Other Name: Beryl Marcia Nurse
Beryl Ivey (Beryl Marcia Nurse) was born in Chatham, Ontario on December 28, 1924 to Lt. Col. William Ivan Nurse and Beatrice Heaton. She attended high school in Chatham and was known as a talented athlete. Mrs. Ivey was the girl’s school captain and set a record for long jump for Kent County that remained unbroken for 50 years. She won various awards in track and field meets throughout southwestern Ontario. Despite her high grades, attending university did not seem feasible. However, in 1943, she received a privately endowed scholarship and an offer of admission to attend what is now known as Brescia University College, an affiliate of Western University. Mrs. Ivey graduated in 1947 with a BA and was named Brescia’s valedictorian.
While in London, she met Richard M. Ivey who was studying at Western University. After graduation they moved to Toronto, with Mrs. Ivey attending the Ontario College of Education, and Mr. Ivey attending Osgoode Law School. Mrs. Ivey then returned to London to teach English and physical education for a year at H.B. Beal Technical School. While teaching at Beal, Mrs. Ivey became active in the production of plays at the London Little Theatre. After Mr. Ivey completed his second year at Osgoode, the pair married in Chatham on August 6, 1949.
Throughout her lifetime, Mrs. Ivey appreciated and was a generous donor and supporter of the arts in London and across Ontario. She was actively engaged as a board member for many arts organizations including the Shaw Festival and the National Ballet School and also served on the Visual Arts Advisory Board at Western University. Mrs. Ivey was a generous donor to the Art Gallery of Ontario and to Museum London for gallery construction and new acquisitions. Her legacy lives on through continued donations from the Beryl Ivey Endowment for the Arts at London Community Foundation. At Western, the Richard & Beryl Ivey Visual Arts Digital Resource Centre, Beryl Ivey Visual Arts Fund, and the Beryl M. Ivey McIntosh Gallery Fund continue to support students, scholars and faculty members.
The Beryl Ivey Garden on Western’s campus includes the sculpture, “Cosmic Garden Flight” by Gerald Gladstone. The Garden is a lasting tribute to her love of art and the natural world.
In 1980 Mrs. Ivey was recognized on the London Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List for contributions to the arts in London. Mrs. Ivey received an Honorary Degree from Western in 1997 and was named to the Order of Canada in 2007.
Biography by Victoria Stopar
Armstrong, Frederick Henry and Gilchrist, J. Brian, The Iveys of London: an Entrepreneurial and Philanthropic Family. Toronto, Ontario: Ivest Corporation. 2005.
Ivey, Beryl and Richard, “History of the Morgan and Ivey Gardens, 1899-1984.” 1984.
London Community Foundation, “Beryl Ivey.” Accessed December 14, 2010. http://www.lcf.on.ca/news/donor-story/beryl-ivey.
National Post, “Beryl Ivey, Obituary.” Accessed January 14, 2008. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/nationalpost/obituary.aspx?pid=101230065.
The Globe and Mail, “Beryl Ivey, 82.” Accessed December 26, 2007. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/beryl-ivey-82/article1092531/.
Western University.“Western Walking Tour.”
Baker, Mike. “Wellington Gardens,” in London Culture. http://www.londonculture.ca/things-we-do/culture-directory/historic-favourites/wellington-gardens.
Biography Profile Photo:
Courtesy of Alumni Relations & Development, Western University
Cosmic Garden Flight 2003
welded steel, 548.6 cm.
Collection of McIntosh Gallery, Western University
Gift of Dr. Beryl Ivey, 2010