Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor

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

Loran Scholars Reception

Principal Woolf greets the guests of the Loran Scholars Reception at Queen's University.


Good evening everyone.

It is a pleasure to be here tonight to celebrate you, the Loran Scholars of Queen’s University, and your exceptional qualities as both students and citizens of the world.

Please allow me to begin by offering my congratulations, as the Loran Award is arguably one of the most prestigious scholarships in Canada at the undergraduate level.

There is no doubt that each one of you is a talented student, but you’ve been named a Loran Scholar for reasons beyond what can be found in your transcript or what you’ve accomplished on a sports field. 

What makes this award truly unique is the commitment of each recipient to the three core values of the Loran Scholars Foundation: leadership, character and service.

This evening, we are proud to honour all 21 of our Loran Scholars at Queen’s University, who span the faculties of education, arts and science, engineering and applied science, and the Smith School of Business.

While your talents are diverse in nature, what you all have in common is the outstanding contributions you make to society outside of the classroom.

We’ve watched you volunteer throughout the school year, in leadership roles on campus within the Residence Society, the Engineering Society, and the AMS.

We’ve also seen you interact, motivate and support individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities through both our Revved Up program, and as a coach with the Special Olympics.

Not all students are willing to give up their free time, and we know how fortunate we are to have each of you at Queen’s.

We also know that your quest to make the world a better place does not end with the school year.

As a Loran Scholar, you are encouraged to open yourself to challenges, explore your passions, and grow and develop through the opportunities available to you – one of which is the incredible summer program.

This past summer, for example, you had the chance to intern with the Minister of Veterans Affairs, researching issues impacting Canadian veterans.

You had the chance to intern with Canadian Mental Health, focusing on mental health for individuals in solitary confinement within the corrections system.

You were employed with KPMG – UK, within the Global Health Research division, where you gained valuable insights into the finances of health care.

You volunteered in Sri Lanka teaching English to Buddhist monks, and interned with a grassroots NGO based in Phnom Pehn, ensuring accessibility to safe household water and basic sanitation.

These represent an incredible array of opportunities – ones that may not have otherwise been available to you were it not for the Loran Scholars Foundation and its extensive network of mentors, volunteers, donors, staff and past scholars.

Taken together, the financial assistance you receive, the opportunities you’re given, and the connections you develop make for an incredibly valuable award.

Yet with this award, as with many others, comes great expectations and inherent pressures.

I want to take a moment to remind you that you are not alone in this.

You have your fellow scholars, your assigned mentors, and a vast selection of resources at Queen’s to rely on, including your faculty’s academic advisors, professors, student wellness teams, and Teresa Alm (your Queen’s representative for the foundation).

These are great people to turn to for a little help when you need it, and many of them are in this room today.

Let’s all take a moment to thank them for their support.

(Break for applause)

It is now my distinct pleasure to introduce Franca Gucciardi, the CEO of the Loran Scholars Foundation.

Though she is now busy leading a team to discover and invest in the most exceptional Canadian students, she was once herself a Loran Scholar.

Franca serves as trustee of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and vice-chair of the College Montrose Children’s Place.

Previously, Franca designed and implemented Canada’s Millennium Excellence Awards program, serving as its director from 1999 to 2004. 

She holds a BA from the University of Waterloo, an MA from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, and the Chartered Director designation from the Directors College. She is the 2015 recipient of the Gil Bennett Gold Standard Governance Award.

We are thankful that Ms. Gucciardi’s guidance of the Loran Scholars Foundation has helped foster our longstanding relationship with the organization over the years, and we are thrilled she has joined us this evening.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Gucciardi to Queen’s University.