Celebrating With the Queen’s Community

Patrick Deane on the Grant Hall stage
Patrick Deane (left) was installed at a ceremony in Grant Hall. (Photo by Bernard Clark)

On a historic day at Queen’s, as Patrick Deane was installed as the 21st principal and vice-chancellor of the university. Over 400 people attended the ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at Grant Hall, which has been the site of almost every installation since it opened in 1905.

Following the academic procession into the hall, Chancellor Jim Leech, MBA’73, delivered an official welcome to the audience. Donald Raymond, Sc’84 and PhD’98 graduate and Chair of the Board of Trustees, then presented Principal Deane to the chancellor, who led the new principal through the Pledge of Office.

“I, Patrick Deane, promise to uphold the traditions and maintain the principles and purposes of Queen’s University at Kingston as set forth by its founders and affirmed in its charter and by all lawful means to defend its rights and promote its welfare, so help me God,” said Principal Deane, as he took the pledge.

Following the pledge, Principal Deane took part in the robing ceremony, during which he removed his personal academic gown and donned the regalia of the Queen’s principal. He was assisted in this ceremony by representatives from the faculty, staff, student, and alumni populations: David Detomasi, a faculty senator; Catherine Lemmon, a staff senator; Jeremy Mosher, Artsci’08, a representative of the Queen’s University Alumni Association; and David Niddam-Dent, a student senator.

To mark the occasion, John Burge, professor in the Dan School of Drama and Music, composed original music. His new composition, Flourish for the Principal, was played after the robing.

One of the highlights of every installation ceremony at Queen’s is the address from the new principal, and Principal Deane maintained that tradition. Now wearing the official robes of the office, he gave a speech outlining his vision for the university and how he aims to work toward it in his role.

“To have the opportunity now to serve Queen’s University as your principal is a particular honour. Notwithstanding the challenges of our time — indeed, because of them, because of the 'post-truth' ethos and spreading skepticism about expertise and knowledge — I relish the work that lies ahead, and in committing myself to you and the mission of this great Canadian institution, I commit myself again to a world where power consorts not with ignorance and arrogance, but with wisdom, creativity, modesty, and optimism,” Principal Deane said at the conclusion of his address.

The ceremony concluded with a recognition of the significance of this day from representatives from other higher education institutions, who came to the stage and offered formal greetings and congratulations to Principal Deane.

After the formal installation concluded, there were two honorary degree presentations. John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School, received a doctor of laws in recognition of his work in the field of Indigenous legal scholarship. And Queen's Principal Emeritus Daniel Woolf, Artsci’80, received a doctor of laws for his scholarship in the field of history and his leadership in higher education. 

While much of the ceremony followed longstanding Queen’s traditions, Principal Deane put his own stamp on the celebration that came afterward. In the past, the installation ceremony has been accompanied by a small, formal dinner. But Principal Deane opened up the celebration to the entire Queen’s community by holding a reception in Ban Righ Hall that all were welcome to attend.

This story originally appeared in the Queen’s Gazette.

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