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A look back on 2015

Arthur McDonald formally receives his Nobel Prize from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in a ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall. (Photo by Pi Frisk, Nobel Media)

The past year has been exciting throughout but definitely finished off with a big bang as Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald received the Nobel Prize in Physics, an accomplishment that will long be remembered at Queen’s University.

There were many memorable moments for the Queen’s community in 2015 and the Gazette offers a quick look back at the top news items of the year.

Nobel Prize in Physics

Oct. 6 was a day like no other for Queen’s University as it was announced that Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) was the co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. McDonald was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), which determined neutrinos, one of the fundamental particles that make up the universe, are capable of changing their type – an indicator that they have mass. In early December, Dr. McDonald travelled to Sweden to receive the prize, an event that was celebrated by the Queen’s community as well as Canada.

Principal Daniel Woolf introduces Stephen Smith after it was revealed that he had donated $50-million to Queen's University. (University Communications)

Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business

Queen’s has long benefitted from the support of its loyal alumni and that tradition continued in 2015 as the university received a transformative $50-million donation from Stephen J.R. Smith (Sc’72), a leading Canadian financial services entrepreneur and philanthropist. The donation is the largest-ever gift to any business school in Canada, and one of the largest in Queen’s history. In recognition of his vision and generosity, Principal Daniel Woolf announced a new name for the school: the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business.

Rembrandt painting

Alfred and Isabel Bader have made numerous contributions to Queen’s University and in early December added another Rembrandt painting to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s permanent collection. Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo, signed and dated 1658, is a late-career masterpiece that had been privately owned and unavailable to scholars for much of its existence. Over the past five decades, the Baders have donated to the Agnes more than 200 paintings, including two other works by Rembrandt, Head of an Old Man in a Cap (c. 1630) and Head of a Man in a Turban (c. 1661).

Richardson Stadium

While the process for revitalizing Richardson Stadium started in late 2014, the majority of the details took place in 2015. The revitalization project began with a lead gift of $10 million from Queen’s alumni Stu Lang (Sc’74) and Kim Lang (Artsci’76). The Richardson Foundation contributed an additional $5 million donation, with total donations exceeding $17 million. The university will invest an additional $3 million for infrastructure support of the stadium, bringing the total funding to $20.27 million. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Dec. 5 and the stadium is scheduled to open in time for the 2016 Gaels football season.

[RSC recipients]
Five Queen's University professors have been elected as fellows to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). They are, from left: Keith Poole (Microbiology), Elizabeth Eisenhauer (Oncology), Marjan Mozetich (Music),Suning Wang (Chemistry) and Ugo Piomelli (Mechanical and Materials Engineering). (Photo by Greg Black)

Royal Society scholars

Once again, Queen's University was well represented as five professors were elected as fellows to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), one of the highest honours for Canadian academics in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences. The five newest fellows from Queen's are: Elizabeth Eisenhauer (Oncology), Marjan Mozetich (Music), Ugo Piomelli (Mechanical and Materials Engineering), Keith Poole (Microbiology) and Suning Wang (Chemistry).

Also this year, two professors received prestigious medals from the RSC: Kerry Rowe, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, was awarded the Miroslaw Romanowski Medal, and John Smol, Professor, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and 3M Teaching Fellow, received the McNeil Medal.

There were many other noteworthy stories at Queen’s as well, including: