Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor

[Principal and Vice Chancellor]
[Principal and Vice Chancellor]

Send-off for Dr. Art McDonald

Principal Woolf addresses a crowd of supporters at Queen's who gathered to send-off Dr. Art McDonald to accept his Nobel Prize in Stockholm.


Welcome, everyone.

Thank you, Chris Whyman, Kingston Town Crier and Queen’s alumnus, Artsc’85, for the excellent introduction to today’s proceedings.

And thank you all for coming to this very special event.

We are here today to honour Professor Emeritus Art McDonald and his incredible achievements. And we are here to wish him all the best before he departs this weekend for Sweden to accept his Nobel Prize in Physics.

I know all of us are very proud of Dr. McDonald – for many reasons.

Receiving the Nobel Prize is not something most of us even dream of.

It’s just too far off the charts – as likely as ever feeling a neutrino pass by our finger!

And yet, it’s not surprising that our colleague and friend, Dr. McDonald, has captured this extraordinary award.

Dr. McDonald is truly a trailblazer. His work into neutrinos, his experiments that show that these minute particles change identities, and therefore have mass – have changed – as the Swedish Academy noted – the world’s understanding of the innermost workings of matter.

His discovery, and that of his co-recipient, Takaaki Kajita, proved crucial in our understanding, our view, of the universe.

We are, indeed, very proud of his research. The dedication, perseverance, and passion Dr. McDonald has shown, and still shows, for his field – are immeasurable.

He is a shining example of the excellence in research at Queen’s.

We are also extremely proud of the way in which Dr. McDonald works.

From the very first moment he received news about his Nobel Prize, Dr. McDonald stressed the collaborative nature of his work. He wanted the world to know that he didn’t do this research alone.

Many of Dr. McDonald’s collaborators are here in this room. Those in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy – where are you?

Queen’s congratulates you, as well.

Dr. McDonald also has colleagues at other institutions, here in Canada and around the world. Researchers in government and different funding agencies have proven integral as well.

Many people have contributed to his team’s experiments. And following the news of his Nobel Prize, there have been many people, at Queen’s and beyond, who have supported him in various ways.

The university is extremely proud of everyone involved.

And Queen’s students – I have not forgotten you.

There is no doubt that you share in this prize as well. Indeed, it is you who benefit greatly from Dr. McDonald’s insight and commitment to pursuing and creating new knowledge.

Your learning experience at Queen’s is enriched by Dr. McDonald’s enthusiasm, his drive, and his spirit – and by the work he and his colleagues continue to do.

Dr. McDonald, you have, without a doubt, inspired us all.

Congratulations, and bon voyage!

Now, before I give the stage over to Dr. McDonald, let’s take a moment to view some special video messages from several Canadian dignitaries.

I’d now like to call upon today’s guest of honour – Queen’s Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Dr. Arthur McDonald!