A new honour for John Meisel

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf and Dean of Arts and Science Barbara Crow unveil the plaque honouring Professor Emeritus Meisel. (University Communications)

Every day, hundreds of Queen’s students, faculty, and staff pass through the black, wrought iron gate located between Dunning Hall and Richardson Hall.

Long a landmark of the university campus, the gate has never had a name – at least until now.

On Monday, April 15, Queen’s dedicated the gate to one of the university’s all-time great professors – John Meisel. During a ceremony at Richardson Hall Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf and Dean of Arts and Science Barbara Crow unveiled a plaque honouring Professor Emeritus Meisel, who first arrived at Queen’s in 1949 and would go on to become one of Canada’s most influential political scientists.

“The courtyard, bordered by Richardson, Dunning, and Mackintosh-Corry halls, has long been one of my favourite places on campus, and over the years the gate itself has acted as a symbolic entrance to the social sciences here at Queen’s,” Principal Woolf says. “I can’t think of a more suitable tribute to Professor Meisel than to name the gate in his honour for all he has done for Queen’s, the Faculty of Arts and Science, and the Department of Political Studies.”

A pioneer in research into political behaviour Professor Meisel also wrote widely on Canadian elections, political parties, Quebec politics, science policy, and cultural policy. He was the founding editor of two prestigious academic journals, the Canadian Journal of Political Science and the International Political Science Review. From 1980 to 1983 he was chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and later served as president of the Royal Society of Canada.

His contributions to Canada were recognized in 1989, when he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and again in 1999, when he was promoted to Companion, the highest grade in the Order.

In 2017, Professor Meisel was recognized by the Department of Political Studies with the establishment of the John Meisel Lecture Series. Each lecture addresses a timely political controversy and is followed by a town hall-style discussion that is open to both the Queen’s and Kingston community. 

To learn more about Professor Emeritus Meisel, watch this recent video interview.

Note: This article was orginally written by the Queen's Gazette.