September 12, 2011
To all students, faculty and staff:
Most commonly, spring is lauded as the season of renewal. In the world of the university, however, I believe the season of rebirth more rightly belongs to waning days of summer and the first, fresh days of autumn. And there is one, key reason this is so: the undeniable rejuvenating effect of thousands of new and energetic young minds descending on campus to begin a new chapter in their lives.
University life is understandably and rightly centred on the experiences of students, both undergraduate and graduate. Normally, after several hot, sunny months of relatively quiet academic and administrative pursuits, our campus suddenly overflows with moving trucks and chanting first-year groups – it bursts at the seams with renewed energy. As an institution, we rely on that energy to propel us forward. This year, more than most.
As we are all aware, this summer did not follow the typical pattern of pastoral calm. It was a time of challenging decision-making and difficult-but-necessary conversations. But, thanks to the committed efforts and hard work of the faculty and staff whose vast experience and talents help make Queen’s the unique place that it is, we have made choices, reached agreements and moved forward.
Through the curiosity and commitment of our undergraduate and graduate students, Queen’s faculty and staff have an annual opportunity to rediscover their own enthusiasm. Through fresh eyes, we can once again marvel at how the broadening and sharpening of our own mind can benefit not only our internal lives but also enrich the world around us.
To all of our new students, faculty and staff, I say Welcome to Queen’s. And to the returning members of our community, welcome back and welcome to the new spring!