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A gathering of Gaels

A gathering of Gaels

Queen's history and tradition are both key to what makes our university so unique. One of our longest-standing traditions is Homecoming, which was first officially celebrated in 1926, although our alumni have been gathering informally on campus since the late 1800s. It is a testament to how deeply connected our alumni still are to Queen's that we recently welcomed home more than 3,600 alumni, representing 99 classes and groups, for Homecoming 2017. We were delighted this year to celebrate with alumna Shirley Purkis, Arts'41 – her 76th reunion! – along with the class of 2017 and our new tradition, "Reunion Zero." A highlight is always welcoming our newest members of the Tricolour Guard, those alumni celebrating a 50th anniversary. Congratulations this year to the class of' '67, including QUAA board member Kathy Owen, Arts'67. Our global alumni network was also in full display as we had alumni returning from as far away as Australia and China.

A big thank you to all of those who made the weekend such a success – staff, students, and faculty and of course the many Queen's alumni volunteers who organized their class reunions. Thanks as well to our partners in the Queen's Student Alumni Association for their annual spirit corner – ensuring our alumni were "tricolour-ready" for the parade and Gaels game day.

[photo of reunion coordinators at  Queen's Homecoming 2017
Sue Bates with reunion planners at Homecoming. Holding the reception sign is FH@@ board member Johanne Blansche, NSc’88. Also in the photo is Ryan Rodrigues (front row, far left), new Associate Vice-Principal (Alumni Relations and Annual Giving). Mr. Rodrigues joined the Alumni Relations team in July, following the retirement of longtime AVP Judith Brown, Artsci’76, MA'79.

The weekend kicked off on Friday afternoon with the reunion planners' reception, now in its third year. QUAA board member and director-at-large Johanne Blansche, NSc'88, took the opportunity to recognize and thank the many reunion volunteers for their hard work. The vision for the QUAA board is to engage, develop, and celebrate our outstanding Queen's alumni volunteer leaders, and this was certainly a wonderful opportunity to engage and celebrate our reunion volunteers.

The key to ensuring the tradition of excellence is, of course, philanthropic support from across our community. Many of our returning classes this year organized a class gift in support of the university. These gifts provide funding for all aspects of campus – student support, financial assistance, research, athletics, and many more. While it is always fun to look back and reminisce with classmates, it is equally important to look forward. Queen's participated in Giving Tuesday, which took place this year on Nov. 28. If you haven't yet made a gift to Queen's, I hope you will consider doing so. This is a great opportunity to show your tricolour spirit and help ensure excellence at Queen's for decades to come.

Cha ghèill!

Sue Bates, Artsci'91
Volunteer President
Queen's University Alumni Association

email: QUAA.President@quaa.ca

[cover graphic of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 4-2017]