In April, Queen’s celebrated National Volunteer Week 2023, with the theme of “Volunteering Weaves Us Together.” This theme highlighted the importance of volunteering to strengthen our communities through the interconnected actions we take to support one another. As I reflected on what this means for the Queen’s alumni community, I couldn’t help but notice that our interconnected actions are what make our community so vibrant and meaningful.
With the reality of numerous competing demands on our time, the gift of an individual’s time to volunteer for Queen’s is significant and invaluable to the alumni community. Queen’s is fortunate to have more than 4,600 alumni volunteers, who help ensure our alumni remain connected through branches, chapters, faculty associations, reunions, and more. We have volunteers with the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) Board, the Board of Trustees, and University Council, who all provide expertise to support the advancement of the university and the engagement of its alumni. This volunteering benefits us all, and the interconnectedness has helped shape the “Queen’s experience.”
Of course, not everyone has the capacity to donate their time, which is why there are other actions you can take to support your alma mater. This includes nominating exceptional alumni for honorary degrees and QUAA Awards. In June 2023, we’ll have the chance to honour a fresh slate of QUAA Award winners for their distinguished achievements, volunteerism with their communities, and support for advancing issues related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity. It is a phenomenal group of award winners, who are an inspiration for the entire alumni community.
Finally, there is the gift of financial donations to the university, which help ensure the student experience at Queen’s continues to be a defining feature of the institution’s success. This includes the option to direct your giving to causes of importance to you. Personally, I direct my giving to the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, which provides support for Indigenous students. I was inspired by the recommendations from the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Final Report and wanted to do my part.
So, whether it is through time, talent, treasure, or other means, I encourage you all to find ways to contribute to help Queen’s flourish in the decades ahead.