Queen's 175th Anniversary

Queen's University Queen's University

[Queen's University Douglas Library]
[Queen's University Douglas Library]
Celebrating Queen's 175th Anniversary

Moments in the History of Queen's

From a wood-frame house to the campus we know and love today, and through achievements and setbacks, change and challenges, for 175 years the spirit of initiative has been at the heart of Queen’s. Our 175th anniversary is an opportunity to remember and reflect on our past, and imagine our future.

  • [record breaking Q]
    September 6, 2016

    To kick off celebrations for 175 years of Queen’s, thousands of people gathered together to break a Guinness World Record.

  • [Arthur McDonald photo by Pi Frisk]

    On Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald was woken by a phone call from Stockholm and the news of a Nobel Prize for Physics.

  • [AMS general meeting 1924]

    1858 saw students rally to create the Alma Mater Society, an undergraduate student government. From its outset it was an activist organization rather than a social club.

  • [John Deutsch]

    Throughout the 20th century, Queen’s faculty and alumni have worked to support decision-making in Ottawa.

  • [tricolour]

    In the 1870s, Queen’s was growing. It had a motto and its crest, but it didn’t have a visual to set itself apart. The AMS soon took things into their own hands and established Queen's "tricolor."

  • [unveiling of the Sutherland plaque]

    Queen’s first black graduate completed his studies in 1854, and on his death, he left his estate to the university.

  • [Jean Royce at registration]
    1933 through 1968

    For 35 years, from the Depression to the 60s, virtually every Queen’s undergraduate received “a Jean Royce letter” accepting them to the university. Few ever forgot the experience.

  • [Queen's Royal Charter]

    In 1841, a group of clerics and politicians wanted to open Queen’s College in Kingston. To use such a regal name though, they had to ask Queen Victoria for permission.

  • [The Quarathon]
    October 1958

    In 1958, Queen’s more than 100 students ran with the game ball from Kingston to Toronto for a big game against U of T, arriving in time for kickoff.

  • [students of CFRC]
    1923 to present day

    Now broadcasting 24 hours a day from Carruthers Hall, CFRC is one of the world’s longest-broadcasting radio stations.

  • [Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales on campus]

    With its regal name, Queen’s has long attracted royalty to its campus. 

  • [Watertown police officer]
    February 22, 1956

    On a cold February night in 1956, Queen’s pranksters set about taking back New York State for the King of England.


The historical content of this site was curated by a committee of faculty and staff with submissions from the broader Queen’s community.
These moments are not intended to represent an exhaustive history of the university, but rather significant sign posts in its development.
Special thanks go to University Historian Duncan McDowall for his contributions.
Many thanks also to the people of Queen's University Archives for their support of this anniversary project.
Have feedback about the moments? Please contact qu175@queensu.ca