Dear Staff and Faculty Colleagues,
Forget about January: those of us who work in the academic world know without a doubt that the true start of the new year happens now, in September. Though it’s tough to see the warm days waning (and they were a little scarce this summer), I thrive on the energy that fills the air at this time of year. Even if your day-to-day doesn’t change much in the fall, there’s still an infectious feeling of newness and potential that takes over this campus. It’s a time for making plans and looking forward, and, I hope, a time to feel inspired as we move into a new season.
Certainly, there is plenty to look forward to this fall. Homecoming’s return in October will be a significant event for the University. A great number of employees, alumni and student volunteers are working hard behind the scenes right now to make Homecoming a success on both weekends. As you well know, the decision to bring the much-loved event back was not one I made lightly, but I also know how important Homecoming is to the Queen’s community. The fact is, however, that we all remember why it was suspended in the first place. The dangerous behavior associated to non-sanctioned events has, on the whole, diminished over the last few years, and we will continue encouraging all participants to make responsible decisions and to be respectful of both their community and the law. I trust that by working together we can make the event as celebratory as it is safe. We all want to see Homecoming live on as a respected and energetic Queen’s tradition for years to come.
The Initiative Campaign continues to make impressive strides. We exceeded our $60 million goal in the last fiscal year, and will do our best to replicate that success this year as we work towards raising $500 million by 2016. As I’m sure you are all aware, universities are increasingly facing external funding challenges as governments implement tuition caps and reduce per-student operating grants. The support we are receiving through the Campaign demonstrates a genuine long-term commitment from Queen’s alumni and friends to our people, our research and our education programs.
Finally, I want to wish you all the very best for a wonderful fall term. Thank you for being part of our community of exceptional people, and for your passion and commitment to your work and our students.
Daniel Woolf, Artsci ’80, Principal and Vice-Chancellor