Queen’s University has a long tradition of honouring distinguished and committed alumni who have shaped the world and strengthened our global alumni community. This year I have the pleasure of congratulating our 11 outstanding QUAA Alumni Award recipients. The awards acknowledge both alumni at the height of their careers and those just starting to make their mark.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, sadly, the QUAA Alumni Awards event could not be the usual celebratory gathering on campus. Instead, we celebrated the 2020 award winners during our virtual Homecoming. During the awards segment of the event, Alumni Achievement Award recipient Hugh Christie, Artsci’78, Law’81, joined us live. Hugh’s daughter, Heather Christie, Artsci’09, made a surprise appearance to offer her heartfelt congratulations and share some kind words about her dad. Following this memorable father-daughter moment, we took a few minutes to recognize the tremendous accomplishments of this year’s award recipients.
This year’s distinguished alumni included journalists, faculty members, legal professionals, Indigenous leaders, passionate educators and sports coaches, QUAA volunteers, and exemplary students. They have raised the profile of labour and employment law in Canada, enhanced the lives of Indigenous peoples, made a significant impact on the rowing community, highlighted pressing national security issues, and helped enhance connections between students and alumni. Each of these remarkable people has chosen a path of leadership, innovation, and compassion.
You don’t have to look far to find the helpers at Queen’s. Many stories have been shared about Queen’s alumni around the world helping in their communities during these challenging times, from entrepreneurs using their business platforms to fundraise and distribute resources for health-care workers to alumni who have volunteered to aid their local communities by distributing masks and food. These acts of selflessness in the face of this historic crisis are truly inspiring. You can find some of these stories on the alumni website.
The recent collective accomplishments of our volunteer leaders and alumni have served as a great catalyst for connection for so many and have helped foster a sense of community, which we all need now more than ever. From listening to concerns from incoming students and offering counsel to 2020 graduates to checking in on elder alumni struggling with isolation, they are united by their dedication to helping others and supporting our community. There are plenty of virtual ways that you can get involved with the QUAA and build lasting connections with fellow alumni.
Our global family of alumni and friends has so much to offer. I have no doubt that this challenge will continue to unite and bring out the best in us.