Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 48 – May 19, 2020

Advancement Leadership Team
Advancement Leadership Team: Steve Hornsby, Leigh Kalin, Scott Anderson, Karen Bertrand, Deanna Bennett, and Tom Hewitt

By Tom Hewitt, Chief Development Officer

First 100 Per Cent COVID-Free Advancement Newsletter of the COVID Era

Beyond the title above, no further mention of the unmentionable will be made in this special @#$%&*-FREE edition of ALTogether Now.

icon of mountain with flag at top, gear in the middle, line graph from the gearAn Introduction to Enterprise Thinking

Some of you will be familiar with the idea of the “enterprise mindset.” It is an important concept for larger organizations like ours, and a concept that Development is exploring initially, and may adopt to underpin our work on the strategic plan. One reference that serves as a good starting point for understanding the idea may be found here.

The article emphasizes there are five things to prioritize to grow and demonstrate an enterprise mindset:

1. Actively learn about other business functions

2. Seek to understand the total ecosystem

3. Be customer-centric

4. Ground conversations in goals beyond your team

5. Cultivate cross-functional relationships

As more work is done on this we will share and involve others in Advancement. Take time to read the link above as a beginning.

icon of cell phone with person icon and buttons on the screenRegular Calls with Donors: A Renewed Emphasis?

By Special Ace Contributor, Adam Say

You may know that Principal Deane and, more recently, Chancellor Leech have been making calls to key donors on behalf of the university – using the old-fashioned telephone no less. There is no formal agenda. The “brief”ing notes are brief and focused. And the discussions range from personal to Queen’s-related and everything in between. Lots of dialogue and listening going on – especially close listening by VP Bertrand who sits in with the Principal and captures the engagement in timely and detailed contact reports. The Principal’s calls are pre-arranged and in the case of the Chancellor, done at his convenience. So far the calls have been overwhelmingly well received and appreciated and are serving to reinforce these vital relationships.

The takeaway is that the phone call, or “virtual meeting,” seems to be serving as an acceptable substitute for many (but not all) face-to-face meetings. In many instances, the phone call seems to be equally effective and enables far more connections to be made in less time. Development and Alumni Relations officers may wish to consider how phone calls can be increasingly utilized, both for advancing their own relationships (in between planned travel or even instead of it!) as well as maximizing the time and flexibility of deans, professors and other university representatives.

Vacation: “Just do it”

Now more than ever we are encouraging staff to reclaim their homes and recharge by using their vacation time. Whether you want to get started on some summer reading, unwind with family, or focus on a project you've been meaning to tackle, booking a staycation can be valuable in re-establishing a sense of balance between your work and home lives. 

Book your 2020 vacation today. Normal policies regarding use of vacation days and carry overs will still apply.

icon of hand pointing up with lightbult on top and stars around the lightbulbComing Soon: A New Plan for Queen’s University

As you will recall, last autumn Principal Deane initiated a conversation with the entire university community about what matters to Queen's, its future and the issues we face. The next step is for the Principal to report back on the Conversation, to articulate the highest aspirations of our university community as they have been expressed or emerged through the process, and to indicate in broad terms a possible strategy for achieving them.

The Principal may begin to share his plan as early as June and July, which will provide Advancement with something to galvanize our staff, donors, and prospective contributors around for the foreseeable future.

Please begin to give some thought to ways in which the Principal’s plan for the university can be shared as part of our outreach to alumni and donors during this intense period of stewardship. Think about how faculty/program and other plans complement the new directions. Used strategically, the plan has the potential to help us create interest and generate engagement for Queen’s and utilize the Conversation for many months as the plan is communicated across the university community.

Favourite Hackneyed Expression

“Now, more than ever…”

Think about this epic phrase. Donors love it … to them it infers that if they give this time (“NOW”), because the situation is especially urgent (“MORE THAN EVER …”) you may never come back to them with another ask, because ”now more than ever (again!).”

Please send your favourite expression and comments to the co-ordinators of ALTogether Now and we may include yours in a future edition.

icon of person standing beside a presentation with a stop watch on the screenThe Impact of Our Students

The School of Graduate Studies has made its annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition virtual. It’s an exciting chance to see Queen’s masters (thesis or research project) and doctoral students present their research and its wider impact in three minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges.

The challenge is to present complex research material in an engaging, compelling way, using only one slide. This is a unique opportunity to communicate the innovative and significant research undertaken by our graduate students.

The Three Minute Thesis 3MT competition was developed by The University of Queensland in 2008 to promote effective communication of research. The success of the first Queensland competition prompted other Australian and New Zealand universities to run their own competitions.

Watch the finals beginning at 3 pm on May 21.

Advancement Enhancement Day

Your Advancement Enhancement Committee is excited to announce the theme of Resilient Together where we will be providing you with great activities and resources for everyone to partake in virtually, whether it be alone, together, or with your housemates/family. These activities will occur on Thursdays during the month of June and will be presented in four pillars – Active Together, Together at Home, Learning Together, Working Together (#ADVTogetherThursday).

Here are some events you can look forward to: yoga, resources on happiness, a cooking class, games, etc. Some of these events will occur during a set time, but some you can do at a time that works best for you. We understand we are all working under different circumstances, so we want to make sure everyone can participate.

If you have any questions about Advancement Enhancement Month 2020, please reach out to one of us.

With thanks from your planning committee: Kate Bearse, Deanna Bennett, Gage Benyon, Jess Boland, Pavel Civin, Kym Cook, Callum Linden, Erica McIlquham, Michelle Pruefer, Emily Rees, Carla Ferreira Rodrigues, Ben Seewald, Peggy Shanks, Katelyn Siu, and Michelle White

black and white photo of people with a crowd behind themDid You Know?


In the 19th century, it would not have been unusual to hear students speaking Gaelic on campus.

Queen's was founded as a Scottish Presbyterian university and, for many decades, its strongly Scottish student body included many who were fluent in Gaelic and even a few who counted Gaelic as their first language.

Scots were fiercely proud of their traditional tongue and fought to preserve it. One of Queen's first student societies was the Gaelic Society and, late in the century, there were several versions of the Ossianic Society, devoted to the memory of the legendary Gaelic warrior and poet Ossian. Articles in Gaelic even turned up in the Queen's Journal and several scholarships in the language were established around the turn of the century.

Today, many Queen's names and phrases persist as everyday reminders of the university's rich Gaelic legacy, even though they may no longer be properly understood or pronounced.

The most familiar are:

  • An clachan, which means "village" and is pronounced "an clackan"
  • Ban righ, which literally means "wife of the King" or "Queen" and is pronounced "ban ree"
  • Ceilidh, which refers to an informal gathering for music, dance and storytelling, and is pronounced "kaylee"
  • Cha gheill, which means "no surrender" and is pronounced "kay yee-al"
  • Oil thigh, which means "long live" (as in "Oil Thigh Na Banrighinn" or "Long Live Queen's") and is pronounced as it is written