Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 86 – February 16, 2021

Photo of Karen Bertrand

New beginnings

By Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal, Advancement

ALTogether Now is about fresh starts and new beginnings this week. (Yes Scott, I am saying the same thing twice -- for emphasis!) 

First, there is exciting news to share about a redesign of our alumni logo. This is definitely a fresh start for the traditional alumni flag logo we are so familiar with. 

Admittedly, when I thought about fresh starts I had to chuckle a little when I read this quote from the ancient Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu: “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” The changes we made to the Homecoming 2021 plans were not unanticipated, but they were difficult to navigate nonetheless for a variety of reasons. I am grateful every day for the team of skilled professionals that are the backbone of making these types of announcements – from systems, to alumni data, to communications preparation, to direct stakeholder communications. Thank you again to everyone who assisted with the announcement last week, and learn more below about how we will now begin planning for a virtual Homecoming. 

The newsletter this week also includes important updates on some of the ways we will bring our commitment to EDII in advancement programming to life. 

As I continue to look ahead, the Office of Advancement will undergo a period of significant hiring over the next few months. With that comes a lot of new beginnings that start with the onboarding of new staff. In case you need them, the Office of Advancement has developed a lot of resources that are being refined as needed based on your feedback. A reminder about these resources and call to action is also included this week. 

And finally, last week Michelle outlined the process ALT is following to begin planning for 2021-22. Forward, Together will ultimately guide the final annual plan, and I and the rest of ALT look forward to launching our 2021-22 priorities and the annual planning process with all Queen’s advancement staff at the advancement staff meeting March 4.  

Fresh starts and new beginnings. There is a lot going on across the Office of Advancement. There is also a lot to be excited about and energized by. 

New Queen's Alumni LogoA new logo for Queen's Alumni

After thorough exploration, we are excited to introduce a new logo for the Queen’s alumni community.

We last updated our logo back in 2007, before most of us knew what Twitter was. The world has changed since then, and our community has changed with it. We wanted our new logo to simultaneously respect our alumni and our traditions and thrive in an ever-changing world. So we took on the challenge of creating something that would feel immediately familiar to our alumni, but at the same time would be dynamic and easy to use, both digitally and in print.

Over the summer, our Advancement Marketing and Communications team collaborated with Jackknife, a talented Toronto-based design firm who has worked with world-class brands including Nike, Coca-Cola, and SickKids.

The rigorous process was undertaken with respect and care at every step of the way.  It included both framing and research and in-depth design exploration. We explored many options, but after much internal discussion and comprehensive consultation with our alumni and the greater community, we came back to our original goal — a modernized take on something beloved and familiar.

The result, I believe, is something that is built to last. The alumni wordmark more accurately reflects our university’s visual identity, and the reimagined flag draws its geometry from the curvature of our iconic Queen’s Q, ensuring an unmistakable harmony between the two elements.

Next steps in the process include finalizing our guidelines and our graphic assets so that our partners —including the QUAA and the alumni branches — can use the logo as soon as possible.

Virtual Homecoming plans now underway 

Planning for our virtual Homecoming this fall will now begin.  

As you know, last week we cancelled in-person Homecoming events for 2021. This may have been a difficult announcement, but I am reminded that our first ever virtual Homecoming last year was a resounding success. We also learned a lot that we can build upon, so while we planned a virtual Homecoming in 2020 with some trepidation, I know we can deliver a virtual event in 2021 that will be even better than last year.  

Over the next days and weeks, we will be consulting with campus and alumni partners to determine the best possible date for a virtual Homecoming this fall. Stay tuned for more information, and please share any and all your recommendations to make Homecoming this year a great success. 

Black History Month GraphicBringing EDII into our everyday lives

As you know, February is Black History Month. In my experience, this almost always results in a flurry of news reports and social media at the beginning of the month, but then things go back to the way they were.

I don’t want that to happen with us. In Advancement, we must represent the voices and experiences of all of our alumni. They are all part of us.

Black History Month provides an excellent reminder to us that celebrating BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) history and bringing awareness to BIPOC experiences can’t just be relegated to a month or a day.

Last summer, I gladly signed my name to our university’s Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism, and made a promise I intend to keep. Part of that declaration was a promise to incorporate Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) as a major focus of our vision for the future to be integrated into our annual goals and planned initiatives.

While we have not finished our work in this area, I am proud to say that, with all your help, we are on our way.

We are looking at new ways to bring EDII to our publications, such as the Queen’s Alumni Newsletter and the Queen’s Alumni Review — with content and images that better reflect our Queen’s community.

We are bringing new voices to our social media too. On Feb. 17, for example, we are working with the Queen’s Black Alumni Chapter (QBAC) for what is becoming an annual Instagram takeover. QBAC executives Yinka Adegbusi, Artsci’13, and Kianah Lecuyer, Artsci’19, will serve as takeover hosts and will be bringing us posts, stories, and live interviews that share important perspectives and ideas.

Just last month Advancement teams helped coordinate the Bell Let’s Talk event about mental health in BIPOC communities, helping bolster our Declaration’s promise to “increase mental health supports for students, staff, and faculty affected by racism on campus.”

And our Homecoming teams are also working to weave EDII throughout our programming this year, making sure that everyone can see themselves in our celebrations — not in a single segment or portion of Homecoming, but as part of the very fabric of our most important event of the year.

There is still much work to be done. But we are in a new year of new beginnings. Let us all resolve that we will begin 2021 with renewed efforts to bring EDII into our everyday lives — not for a month, but for good. 

Onboarding GraphicYou never get a second chance to make a first impression

By Carla Ferreira Rodrigues, Director, Human Resources and Kacey McCuen, Human Resources Advisor

Our onboarding program is working because of your hard work. Thank you!

Since October, when Advancement formally launched our onboarding program, Advancement has welcomed seven new team members, and we’re looking to grow our team even more over the next several months.

New to the program in January are onboarding surveys deployed to new staff following the one-week, one-month, six-month, and one-year milestones so we can understand their experience thus far. Also new is the inclusion of a remote access resource document that will accompany equipment delivered to a new employee’s home. Watch for other exciting new enhancements. A reminder that all onboarding resources are available through the Microsoft Teams Onboarding Channel.

I’m sure we all remember what our first days and weeks were like, and now, with the added challenge of onboarding from home, teams need to find new and meaningful opportunities to connect and build relationships. The commitment you have already demonstrated to our onboarding program is clear through the feedback we have received. We all have a role in making a new employee feel welcomed and excited about their choice to work in Advancement, to help them feel a sense of belonging and to feel supported. 

As we’re invested in providing a positive and memorable onboarding experience, we want to hear from you on how the changes to the program are being implemented:

What onboarding activities have you or your team used to welcome a new employee?

Which one is your favourite?

Do you have any suggestions for improvement? 

Remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression - so we need everyone "on board."

Aerial View of Open LaptopA Foundational Leaders update

In January of 2020, Corrine Beckner, Jennifer Butchart, Emily Edwards, and Carmen Vanderlinde joined the latest cohort of employees in the Queen's Foundational Leadership Program (FLP).  This program includes two components: in-depth leadership training and an action learning project. Recently, an update on each of these projects was featured in the Queen's Gazette. We thought this was an excellent opportunity to share with you what we've been working on.

Kingston and Queen's United Staff Volunteer Framework 

by Corrine Beckner

As articulated in the Conversation, the impact Queen's has on the world starts here in Kingston.  In support of this message and to inform the community engagement strategy, our team is exploring the impact of staff volunteerism.  We are particularly interested in examining personal motivations and time commitments, addressing potential barriers, and exploring local partnership opportunities. 

We now need your help. If you are a Queen's University staff member and volunteer in the Kingston area, please consider completing this three minute survey.

Connecting with Queen's

by Jennifer Butchart

Our primary vision is to create a sense of Community, Collaboration, and Connection from day one. We are focusing on why and how making connections outside of your faculty at the start of your onboarding experience can help achieve these three objectives. 

One of the reasons I am excited about this project is that working with others in the FLP has allowed me to make new connections, identify collaborative opportunities, and further my understanding of how my role fits into the broader community landscape. Offering similar opportunities to new hires will strengthen bonds across faculties and departments.


Key to Success graphicJobs 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 résumé) 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.


Available Position:

Senior Development Officer, Principal Gifts Principal Gifts, Department of Development Fabruary 19, 2021 10
Alumni Officer, International Programs Alumni Relations & Annual Giving February 21, 2021 8


Queen's Black Alumni Chapter (QBAC) GraphicFun fact

Queen’s Black Alumni Chapter (QBAC)

Did you know that the Queen’s Black Alumni Chapter (QBAC) was established in 2017 and is an affiliate chapter of the Queen's University Alumni Association (QUAA)? The chapter’s mission is to connect Black alumni, students, and faculty members of Queen’s University in support of one another’s aspirations and to build a global community that impacts inclusion and social innovation.