From the QUAA

Offering a helping hand

Colin McLeod in front of a grey background, wearing a blue shirt and smiling at the camera.

At the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA), our work revolves around fostering a lifelong connection to Queen’s, which takes shape by connecting with alumni around the globe. As the Queen’s student population grows and we welcome new generations of alumni, we remain committed to building a meaningful community. The threads that tie us together are our experiences at Queen’s. As soon as you cross that stage at convocation, you are automatically a member of the Alumni Association, and we welcome you with open arms. With that transition from students to alumni, we also take on a new sense of responsibility to pay it forward by supporting current students and ensuring that the “Queen’s experience” for each generation of students is constantly improving and evolving with the times.

In practice, what does paying it forward look like? Alumni play an inspirational role by speaking to student clubs or in classrooms. Encouraging students, offering advice, making connections, and suggesting career paths are all significant ways that I see alumni contributing. For example, you could connect with the Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA), which prepares students for success by connecting them to alumni, encouraging them to be leaders, and supporting their journey toward becoming engaged Queen’s alumni. And, of course, some student-led organizations, such as the AMS Food Bank, rely on donations from alumni to see them through during dire times.

In recent years, the QUAA has intentionally provided support to many student organizations through the Iris May Marsh Alumni Expansion Fund and QUAA Special Projects Fund. In 2023, this included organizations such as Youth for Consent Culture, CompanionLink and the Queen’s Feminist Leadership in Politics (QFLIP). We also funded the Road to Graduation program, which is designed to guide graduating undergraduate students through their final year at Queen’s and support the transition to becoming Queen’s alumni. The goal of the initiative is to educate students on the Queen’s alumni community before they graduate and highlight the importance and value of staying connected with fellow alumni and Queen’s in the years to come. In our view, the stewardship of the Alumni Association starts on the first day that a student arrives on campus. 

The QUAA is committed to welcoming current students to its community, and I encourage you to seek out opportunities to do the same. If you are not sure where to start, please reach out to me or directly to student organizations. We all know there are numerous challenges for today’s student population, and I have no doubt that many could use our help.

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