Queen's University

Queen's Spring Reunion and MiniU kick off Kingston's tourist season


What may well become a tradition at Queen’s launches this weekend when more than 700 alumni from 35 classes return to Kingston for Spring Reunion ’09.  The event will be a celebration in every sense of the word, with reconnecting, reminiscing and camaraderie among grads from the Class of ’34 to the Class of ’04.

Among alumni coming back this weekend, Barry Carr-Brown from Maraval, Trinidad is celebrating his 50th reunion with Applied Science’59 classmates.

“It’s a perfect time of year for grads to return and see campus in full bloom – something they may not have experienced during their student years,” says Alumni Association president Sarah Renaud (ArtSci ’96).

The weekend introduces some intriguing new elements for returning graduates including Re-convocation. Kingston resident Graham Thomson (Non-alumnus Arts’34) will receive a Certificate of Attendance during the ceremony. Mr. Thomson was unable to complete his degree at Queen’s because of the Depression.  He was needed to help out in the family business, and went on to a very accomplished real estate career in Kingston.

Activities also include haunted walks and trolley tours of the City, and campus tours that highlight new developments at Queen’s.

At the same time as Spring Reunion events are unfolding, Queen’s second annual MiniU offers many fascinating workshops and lectures that are open to both alumni and the Kingston community. MiniU presents opportunities for participants to experience the full breadth of campus life for one weekend without the pressure and panic of exams.

“MiniU is a great opportunity to open up Queen’s to the community,” says Manager, Alumni Education and Travel, Melanie McEwen (Arts’87). “There are so many exciting things happening in research at the university.  It is a chance for Kingstonians to cross into the land of students.”

MiniU has grown since its debut. There is more programming, and more sessions and topics. In addition, alumni have opportunities to enjoy the City’s wonderful accommodation and hospitality.  

Alumni participating in MiniU activities include Chiichii Ashwe (MA’81, PhD’84). Dr. Ashwe is coming back to Queen’s from Nigeria, Africa for the first time since graduating. 

Last year MiniU ended with attendees simply wandering away after the last Sunday session. This year it ends with a bang – a closing luncheon featuring celebrity chef and alumna Trish Magwood (Artsci’93).

The Links BBQ Luncheon hosts participants from both Spring Reunion and MiniU on Saturday afternoon, offering opportunities for reminiscing with old friends and making new ones while enjoying fantastic food and entertainment.

Principal Tom Williams and Mayor Harvey Rosen will address participants; Chancellor David Dodge and Principal-Designate Daniel Woolf are attending. Members of he Kingston Boys and Girls Club will provide the luncheon dessert and musical entertainment before embarking on a guided tour of Queen’s School of Music with Acting Director Ireneus Zuk.

There are several interview and photo opportunities for media prior to and throughout the weekend.  The following backgrounder highlights some interesting events and provides links to full event listings for the weekend.

Queen’s Spring Reunion/MiniU media event details and highlights

Queen’s University invites members of the media to join faculty, staff, alumni, and participants at organized activities on campus and in the city for Spring Reunion and MiniU Weekend Friday May 22 to Sunday May 24.

To arrange an interview, prior to or during the weekend, or to cover any of the events below, or those listed in the full programs please contact Stacey Trottier-Mousseau, Communications Intern, 613-533-6000, ext. 78725, stacey.tm@gmail.com.

Interview opportunities prior to the weekend:

Spring Reunion                     

Sarah Renaud, Artsci’96, President, Queens University Alumni Association 

Judith Brown, Artsci’76, MA’79, Associate Vice President, Queens University Alumni Relations

Judy Griffiths, Manager, Reunions and Events


Judy Griffiths, Manager, Reunions and Events

Leora Jackson, Artsci’09, MA’11, University Rector

Certificate of Attendance     

Stewart Fyfe, Professor, Political Studies, Artsci ’49, MA’54

Graham Thomson, Certificate of Attendance Recipient


Melanie McEwen, Artsci’87, Manager Alumni Education and Travel

Jess Joss, Artsci’96, Volunteer Organizer, Queen’s University Alumni Association

Boys and Girls Club Choir   

Phyllis Wood, Choir Director

Boys and Girls Club LINKS Catering             

Tony Gargaro, Director of Community Development, Boys and Girls Club of Kingston

LINKS Barbecue Picnic       

Judy Griffiths, Manager, Reunions and Events

Check these links for re-printable stories about the weekend from the Queen’s Gazette.

 Spring Reunion


Sci’59 Class Reunion

MBAST’03 Class Reunion


Weekend event highlights, interview and photo opportunities

Friday, May 22

1 – 4 p.m. CFRC 101.9 FM Radio Open House.  Lower Carruthers Hall at 62 Fifth Field Company Lane.

Canada’s longest running campus radio broadcaster is opening its doors to alumni and community members.  This year the CFRC will be celebrating 87 years of radio broadcasting at Queen’s.

6 p.m. Education Alumni Dinner, "Educational Reform". University Club

Annual celebration of alumni and distinguished educators. Keynote Speaker: Hon. Bill Davis, P.C., C.C., Q.C., Former Minister of Education ('62-'71) and Former Premier of Ontario ('71-'85).

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Mini U Welcome Dinner.  Ban Righ Dining Room, Bader Lane.  Renowned business journalist and TV anchor Bruce Sellery, Com’93 presents “Moolala: Money Made Simple.”

7:30 – 9:30 p.m.  Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC) Spring Reunion Coffee House/Photo Exhibit- Main floor of the John Deutsch University Centre, corner of Union St. and University Ave.

Featuring: members of the Queen's and Kingston communities in poetry readings, musical performance, story-telling and more, all with an international flair. The photo exhibit featuring entries from QUIC's first annual International Photo Contest will be on display throughout the weekend.

Saturday, May 23

9 a.m. Arts’ 49 Tree planting. Corner Union and University. Principal Tom Williams, Chancellor David Dodge, AMS President Michael Ceci, and members of  Class of ’49 will be there. The tree will replace one the class originally planted when they graduated 60 years ago.

Arts and Science Dean’s coffee party. Tent outside Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC). Dean Alistair MacLean and ArtSci alumni.  Rain location is AEAC Atrium.

10 – 11:30 a.m.  Re-convocation, Ceremony in Grant Hallfor all returning classes celebrating a milestone reunion (5, 10, 15, 20, 25 etc.) hosted by Principal Tom Williams, Chancellor David Dodge and Rector Leora Jackson.

Graduates will receive a pin recognizing their milestone anniversary.  Kingston resident Graham Thomson, Non-alumnus Arts’34, will receive a Certificate of Attendance. Mr. Thomson was unable to complete his degree at Queen’s because of the depression.  His family needed him to help out in the family business.  He went on to a very accomplished real estate career in Kingston.

9 – 9:30 a.m. Hood and gown pick up, Kingston Hall

10 a.m. Graduands enter Grant Hall and Ceremony begins

11:30 a.m. Re-convocation procession retreats via Professors Walk outside Grant Hall

11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. LINKS BARBECUE – Agnes Benidickson field: Both Spring Reunion and MiniU participants will attend to help celebrate links between Queen’s and Kingston.

Fort Henry Guard will perform fyfe music throughout the barbecue and engage children in a Muster Parade at the Kids Corner.

12:45 p.m. Queen’s Bands perform musical numbers, ending in Oil Thigh.

1 p.m.  Town Crier, Chris Whyman announces the beginning of presentations

Mayor Harvey Rosen (Law ’75) brings greetings from the City of Kingston (to Spring Reunion and MiniU participants)

Principal Tom Williams addresses Spring Reunion and MiniU participants

1:15 p.m. Boys and Girls Club Choir performs.

Principal Tom Williams presents gift to Choir Director Phyllis Wood

Principal Tom Williams and QUAA President Sarah Renaud present MiniU backpacks to choir members

1:25 p.m.  FORMAL PROGRAM WRAP-UP, Remarks from QUAA President Sarah Renaud

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. or 3 – 4 p.m. - Experience the following campus tours with returning alumni:

-Agnes Etherington Art Centre (AEAC) with introduction by Janet Brooke

-Museum of Health Care at Kingston with Dr. James Low

-Kingston Rocks! At the Miller Museum with Mark Badham

-Human Mobility Research Centre with Leone Ploeg

 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Art Making at the AEAC – Drawing Lines Workshop with Dave Gordon

 – Are you a closet chemist? with Michael Mombourquette

2:10 p.m. Boys and Girls Club School of Music Tour: Choir is escorted on a 45 minute tour of the School of Music.

2:15 p.m.  Business Luncheon: Incoming-Principal Daniel Woolf chats with business alumni, Goodes Hall.

3 p.m.  Last Lecture on Earth, Biosciences Complex, “Nothing Up My Sleeve,” What I learned from the Master Magicians with sociology professor Vincent Sacco

A Marvellous Yarn, Walking tour of campus with Stacy Kelley (Arts’93) leaving from Grant Hall.

Sunday, May 24

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Why ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ is the Greatest Rock’n’Roll song Ever.  Harrison LeCaine, Room 124, Robb Mackay, School of Music.

Noon – 1:30 – MiniU Closing Lunch, Ban Righ Hall, featuring Trish Magwood (Arts’93) owner and operator of dish cooking studio in Toronto.

See full information about the weekend’s events in the Spring Reunion faculty organized events program and MiniU event program.

Queen’s alumni will be on campus throughout the weekend, so you never know who you might run into!  More information about Spring Reunion and MiniU.

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Last updated at 9:30 am EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
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