Remembering Ben Whitney

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Husband, father, respected director at QSB, baseball fanatic. Born in Frobisher Bay, N.W.T. (now Iqaluit, Nunavut), in 1972 and raised in Seeley’s Bay, Ontario; died on Saturday, January 25 in Kingston. This tribute by Angela James, Director of QSB’s Centre for International Management, appeared in the May 12 issue of the Queen’s Gazette.

Ben Whitney (Artsci’95) was the master of ceremonies for our lives at the Centre for International Management and Queen’s School of Business. Whether it was holiday lunches, welcoming ceremonies, gala dinners or goodbye parties, he was at the front of the room, holding the microphone and cracking everyone up with his trademark humour.

In a tough meeting, Ben had a knack for breaking the tension and keeping the situation light. He was a practical joker, frequently changing our homepages or prank calling us doing impressions of different people around QSB.

Ben could make us laugh one minute and amaze us with his talent the next. He had an impressive ability to get the job done. He was a passionate, hard-working individual who was committed to making QSB the best business school. In his leadership roles with the Queen’s Executive Education, full-time MBA and, more recently, Master of International Business programs, Ben was service-focused, which is a must at QSB. He would always do his absolute best to meet the needs of staff, faculty and students.

He had the beautiful ability to connect with anyone. Coming from a broadcast journalism background, Ben was inquisitive and genuinely interested in learning more about the people he met. His warm, funny and professional personality also transferred across cultures. He made every effort to perfect cultural greetings. He was more comfortable with some than others. The double or triple kiss from European and Latin counterparts was a little too touchy-feely for his comfort zone, but he still did it.

The well-being of students was Ben’s top priority. He went above and beyond to give students an exceptional Queen’s experience. On one occasion, a prospective student visited campus on a rainy day. Ben got in a cab with the student and drove around with him to make sure he got to see the campus.

Ben’s heart of gold was always on display, especially when it came to his family. Day in and day out, he would talk about the importance of his family. He would share funny stories and proud moments. We all knew that the moment his wife Christie or sons Benjamin and Ethan needed him, he would be there.

After growing up in a small rural community, Ben went on to touch people around the world, judging by the condolence notes that poured in from every corner of the Earth. Ben’s impact at home and abroad, his sense of humour, and love for his family will not be forgotten.

A trust fund for Ben’s two children has been established. Visit qsb.ca/ben for more details.