Happy New Year, Queen's Alumni!

principal woolf speaking with student

Dear alumni and friends,  

As we savour the final days of 2018 and look forward to a new year filled with possibility, it is hard not to think about change. As Benjamin Disraeli famously said, “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”

Change was certainly a constant at Queen’s in 2018. One had only to look to the heart of our historic main campus to see change unfolding before our eyes.

Over the past two and a half years, we have witnessed the transformation of the old Physical Education Centre into Mitchell Hall, a spectacular modern facility that will be a focal point of our campus for generations to come. It provides greatly needed learning and research space for our Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. And it includes dedicated innovation spaces designed to bring people and their ideas together. What truly distinguishes Mitchell Hall, though, is its versatility. In addition to the requisite classrooms and laboratories, it also contains training space for our varsity athletes and our first-ever examination centre. In fact, just a week or so ago, the Class of 2022 became the first Queen’s students to write exams there. 

Most importantly, Mitchell Hall is the new home of all of our student wellness services. Since I arrived here almost 10 years ago, I have worked to make mental health a priority for all members of the Queen’s community. I have watched our community rally around the cause and embrace it with pride and enthusiasm. Mitchell Hall is the culmination of all of our efforts, and I am thrilled that Queen’s is leading the charge by assigning wellness services such a prominent and accessible home.

The opening of Mitchell Hall was crowning major achievement in 2018, and we have many of you to thank for it. Like so many of our great achievements, Mitchell Hall was made possible through both government investment and philanthropy. Your generosity allows us to transform visions into reality, and for that, I am very grateful.

And while Mitchell Hall marks an important change to the Queen’s landscape, it is not the only change in the air these days. As you likely know by now, 2019 will mark the end of my principalship. When I leave the office, I know I will be placing the university in extremely capable hands. 

Dr. Patrick Deane, my long-time friend and colleague, will become the 21st principal and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University on July 1. It will be a homecoming of sorts, as Dr. Deane served as vice-principal (academic) from 2005 to 2010. From the time we’ve spent together, both at Queen’s and more recently at the Council of Ontario Universities, I know that Dr. Deane and I share many values, including a deep commitment to research and education, which he has demonstrated consistently through his record at McMaster University, where he currently serves as president. I have every confidence that the transition will proceed smoothly.

As you prepare to celebrate with those who matter most to you, I wish you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season, and I hope all of the changes you encounter in 2019 are positive ones.

Cha Gheill!

Daniel R. Woolf, Artsci’80
Principal and Vice-Chancellor