Scottish Heritage and Influence

Queen's was founded in 1841 by Scottish Presbyterian settlers in Upper Canada and owes a great deal to its Scottish origins. In the university's early years, the most obvious links with Scotland were its association with the Presbyterian Church, or the Church of Scotland, and the fact that virtually all its faculty were Scottish-educated.

Those connections have long been severed, but Scotland's early influence is still felt. Queen's Royal Charter of 1841 modelled the university's governance after that of Edinburgh University. Consistent with the charter's provisions, Queen's is still governed by a Board of Trustees, a Senate, and a Principal.

The offices of Chancellor and Rector, added in later years, were also inspired by Scottish models. The presence of a powerful and independent student government at Queen's, with substantial responsibilities for student discipline, is due in part to the tradition of student independence at Scottish universities.

Many of Queen's most colourful traditions also have a Scottish flavour, from the bagpipes and kilts of the Queen's Bands to the tams of Orientation Week and the Gaelic chorus of the Oil Thigh song.

See also: