SFU is known, she was also very active with students and in the university and larger community," Osborne concludes.

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