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175th anniversary: Q to remember

  • A total of 3,373 people form a giant Q on Nixon Field as they set the Guinness World Record for the largest human letter.
    A total of 3,373 people form a giant Q on Nixon Field as they set the Guinness World Record for the largest human letter.
  • Principal Daniel Woolf accepts the plaque recognizing the Guinness World Record from Guinness adjudicator Christina Conlon on Tuesday.
    Principal Daniel Woolf accepts the plaque recognizing the Guinness World Record from Guinness adjudicator Christina Conlon on Tuesday.
  • All kinds of members of the Queen's community turned out Tuesday, Sept. 6 to set a new Guinness World Record.
    All kinds of members of the Queen's community turned out Tuesday, Sept. 6 to set a new Guinness World Record.
  • Principal Daniel Woolf, Rector Cam Yung and David Walker, chair of the executive organizing committee for Queen’s 175th anniversary, joined the record attempt.
    Principal Daniel Woolf, Rector Cam Yung and David Walker, chair of the executive organizing committee for Queen’s 175th anniversary joined the record attempt,
  • Students, staff, faculty and members of the community lined up for the chance to be a part of history at Queen's University.
    Students, staff, faculty and members of the community lined up for the chance to be a part of history at Queen's University.
  • A total of 3,373 people form a giant Q on Nixon Field as they set the Guinness World Record for the largest human letter.
    A total of 3,373 people form a giant Q on Nixon Field as they set the Guinness World Record for the largest human letter.
  • A total of 3,373 students, staff, faculty and community members helped Queen's set the Guinness World Record for the largest human letter.
    A total of 3,373 students, staff, faculty and community members helped Queen's set the Guinness World Record for the largest human letter.
  • Participants received a free T-shirt as they took part in the Guinness World Record attempt on Tuesday at Queen's University's Nixon Field.
    Participants received a free T-shirt as they took part in the Guinness World Record attempt on Tuesday at Queen's University's Nixon Field.
  • A wide range of members of the Queen's community turned out Tuesday, Sept. 6 to set a new Guinness World Record.
    A wide range of members of the Queen's community turned out Tuesday, Sept. 6 to set a new Guinness World Record.

They came, they stood, they conquered.

Under clear skies and dazzling sunshine, 3,373 people turned out to Nixon Field on Sept. 6 to help Queen’s University set the Guinness World Record for largest human letter.

“I might have a sunburn, but it was worth it,” said Jasper Haighton, Sc’20, who attended the event with other first-year students living on her residence floor. “It was kind of cool to come together as a community and do something that will be remembered in history.”

Queen’s beat the previous record of 2,166 set earlier this year by Dell Technologies in Round Rock, Texas. All of the participants wore gold T-shirts provided by the organizers. The Q had a circumference of approximately 140 metres, with organizers mapping out the letter in advance using more than 300 metres of rope.

“I’m thrilled we set the record, which was a fun and exciting way to highlight our 175th anniversary celebrations,” said Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf, who accepted the plaque from Guinness adjudicator Christina Conlon immediately following the attempt. “I would like to thank the thousands of participants and the volunteers, more than 70 in total, who made this accomplishment possible.”

Manal Shalabi, a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry, was one of the volunteers for the event. She answered questions and helped get participants into position before the record attempt. Ms. Shalabi was joined by her friend Mariam El Mezouar, a PhD candidate in the School of Computing.

“When are you going to have the chance to do this again? I couldn’t miss this opportunity,” Ms. El Mezouar said. “It’s so cool to be part of the Guinness record.”

The record attempt is a highlight of the university’s 175th anniversary celebrations. Hundreds of incoming students helped fill up a large portion of the Q along with other students, faculty, staff, and local community members.

“This event is absolutely fantastic,” says Rector Cam Yung, Artsci’16. “It showcases the fact that the student experience is a key part of life at Queen’s. It’s exceptional to see us come together as a group to celebrate Queen’s.”

Even international students joined in the festivities. Gianluca Iezzi, Roberta Luongo, Flaminia Albanese, and Luca Luciani, exchange students from Luiss University in Rome, heard about the record attempt the day before.

“We knew we wanted to be part of it,” Ms. Albanese said. “It was the best welcome to Queen’s.”