Alumni, parents, students and donors gathered September 28 to mark the official opening of Cowen House, the new Grade 12 co-ed residence at Stanstead College.
Constructed at a cost of $5.8 million, Cowen House welcomed its first students this fall, with boys living in one wing, girls in another and a common central area for all. It is the first new residence at Stanstead College since the opening of Webster House in 1991.
The new residence resolve two issues at the College. With increased enrollment, particularly in the higher grades, the senior residences had reached maximum capacity. Secondly, the new residence recognizes the fact that Stanstead’s Grade 12s are transitioning to adulthood and should therefore have certain privileges not afforded the younger students.
Stanstead College is one of only three schools in Quebec that offers a Grade 12 prep program. Cowen House is the only co-ed Grade 12 residence in Quebec, if not Canada.
The house is named in honour of the Cowen family of Knowlton, Que., longtime benefactors and supporters of the school, who contributed significantly towards this project. Jonathan Cowen, Stanstead College board chair (Class of 1972), and Judith Cowen, a College trustee, were on hand for the event along with sons Jeffrey (2009) and Jason (2012).
The Cowens have been generous supporters of the school and its initiatives over the years, contributing to large projects, such as the Pat Burns Arena, and smaller but necessary ones, such as refurbished washrooms, always doing so humbly and without fanfare.
Mr. Cowen’s father, Stewart, was a longtime trustee of the school, and brother Jamie is also an alumnus (1969). Mr. Cowen has been a trustee since 2004 and chair since 2012. Mrs. Cowen became a trustee in 2015. Mr. Cowen is the former president and CEO, now retired, of A&D Prevost Inc., an architectural aluminum firm located in Richelieu, Que.
Mr. Cowen thanked his family, the construction committee, designer Sylvain Pomerleau and contractor Tijaro for their work on the project as well as the many donors for their support.
“Education is the most valuable thing we can give the next generation,” he said. “And here at Stanstead, students not only get a great education but they get a real-life experience of social awareness. And that is why Judith and I along with all of you strive to help this wonderful institution mould tomorrow’s leaders.”
Mr. Cowen also reminded those gathered that fundraising efforts are ongoing.
The Cowen family then cut the ribbon and unveiled the cornerstone. Guests were then invited into the lobby for a toast by Joseph Levy, Class of 1969 and former board chair.
“I hope you students will remember the Cowens’ gift and the gifts of everyone who contributed to make this new residence a reality, that you will take pride in not just Cowen House but Stanstead College, and that you too will take care of your school, now and in the future,” he said.
Associate Head of School Joanne Carruthers along with Grade 12 students Rosalie Gadoua Giroux of Candiac, Que. and Andrew Bouchard of Derby Line, Vt. also spoke. Guests were then invited to tour the residence.
Construction of Cowen House began in September 2018 and was ready for opening day of the school year. Out of a total student population of 246 students, there are 57 Grade 12s, both boarding and day students.
Founded in 1872, Stanstead College is an independent boarding and day school for students in Grades 7 through 12.
Cowen House Facts
Exclusively for Grade 12 residents