Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

Generations leave their mark on Queen’s

May 1, 2016

[Initiative Campaign]

When Principal Daniel Woolf, Artsci’80, challenged his fellow alumni to give back to their alma mater at a “critical juncture” for the university, he could not have imagined their response.  More than $640 million was contributed in support of the University’s top priorities during the 10-year Initiative Campaign that concluded on April 30.

35,000 alumni signaled their confidence in Queen’s through unprecedented levels of philanthropy and volunteerism during the campaign, which has left an indelible mark on the University. While each donor’s reason for giving was deeply personal, a common thread emerged – a profound sense of gratitude to Queen’s for a life-changing student experience. Despite being a publicly funded university, Queen’s has set itself apart thanks to the extraordinary philanthropic and volunteer support from its alumni. 

In all, 61,000 individuals, foundations and businesses, more than half of them alumni, took the initiative to ensure our students and our faculty, continue to pursue excellence as Queen’s enters its 175th year. “This is a proud moment in Queen’s history. The university is enormously grateful to all of our supporters who recognize the value of a Queen’s education and have invested in making one of Canada’s top universities even better,” says Principal Daniel Woolf.  

The needs of students have been addressed with donations totalling $85 million in support of scholarships and bursaries to help make a Queen’s education accessible to an increasing number of talented students. 473 student awards and 22 new endowed chairs and professorships have been created over the course of the Initiative Campaign to assist students in reaching their full potential while studying at Queen’s.

Thanks to support from our donors, our campuses have been enhanced dramatically, including: The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the expansion of Goodes Hall, the School of Medicine Building, Nixon Field, Miklas-McCarney Field, stupendous additions to our collections in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the revitalized Richardson Stadium – a focal point for Homecoming this year.  Three academic units were named in recognition of historic gifts to Queen’s:  The Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining, Dan School of Drama and Music, and Smith School of Business.  

“The numbers and the projects are impressive. The enduring legacy, however, will be found in the impact the funds will have on our programs of teaching and research, our ability to attract talented students and faculty, and our capacity to provide leadership and personal growth opportunities for students to enrich their non-academic interests outside of the classroom,” says Tom Harris, Sc’75, Vice-Principal (Advancement) and Professor of Chemical Engineering. 

Contributions from three levels of government totalling $94 million during the Initiative Campaign were essential in the creation of the Medical Building and The Isabel(link is external). These investments support the university’s programs and its people, including experiences beyond the classroom, and are important for the City of Kingston, the province of Ontario, and Canada.

 The Queen’s University Alumni Association and Queen’s Student Alumni Association achieved 100% philanthropic participation among board members, a true testament to tricolor pride. Queen’s alumni were central to the success of the campaign, not only for their contributions of time, expertise, and donations but also through their accomplishments as alumni, which are critical to the reputation of the university. 

“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our alumni. I commend every graduate who supported Queen’s during the Initiative Campaign as volunteers and as donors,” says immediate past QUAA President George Jackson, Artsci’85. “The leadership and initiative of our 148,000 alumni around the world is the foundation of the Queen’s Spirit. Thank you!”

Cha Gheill! 

Read the stories and profiles of people who took the initiative and contributed to Queen’s 175 year legacy. Visit the Initiative Campaign website.