Today we will have a campus community “sneak preview” of the public launch of Queen’s Initiative Campaign. This campaign, the most ambitious in Queen’s history, will bring much-needed resources to the University, and it will also allow us to tell our story, already familiar in a national context, to a wider, global audience. It is a campaign with some bold targets, and one which is built on the theme of “initiative”, the spirit of which has long been a Queen’s trademark and, in my view, remains a distinguishing feature of our University among a pool of very fine Canadian research-intensive institutions. I see evidence of Queen’s spirit of initiative everywhere I travel, in student-led activities, in the efforts of our faculty to improve teaching and pioneer new areas of research, and in the commitment of our staff to go above and beyond, both on campus and in the outside community, every day. I see it in our alumni, who have gone on to great success in their own careers because for decades we have attracted students committed to both thinking and doing, and because we nurture those qualities during their time with us.
The Campaign goals reflect Queen’s priorities, as worked out over the past 3 years in a series of rigorous planning exercises, during which our various campus constituencies, faculty, students and staff, were widely consulted. The Academic Plan and Strategic Research Plan, along with various Faculty-specific planning documents, have provided us with the general priorities for which we will raise funds, and with a clarity of mission that will be extremely helpful in telling past and potential new benefactors not only about where we have been but about where we are going.
Because the Initiative Campaign is all about supporting what it is we do, and do well, it is fitting that it be unveiled at home on the Queen’s campus. I do hope that you will all support the Campaign in whatever way and at whatever level you feel comfortable. Nothing speaks more loudly to our alumni and our potential supporters than the support we ourselves commit to our own initiatives.
As we proceed full steam ahead into the Initiative Campaign, I want to thank you for all you do for Queen’s and look forward to working with you as we press ahead to successful conclusion, in 2016, when Queen’s University will celebrate its 175th birthday.