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Julia Hendry, a white woman with short blond hair wearing glasses, smiles warmly off camera. She is wearing a black blazer and a Laurier name tag.

Julia Hendry Memorial Award honours memory of beloved Head of Laurier Archives and Special Collections

Julia Hendry joined Laurier in 2010 in the position of Head, Archives and Special Collections. She was a beloved colleague who had a profound impact on many lives at the university. Julia passed away on April 3, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer.

To honour Julia’s memory, her family, friends and colleagues have raised over $26,000 to establish the Julia Hendry Memorial Award which will be endowed in perpetuity.

Julia was an accomplished and passionate archivist, with an Honours BA in history from Queen’s University, an MA in history from the University of Illinois Chicago and a master’s degree in library and information science at Western University. At Laurier, Julia actively engaged in decolonizing the academy, which she viewed as essential work, and was instrumental in organizing the “The Land We Are” initiative that explored local Indigenous history. She engaged with issues of social justice throughout her life, and was drawn to documenting people and issues under-represented in archives.

“Julia was a beloved colleague, a bright light, talented, excellent and always forward-looking – truly one of those people who touched so many lives at the university in such a meaningful and profound way,” – Gohar Ashougian, Laurier’s university librarian.

In her position as Head, Archives and Special Collections, Julia helped expand the scope of the archives collections, enhanced collection-management and access systems, furthered the digitization of the archive collections, sought funding and built partnerships both internally and externally. Julia especially cherished opportunities to inspire students and researchers to work with primary sources throughout her career.

In tribute to Julia’s memory, and to continue her life’s work and honour her passions, the Julia Hendry Memorial Award will be granted annually to an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Music, Faculty of Liberal Arts or Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, who demonstrates an interest in sustainability and is in financial need. First preference will be given to an Indigenous student.

“Julia was a dear friend of mine and it is a comfort to know that her scholarship will support students who make pursuing social justice a priority during their time at Laurier.” – Amy Schneidhorst.

The family of Julia Hendry has made a generous donation in support of Laurier Archives' Highest Priority Needs in Julia's honour. In recognition of this generous gift, Laurier has named the Laurier Archives reading room as the Julia Hendry Archives Reading Room.

“From an early age, Julia developed a passion for literature and amazed friends and family with her ability to finish books at astonishing speed. Her post graduate work took her to a brief but personally influential period at Library and Archives Canada, which further fostered her passion for this work. Outside of her professional role, Julia strove to make books an important part of her life as a mother, daughter, friend, Aunt, and sister. In her final days, Julia made a point of gifting thoughtfully selected books to those she loved.” – Don and Myrna Hendry, Julia’s parents

The dedication of the room and the launch of the award will be celebrated at an event on Thursday, October 6th at 4 pm in the Robert Langen Art Gallery. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

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