Start Spreading The News About The Queen’s New York City Alumni Branch

[Queen's alumni in Central Park]
Alumni gather in Central Park for the Terry Fox Run.

Julia Reid, Artsci’08, did not know anyone when she moved to London, England, in 2008, so she attended Queen’s Alumni Branch events as a way to meet people and make friends.

It worked out better than she planned. She met a young chap named James, Artsci’04, and recently they married. (As it happens, James’ parents – Dr. Andrew Reid, Sc‘72, Meds’76, and Carol Reid, née Findlay, Arts’72 – also met through Queen’s.)

Ms. Reid is now the Queen’s University Alumni Association’s (QUAA) New York City Branch President, taking over from Lisa Dowd, Artsci’85, who is still a key supporter of the group. Ms. Reid can’t promise you will meet the love of your life, but feels the Queen’s network is a great way for people to meet and make new friends.

“New York can be a scary and intimidating city. We provide a community that alumni who are new to the city can tap into,” says Ms. Reid, who moved to New York with her husband in 2014. “It is reassuring to meet people who have similar experiences to yours – complicated things such as going through the U.S. immigration process and even trying to find an apartment in New York.”

New York City is one of 50 Queen’s alumni Branches and Chapters located around the world. The Branch volunteers do their best to help the 148,874 Queen’s alumni located in 153 countries around the world.

Some people come to NYC Branch events to network and make business connections while others want to make friends and reminisce about campus life. Ms. Reid tries to host events for both crowds: for the social types, a Christmas party downtown and a skating party in Central Park; for the networkers, an evening at the Harvard Club with author Sean Silcoff, Com’92 who talked about his book chronicling the rise and fall of Blackberry, and a cocktail networking evening at a midtown rooftop bar hosted in partnership with Young Canadians in Finance. On May 14, they are taking a private tour of the Whitney Museum.

Stephanie Ryalen Batesky, Artsci’92, remembers holding her three-week old son while reading an Alumni Review article seeking volunteers. She wanted her son to have Canadian connections, and felt volunteering for NYC Branch events would be a good way to give back.

So far it has produced many benefits. The alumni network has helped Ms. Ryalen Batesky land several jobs, including work at Scholastic Publishing and Forbes Magazines.

“I have met so many amazing grads who were in different schools and of different years. Our paths would never have crossed on campus, but they – and in some cases, their children – have become very special people in our lives,” says Ms. Ryalen Batesky, who moved to New York in 1995. “Queen's has brought many incredible opportunities to my life, and truly wonderful friends and memories that I will always treasure. My Queen's journey has taken me far from our beloved Kingston campus, and continues to enrich my life every single day.”

Ms. Reid is looking to build a group of dedicated volunteers to help build the Branch. She is currently looking for candidates to fill two roles – a Vice President of Communications position and a Vice President of Events post. For more information, see the NYC Branch website page or send them an email.

For a full ist of all alumni Branches around Canada and the world, check out our Alumni Branches Directory. To find out about alumni events in your area, see our Alumni Events Calendar.