Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 49 – May 25, 2020

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

Leigh Kalin

It’s Awards Season

By Leigh Kalin, Interim Associate Vice-Principal Alumni Relations & Annual Giving

While it may not be the Oscars or the Golden Globes, May and June in the Advancement world is award season!

The CCAE Prix Excellence Awards provide us with an opportunity to reflect on the past year and celebrate success and outstanding achievement. We also have the opportunity to experience winning initiatives from other Advancement shops across Canada. We are fortunate to be in an industry so willing to share ideas and concepts and celebrate in each other’s victories.

This year Queen’s had a particularly winning year! I hope that you will take the time to learn more about our award-winning entries and to reach out to your Advancement colleagues at other institutions to offer congratulations and soak up some new innovative ideas.

And the winners are:

Gold Trophy


Best Printed Brochure, Newsletter, or Flyer: Gift Planning Flyer for the Isabel Bader Centre

Best Feature Writing – English: A decade at the helm

Silver Trophy


Best Special Event: Bader International Study Centre 25th Anniversary

Best Alumni Initiative: Queen’s Venture Network – Supporting the Ecosystem for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Best Fundraising Initiative: MBA Legacy Fund

Best Community Outreach Initiative: Queen’s University Canada Day Celebration in England

Congratulations team!

Special Note from Principal Patrick Deane

Warmest congratulations to the whole Advancement team for the stunning results in this year’s CCAE Awards!

Two golds and four bronzes is really an amazing achievement and evidence from outside of Queen’s what the internal community knows so well, namely that our Advancement people are national leaders.

We’re very proud of you and these achievements!


icon of sun with happy person in middleAdvancement Enhancement Day

Your Advancement Enhancement Committee is excited to announce that registration for activities opens today!

Our theme for this year is Resilient Together and our hashtag is #ADVTogetherThursday. We have an exciting list of activities that will be happening on Thursdays during the month of June. Be sure to look at all activities in the four pillars – Active Together, Together at Home, Learning Together, and Working Together. We hope there is something for everyone!

All activity descriptions and registration links are listed on the online registration page. If there are any supply lists or special instructions required for activities, these will be sent to registrants separately. Please note donations to this year's charity, Lionhearts, can also be made on the online registration page.

We have many great activities planned for our colleagues! To help keep everyone organized, there is an at-a-glance calendar of activities listed on Teams under the Advancement Enhancement channel. A weekly reminder will also be included in Monday's ALTogether Now.

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

Thank you!

Your planning committee: Kate Bearse, 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

ALT sponsor: Deanna Bennett

Annual Giving Caller Initiative – Share Your Stories

The Annual Giving Calling Initiative has been generating positive connections and inspiring alumni stories.

We wanted to take a moment to share Maryanne Wainman’s notable conversation with Dr. Yilong Ma, who noted – in a candid and emotional moment – the monumental impact that his Queen’s experience had on the trajectory of his life and career after immigrating from a small village in China. He now works as an associate professor in the Institute of Molecular Medicine at North Shore University Hospital in New York and is currently the principal investigator of a study on the diagnosis and progression of Parkinson’s disease as part of the U.S.-China Program for Biomedical Collaborative Research. He was very keen to share his story with other Queen’s community members, and Maryanne then reached out to the Communications and Marketing team to see if there might be an appropriate avenue to share his story. Thanks for everyone’s commitment to this important initiative.

We invite you to share your stories by emailing Lisa Riley.

Welcome to Alex Beshara

Scott Anderson is delighted to announce that Alex Beshara will join Advancement Communications, Marketing, Events, and Donor Relations team on June 8 as Director, Strategic Content and Publications.

Alex started his post-secondary career at Brandon University where he led an award-winning rebrand of the university that included a redesign of Brandon’s alumni magazine. Alex then joined Algonquin College where he has led brand development and created a highly successful multi-year brand campaign.

Alex is a thoughtful, creative, and highly collaborative leader with a passion for higher education and the proven ability to strengthen post-secondary brands. Please join Scott in welcoming Alex to the Office of Advancement.

icon of lightbulb launching as a spaceshipHomecoming 2020 Virtual Ideas

You will all have heard by now that Homecoming 2020 is going virtual due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns. Judy is leading a group of individuals across Advancement to create new exciting virtual opportunities for alumni to celebrate. We’d love to hear from you. Please share any ideas you might have with Judy Griffiths.

Flynn Award Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for The T. Geoffrey Flynn Advancement Champions Award. This 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.

Such a contribution might be related to: outstanding effort, organization, and results as an Advancement "champion;" playing a strong leadership role in integrating the role of advancement within a faculty, school, department, unit, or volunteer organization; becoming involved in advancement work in addition to their duties; performing regular duties that assist the advancement function in a superlative way.

All members of the Queen’s community are eligible, including faculty and staff, with the exception of individuals who are part of the Office of Advancement.

Here is the link for more information and the nominations form. Nominations will be accepted until June 19, 2020.

For more information please contact Kate Bearse.

icon of a head with lightbulb, arrow and pencil in it

Meeting Free Mondays – Here We Go

We will be proceeding with Meeting-Free Mondays for the Office of Advancement. Although it was tough to decide which day of the week might work best, we have received support for this initiative.

Just a reminder of the details: While we may not always be able to influence the timing of meetings with our external stakeholders and campus partners, we can commit to ensuring that internal Advancement meetings are held another day of the week.

Mondays will be reserved for work that requires focus and high-level thinking, such as writing, strategic thinking/planning, analysis, coding, or complex projects. You may still interact with colleagues on Monday if you choose — through emails or quick phone calls for instance — but we will make an internal commitment to being meeting free that one day each week.

This pilot will begin immediately — acknowledging that some meeting commitments may already be in your schedule for Mondays in the immediate future that may be difficult to alter — and should last at least until the end of August when we can re-evaluate.

Your Favourite Hackneyed Expressions

In the Monday, May 18 edition of ALTogether Now, Tom Hewitt asked staff what their favourite expression was. Here are two thoughtful responses from our colleagues. Thank you for submitting!

  • "World class" and "state-of-the-art" are both overused expressions to describe exceptional physical spaces and buildings and we like to use them (myself included) a lot in proposals.

These expressions are hard to avoid, because they so well capture the sentiment we want to convey. However, with overuse they temporarily lose meaning for the listener (a psychological phenomenon called semantic satiation. Thanks, Wikipedia!). Transformative, leading edge, and other expressions (I'm sure Deborah Melman-Clement has an extensive list) are great substitutions until they themselves become overused. Perhaps at that time, world class and state-of-the-art can be used again!

– Anna Samulak

  • “Proper preparation prevents poor performance!”

It resonates because of its alliteration, clarity, solutions-based approach and just makes so much sense! When I get lost in the weeds, I try to bring myself back to this.

– Maura Doyle

photo portrait black and white of Alexander Melville BellFun Fact

Alexander Melville Bell (1819-1905)

Queen's has an indirect connection to Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, through his father, Alexander Melville Bell, who enjoyed a brief but colourful tenure at Queen's.

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the elder Bell taught the now obscure subject of elocution at Queen's for three years in the late 1870s, having previously taught the subject at the Universities of Edinburgh and London. He also set up an experimental telephone at the university in December 1877, two years after his son's famous experiment with the phone in Boston.