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Laurier's Brantford campus
Laurier Brantford opens Stedman Community Bookstore
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Mary Stedman was the guest of honour as Laurier Brantford officially opened the Stedman Community Bookstore in the university’s new Research and Academic Centre on Dec. 10.
Stedman, along with the estate of her late sister Ruth, each donated $250,000 to help establish the store that bears their family name. Mary’s late father Samuel opened the first Stedman’s store with his two brothers in downtown Brantford in 1907. The chain grew to over 1000 stores across Canada at its peak in the 1950s and 1960s.
Samuel made it clear to his daughters that they had a responsibility to give back to the community.
"It's my honour and privilege to carry out his wishes," Stedman told the crowd.
The new store features street-front access on Dalhousie St., and is designed to serve the Brantford community as well as Laurier students, staff and faculty. In addition to textbooks and Laurier-branded apparel, the store offers an expanded trade book section featuring Canadian authors, computer supplies and giftware.
Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Max Blouw emphasized the importance of the store’s street-front access, having “the university look out onto the community, and more importantly, having the community be able to look into the university.” Blouw also spoke of Laurier Brantford’s growth to over 19 buildings and almost 2,600 students over the past decade, and its short-term enrolment goal of 4,000 students.
Wayne Steffler, Laurier assistant vice-president of administration, thanked Mary for allowing the university to be a part of the Stedman tradition through her family’s generous support.
“This new bookstore represents a milestone in Laurier Brantford’s history, and the history of the Stedman family, and we are extremely pleased to bring the Stedman name back to downtown Brantford.”
All three levels of government were on hand to bring greetings, including MP Phil McColeman, MPP Dave Levac, and Brantford Mayor Chris Friel. All remembered visiting the original Stedman’s store on Colborne Street, and were pleased to be able to open a new store bearing the same name. Friel commented that it was “a remarkable bit of hometownery” to be able to be a part of the re-introduction of the Stedman name.
The bookstore offered gift-wrapping in exchange for donations to the Brantford Food Bank on Dec. 10 and 11, raising over $250 and 100 lbs. of food.
To read the coverage of the opening in The Expositor, click here; in Brant News, click here. To see photos from the opening and a visit with Santa and the Laurier Hawk, visit www.facebook.com/LaurierNow.
The Stedman Community Bookstore is located at 150 Dalhousie St., Brantford. The bookstore's hours until Dec. 23 are: Monday – Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kevin Klein, Laurier Brantford