Brothers John ‘42 and Robert (Bob)’44 Stevens began a long and storied family history with Ridley, starting back in the late 1930s/early 1940s. Originally from London, Ontario they attended Ridley, excelling in sports, notably football and hockey, and numerous aspects of school life. John graduated in 1942 and joined the RCAF shortly thereafter. Bob graduated from Ridley in 1944. Both brothers attended Queen’s University with success in sports and academics. After studying at Osgoode Hall, Bob began with Blake, Cassels & Graydon, while John finished a degree in mechanical engineering and joined Pumps & Softeners, focusing on directing acquisitions and mergers throughout his career as President and Principal Shareholder. Bob practiced corporate commercial law until his retirement in 1994.
Both John and Robert Stevens served as governors on the Ridley Board of Governors. Bob served as Chairman of the Board from 1973 to 1977, showing bold courage, leadership and initiative during challenging times. Bob also served on the boards of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, and as chairman of the board of Princess Margaret Hospital. Robert passed away on October 12, 2016 in Toronto.
John was also active in the community with organizations such as Boys & Girls Club, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and the Men’s Mission of London. John passed away on May 10, 2013.
Both John and Bob were generous and committed philanthropists, dedicated volunteers and truly lived the school’s motto ‘Terar Dum Prosim’.
One of Ridley’s proud legacy families, Bob’s sons, John ’74, Mike ’77, and Tom ’79 attended and graduated from Ridley. Continuing the Stevens Family theme of ‘service’, John served as a member of the Board of Governors for thirteen years, and Mike has served both on the Board of Governors and the Ridley College Foundation. He has been Chair of the Foundation for eleven years. Most recently, Mike is also co-chair of The Campaign for Ridley, the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history. All three sons remain steadfast supporters of the school through philanthropy and volunteerism.
Continuing the Stevens family legacy, John ’42’s granddaughters, Victoria ’03 and Alice ’08, also attended Ridley College.
Five years ago, many members of the Stevens clan gathered at Ridley to attend the dedication of The Stevens Grove, in memory of John ’42 and located outside the Memorial Chapel.