New QUAA President Sue Bates Believes In The Greatness Of Queen’s

[Sue Bates]

Sue Bates, Artsci’91, has been a dedicated Queen’s alumni volunteer ever since she graduated. So it should be no surprise that the woman who people say “bleeds tricolour” takes over one of the university’s most high profile alumni duties.

The geography graduate officially became the president of the Queen’s University Alumni Association this past weekend, succeeding George M. Jackson, Artsci’85.

Ms. Bates begins a two-year term leading the organization that represents 148,874 alumni in 153 countries.

She is taking on the role because wants to help students, faculty and alumni achieve their full potential.

“One of the reasons why I volunteer for Queen’s is that I know I will not discover the cure for cancer or develop the next great technological breakthrough but I truly believe that one of our students or faculty will. So if I can help in any way to support them – through volunteering or philanthropy – that’s the reason why I do what I do,” says Ms. Bates.

The QUAA’s mission is “to reach out and foster a lifelong association with Queen's, to engage our members in the life and work of the University, and to serve the alumni community in all its diversity."

There are lots of exciting projects for Ms. Bates to share with the alumni community in the 2016/17 academic year. Queen’s is celebrating its 175th anniversary and there is the opening of the revitalized Richardson Stadium. On a personal note, it is her 25th reunion year.

“I am very excited about becoming the QUAA president. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. It’s a big job but I am ready,” says Ms. Bates, the current chair of the University Council on Athletics and Recreation and former QUAA Kingston Branch President.

George Jackson, the outgoing president, feels Ms. Bates’ vast volunteer experiences at Queen’s makes her a perfect choice.

“She bleeds tricolour. It’s been in her blood since the day she was born,” says Mr. Jackson. “She has already shown great leadership when she volunteered and ran alumni Branches in Scotland, Kingston, and Turks and Caicos. No doubt that experience helps as Queen’s looks to expand and enhance its international reputation.”

Ms. Bates is from a Queen’s family and it’s not an exaggeration to say Queen’s has been a part of her life since she was a baby.

Her parents – Ron Bates, Com’60, and the late Katherine Bates, Arts’60 – met on campus during their second year. Her brother John is a 1984 Artsci and 1988 education grad.

Ms. Bates was born and raised in Kingston and her earliest Queen’s memory is being dressed up as a Queen’s cheerleader for Halloween. She grew up going to Homecoming with her parents and watching Golden Gael football games.

As a student, Ms. Bates lived in Victoria Hall during the last year it was an all-female residence and is proud to be a part of “the last of the Vic chicks.”

She feels that Queen’s has one of the strongest alumni networks in Canada and encourages people to take advantage of it.

“I know when you come across other Queen’s alumni, there is an instant connection there. The global alumni network is a great resource for all alumni to connect with new communities in other parts of the world, or if you’re looking for career advice, expertise, even finding a mentor. We are very lucky,” says Ms. Bates.

Looking ahead, Ms. Bates wants to make sure alumni are involved in the various Queen’s 175th Anniversary events planned for the 2016/17 academic year.

“That’s an incredible milestone so the big goal will be to have lots of alumni join in on the celebrations.”