Thank you, Tom Williams
On September 1, Principal Tom Williams celebrated his fourth retirement, his third from Queen’s. This most recent milestone caps a remarkable 30 years of distinguished service to the University – as a professor, dean, vice-principal, professor emeritus, and finally as the 19th principal.
Tom agreed to come out of retirement to serve as principal in April, 2008 – a time of instability and uncertainty for the institution. To those of us who worked closely with Tom, it quickly became apparent that he was ideally suited to the challenges of the office. He re-energized the senior leadership team, reached out to key constituencies and established priorities to tackle the key issues confronting us.
The headwinds Tom faced were stiffened by the dramatic decline in the world financial markets, which exacerbated the difficult financial issues confronting us. Tom met these challenges head on, engaging the community in a dialogue on underlying causes and possible solutions to put us back on a sustainable financial footing.
Tom Williams’ inclusive and direct style of leadership enabled him to make remarkable progress over a short period of time.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire community, I extend our sincere thanks to Tom for selflessly agreeing to serve Queen’s and for serving with great distinction.
William Young, Sc'77
Chair, Board of Trustees
The purpose of this evening is to thank another remarkable principal, Tom Williams, who has contributed enormously to Queen’s. Those of you who know Tom understand that despite his considerable talents, he is a very modest man. We have a wonderful evening of appreciation planned and I know he will be squirming in his seat having to listen to how grateful we are to him for his leadership. Too bad, Tom. You are at our mercy for the next hour and we will not let you go before telling you how wonderful we think you are.
Remarks by Katie Macmillan, Artsci’78, Grant Hall Society chair