December 11, 2012
Dear members of the Queen’s community,
If you haven’t already heard the rumours, let me make it official: Queen’s is reinstating its fall Homecoming celebrations. I’m very pleased to tell you that we will be welcoming alumni back to campus in October 2013.
Though the event will celebrate the best of Queen’s spirit – as it always has – it will be a different experience than in years past - the product of a much more inclusive planning process involving not only the university and alumni, but also students and the local community.
Most notably, Homecoming will now be held over two fall weekends, October 5th and October 19th. Each weekend will feature its own signature events for alumni, alongside innovative programming for students, alumni and members of the Kingston community. Of course, both weekends will include a home football game.
I know how important fall reunions are for the Queen’s community – especially our alumni who look forward to returning to campus every year to spend time together, sharing memories and revisiting their favourite Kingston haunts. I’ve also heard how important it is for our students, and for the local community.
In 2008, however, former Principal Tom Williams made the difficult decision to suspend fall Homecoming after an unsanctioned street party became a serious threat to the safety of our students, alumni and the wider Kingston community. In 2010, I felt it regrettably necessary to extend that suspension.
I’ve been encouraged, however, by the good judgment shown when gathering informally in the years since then. That’s why I’m feeling optimistic about the event’s future. I am hopeful that we will be able to carry on the tradition for years to come; however, this will depend upon the full cooperation of students, alumni and the community alike.
Over the past year, I’ve worked with the university’s Office of Advancement and the Queen’s University Alumni Association along with the Rector and student leaders from the AMS, the SGPS, and the QSAA, “reimagining” what Homecoming could be. Kingston Police, Emergency Services, and city residents have had their say, too. These conversations have all been a vital part of the process. I’m also grateful for the cooperation and collaboration we’ve had from the Mayor and the City of Kingston.
At the end of the day, we all want an opportunity to celebrate what makes Queen’s great: our spirit, our initiative…not to mention our prowess on the football field. Every year some 4,500 graduates become part of our dynamic community of alumni living all over the world. We are very pleased that once again, we’ll have a chance to welcome them back home.
I look forward to celebrating with you.
Daniel Woolf, Artsci ’80,
Principal and Vice-Chancellor