Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 78 – December 14, 2020

exterior photo of Summerhill building


Karen Bertrand

Reflecting on the past year

By Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement)

On Dec. 3, Queen’s Advancement professionals heard an inspirational address from Adrianne Haslet. Through her own story, Adrianne taught us all about resilience. As 2020 draws to a close, it is clear there has never been a time in most of our lives when resilience mattered more. 

 In his November blog, Mike Geiger, president and CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), reminded us all how resilient advancement professionals have been throughout 2020, and implored us to stay positive. “We’ve got this” he assured blog readers — we’ve got this. Mike’s Monday Message: The Homestretch | Association of Fundraising Professionals (

 Reading Mike’s blog soon after Adrianne’s address, I was reminded of just how much we have dealt with this year — and how we have adapted, coped, and carried on. I know we’ve got this. We have had it all year.  

While some of ALTogether Now this week is about looking ahead, much of the content is about reflecting on the past year. As we approach the end of 2020, I hope everyone can celebrate what we have accomplished this year. We are resilient, and we should take comfort in what we all achieved in the face of unusual circumstances. I sincerely hope everyone can take this to heart, and take some well-deserved time away from your virtual office over the holiday season. The new year will arrive soon enough, but celebrating our successes and taking a break before then has perhaps never been more important than it is in 2020. 

Heney Winner 2020The Heney Award Recipient

By Adam Say & Val Robinson 

Last Thursday, the Office of Advancement announced Colleen McGuire as the 2020 recipient of the John J. Heney Award. We wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit more about Colleen with all of you. 

Colleen is the kind of colleague everyone hopes to have on their team. Some of you may also know that Colleen is a hockey player, so (if you will indulge our hockey analogy) it is fitting that Colleen’s work perfectly encapsulates how you shouldn’t move to where the puck has been, but instead move to where it’s going. She shows initiative, planning, and foresight, and regularly elevates the service provided by the Faculty of Arts and Science Advancement team. Colleen is above all a team player — collaborative and extremely generous with her time. I’m sure many of you can think of your own examples of how Colleen has positively contributed to a group discussion or project. 

This year, as COVID-19 disrupted operations across the university, Colleen stood out and played a leading role for her team. She spearheaded efforts for the faculty’s first virtual parent town-hall event and coordinated the Arts and Science portion of virtual Homecoming. She also provided invaluable guidance and support to the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society to help them transition their effective Life After Artsci event series to the virtual realm. 

Colleagues, faculty leadership and alumni all heartily endorsed Colleen’s nomination and are clearly delighted when working with her and benefiting from her knowledgeable, innovative approach. Let her know that we all 100% agree by congratulating Colleen as the 2020 recipient of the Heney Award! 

The Flynn Award Recipient

By Kate Bearse

The T. Geoffrey Flynn Advancement Champion Award Recipient for 2020 is Lana Unsworth. 

The T. Geoffrey Flynn Advancement Champion Award is presented on an annual basis to honour an individual member of the Queen’s community who has made a significant contribution to linking Queen’s University’s advancement activities with research and teaching excellence at Queen’s.  

This year’s recipient of the T Geoffrey Flynn Advancement Champion Award is Lana Unsworth, Associate Director, Marketing, Communications and Events at Athletics & Recreation. Lana’s wealth of communication and marketing knowledge and her experience in strategic planning and project administration has contributed to the department’s successful promotion and awareness of the Athletics & Recreation brand as well as its programs and services. 

 Below are some quotes from the nomination materials for Lana that stood out to the Advancement Leadership Team: 

  • “Lana is a leader… She is a true visionary.”  
  • Lana’s team “produce the graphics that accompany donor communications including newsletters, solicitations, video impact reports and events. Because of her leadership, her team has become an integral partner for the advancement team.” 
  • “She is always willing to help to build and improve programs to ensure they highlight and demonstrate athletics, teaching and academic excellence.” 

  We are grateful for everything Lana has done to support Queen’s Advancement! 

CCAE Awards

In the interest of celebrating all the extraordinary successes we had in 2020, please consider nominations for the CCAE Prix d’Excellence Awards.  

Prix d'Excellence Awards recognize outstanding achievements in alumni affairs, public affairs, communications, marketing, development, advancement services, stewardship, and overall institutional advancement, and submissions are open in the new year from January 25 to February 8. A sample of the nominations we are already developing is listed below (in no particular order). 

  • National Philanthropy Week 
  • Queen’s Day 
  • Homecoming 
  • Notebook project 
  • Gift of Art  
  • Gift of Art Instagram series 
  • Bader Art Con proposal 
  • Bader Impact Report 
  • Artsci COVID calling initiative  
  • Annual Giving calling campaign 
  • Mitchell Hall thank you videos 
  • Alumni website 
  • Fund report online system/Endowment report 
  • SmithConnect virtual event 
  • Virtual Writing Room/COVID story project 

For more information on the CCAE Prix d’Excellence Awards, go to Prix d'Excellence (  

As in the past, Kate Bearse will co-ordinate entries on behalf of the Office of Advancement. Those planning a submission should let Kate know ASAP, and final entry drafts should be forwarded to Kate by Feb. 1 for submission to CCAE by the deadline. We did great work this year — the Prix Awards are one way for us to celebrate those successes! 

Advancement Dashboard

Queen’s University Board of Trustees met December 4 & 5. A copy of the updated Advancement Dashboard presented at that meeting is now available for all Queen’s advancement staff

Living our values

The Office of Advancement will move into the next phase of our values project in the new year — bringing them to life our day-to-day operations. 

How are accountability, collaboration, inclusion, integrity, and service reflected in the work of you and the colleagues you work most closely with? What opportunities exist to really deepen our commitment to these values? What should you consider changing to better reflect these values? 

Every member of ALT will engage their teams in this discussion beginning in January. Our hope is that through these discussions we can celebrate the times when we have truly lived these values, and deepen our commitment to them.

Advancement staff meetings

Written by Kate Bearse 

We have now booked the majority of our Advancement Staff Meetings for 2021…can you believe it? With the new year fast approaching we wanted to take the time to advise you when each meeting is, and let you in on the background to the timing of these meetings. 

  • Advancement Staff Meetings, 1.5 hours each: 
    • March 4 — Planning Launch for 2021-2022  
    • September 30 
  • ALT Q&As, approximately quarterly/semesterly, 1 hour each — while these meetings are not mandatory they are very informative: 
    • February 18 
    • May 27 
    • September 8 

We have thought long and hard about where to schedule these meetings. There are no Advancement Staff Meetings in April given year-end priorities. And while it may look like there is a big gap between the last Q&A in May and the next Q&A in September, we will have Advancement Enhancement activities in June to keep us well connected with each other. Additionally, with the fall as busy as it always is, we wanted to respect that and have our Advancement Staff Meeting at the end of September knowing that we will all gather, at least virtually, in December for some festive cheer. 

If you are missing any of these meetings in your calendar, please reach out to Kate Bearse and she will make sure you are added. 

Post-COVID working environment

While much of ALTogether Now this week is about reflecting on the year that has passed, ALT has also been looking ahead. As evidence of this, Lisa Sansom, Organizational Development Consultant with Queen’s Human Resources, joined our ALT meeting Dec. 9 to help us begin to explore the post-COVID working environment for the Office of Advancement. 

Let me begin by confirming that, based on recent feedback from staff working throughout Old Meds and Summerhill, ALT can confirm that many individuals who work in those buildings may not be required to return to campus full-time in the future.  

There are a huge number of questions about what that means and how that would work operationally. We now need to decide what our on-campus experience will look like so beginning in January, our colleagues in Organizational Development will help facilitate a discussion about the post-COVID working environment for the Office of Advancement staff currently working in Old Meds and Summerhill. We will think big and focus our discussions on the needs and opportunities for positions — versus individual team members — so what we design can work for new team members and well into the future. This discussion will also involve advancement staff and partners across the university who will be impacted by any changes to our on-campus presence.  

The process we will follow has 5 phases — and we hope to complete the first 3 phases by approximately March 2021: 

  • Definition — Clarify the process 
  • Discovery — Identify the best of how things are and why that is so 
  • Dream — Imagine what could be 
  • Design — Plan what will be 
  • Delivery — Create what will be 

I fully anticipate that this will evoke excitement for many people, but also a vast array of questions. We don’t have all the answers yet — we really don’t have many answers at all — but the good news is that now we have a plan to resolve some of these questions in the new year. 

icon of a compass

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancies below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and resume) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Carla or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.


Available Position:

Administrative Assistant, Annual Giving and Young Alumni Annual Giving January 4, 2021 6


historical black and white photo of a person beside broadcasting equipmentFun fact

John B. Carruthers 

John Carruthers was a Kingston businessman who contributed more than half the money for the building of Carruthers Hall. 

Carruthers was a supporter of Queen's and helped Principal Grant in his efforts to convince the Board of Trustees to ask the government to establish the School of Mining and Agriculture, the precursor of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.