It is with optimism and excitement that I begin my two-year term as Queen's University Alumni Association (QUAA) President. My vision for the Alumni Association over the next two years is to move forward as an expansive network, strengthened by lessons learned throughout the pandemic. As connectors of the global Queen’s community, the QUAA Board of Directors will continue leading a group of motivated volunteers to live out the mission of the QUAA: “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.”
I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, most recently as Executive Vice-President of Operations, volunteering alongside my fellow Board members, as well as members of the Alumni Assembly and the groups they represent – branches, chapters, reunions, giving societies and governance bodies at Queen’s. I’m also grateful for the incredible leadership of my predecessor, Rico Garcia, Artsci’13. Rico led the QUAA with flexibility and resilience during a particularly challenging time. As a community, we have made some great strides in recent years, and it wouldn’t be possible without the committed members of the Alumni Association.
One of the most impactful shifts within the Queen’s alumni community has been toward virtual programming. From the widely attended virtual Homecomings to the QUAA Board’s reimagined Alumni Volunteer Series, we’ve redefined alumni engagement and removed countless barriers in the process. While there is still work to be done, we’ve taken great pride in bringing many of those commitments to fruition. Perhaps lesser known, albeit equally important, are the improvements the QUAA has made to its own governance – building on the groundwork of past presidents and directors to promote transparency and inclusivity in all that we do.
Moving forward, things can’t return to what they once were, pre-pandemic. Nor should they. As a community, we’ve engaged in extensive dialogue around individual identity and experience at Queen’s. These discussions have highlighted the need for affinity-based groups, such as the Queen’s Black Alumni Chapter and the Queen’s Queer Alumni Chapter, and the value in continuing to create space for their development. Hybrid events and initiatives will continue to play a key role, as alumni actively support the advancement of the strategic goals of the university. Through volunteerism and philanthropy, we are collectively shaping the future of Queen’s and its global impact.