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A letter to alumni

A letter to alumni

Dear alumni,

[photo of Rico Garcia working from home]
Rico Garcia working from home. Photo by Max Garcia

I hope this issue of the Alumni Review finds you and your loved ones in good health and weathering these stressful and challenging times. My name is Rico Garcia, Artsci'13, and I am your new volunteer president of the Queen’s University Alumni Association. Earlier in April, more than 100 alumni from across the globe were going to gather in Kingston for our annual Alumni Volunteer Summit and the QUAA Awards Gala. During this weekend we would have honoured 11 alumni who have shown remarkable leadership within their communities and accomplished extraordinary things. We would have also thanked outgoing board members and volunteers for their past contributions. As has been the case with most events around the globe, however, we had to press pause on these celebrations due to COVID-19.

While it is hard to celebrate in the midst of a crisis, the recent actions that many members of our Queen’s community have taken to fight COVID-19 give us plenty of reasons to do so. From our nursing and medical school alumni who are on the frontlines helping those most in need to professors and students building life-saving ventilators, and alumni innovating to bring much-needed solutions to market, I have been inspired by these stories of students, faculty, and alumni rising to the challenge and giving back to the community. The Queen’s motto, Sapientia et Doctrina Stabilitas, generally translates from Latin to English as “Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.” While I recall reading these words every time I entered Grant Hall, they have never resonated with me more than during these defining times. Today, we are seeing the Queen’s community apply the knowledge they learned during their time in Kingston to provide some element of stability to society during what are truly uncertain times.

As we all continue to adapt to this new – hopefully temporary – reality of working from home and physical distancing, I encourage you to leverage these times as an opportunity to reconnect with your Queen’s community in a different way. It could be as simple as checking in on an old friend or organizing a larger Zoom reunion with your former classmates.

Reflecting back on the Queen’s motto, ask yourself: “How am I using the knowledge I learned at Queen’s to provide stability to my family, community, and society during the COVID-19 pandemic?” Think about how far just a small action taken by every single one of our more than 150,000 alumni could go. When all this is over, those collective actions will continue to give us plenty of reasons to celebrate and proudly call ourselves Queen’s alumni.

Cha ghèill! No surrender!

Rico Garcia, Artsci’13
Volunteer President, Queen’s University Alumni Association

[cover image of the Queen's Alumni Review issue 2, 2020 featuring Ali Velshi, Artsci'94]