How the College Avenue Campus changed the life of Ken MacLeod

By Dale Johnson Posted: July 17, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Amber MacLeod shows the medal her husband, Ken, won in 1950 for the highest marks at Regina College.
Amber MacLeod shows the medal her husband, Ken, won in 1950 for the highest marks at Regina College. Photo courtesy of Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography

Just one year of studying at Regina College – as the College Avenue Campus used to be called – made a huge difference in the life of Ken MacLeod.

During his first year of studies in 1949-1950, MacLeod was awarded the H. Y. MacDonald gold medal for outstanding marks in Arts and Science. MacLeod then transferred to the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in 1952 and a law degree in 1954. He practiced law in Regina, was elected MLA for Regina Albert Park in 1971, and was appointed a Queens Bench Judge in 1975 before retiring in 2002. He passed away in 2011.

“If he hadn’t done well at Regina College, he might not have ever gone on and got more education,” says his widow, Amber MacLeod.

And she says although he earned many honours, the gold medal from Regina College was special.

“He won several awards throughout his life, but he kept coming back to that one. He would often mention ‘You know, I got the H.Y. Macdonald award,’ ” she says.

Ken’s family has connections to the University of Regina.

After Amber earned her teaching certificate in Moose Jaw, she took classes at the College Avenue Campus in the summer of 1948 and the summer of 1949, and she later taught a class at Regina College.  She later returned to the University of Regina and earned three degrees.

Amber remembers taking their daughter, Maureen, to ballet and music classes at the College Avenue Campus. Maureen later earned two degrees at the U of R, her masters at Queens, and her PhD at the University of Hawaii, and now teaches in Hawaii.

And Maureen’s son, Cayman, later studied at the U of R and was quarterback of the Rams in 2013-2014.

Memories of her late husband’s early success at the College Avenue Campus – as well as the deep family connections – are why Amber has decided to make a donation for the College Avenue Revitalization.

And it all began when Ken MacLeod of Tisdale, Saskatchewan, came to Regina in the fall of 1949 to study at Regina College – and won the H. Y. MacDonald award for outstanding marks.   

“His time at Regina College was very important. Because he did so well and won this award, I’m sure that’s what encouraged him to continue with his education,” Amber says.