Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

One university, multiple campuses — what's in a name?

With the purchase of 61 acres along Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd. in 1969, Queen’s became two campuses. One campus came to be known as main campus, the other as west campus.

The Faculty of Education relocated to Duncan McArthur Hall on the west campus in 1971. The George Richardson Memorial Stadium was built there the same year, replacing the old stadium on what is currently Tindall Field. Many students and alumni who thought the stadium should remain in the heart of campus lamented this move. The John Orr Tower residence was built in 1973 followed a year later by Jean Royce residence.

To this day, those remain the primary buildings on west campus, and students, staff and faculty living, working and studying there often feel isolated from main campus.

“The distance between the two campuses is far more psychological than physical,” says Rena Upitis, former dean of the Faculty of Education, “but it is a very significant distance, nevertheless.”

And as Principal Daniel Woolf notes in his recent essay “The Third Juncture,” “The names themselves unhelpfully suggest a centre and a periphery.”

The university is embarking on a Campus Master Plan (CMP) project to update the 2004 campus master plan. The CMP will suggest mixed uses for west campus, creating a vibrant destination that will appeal to more people and increase planned activities there.

Consistent with the goal of achieving greater integration of academic and co-curricular activities between main and west campuses, the university plans to name the two locations, identifying both as central to the university’s mission.

One suggestion is to name west campus the Sir John A. Macdonald Campus to recognize the 2015 bicentennial of our first prime minister’s birth, and the namesake of the street that bounds Duncan McArthur Hall. Suggestions for naming main campus include Sydenham Campus, Summerhill Campus, or perhaps a name recognizing the First Nations ancestry of the area.

There are now four Kingston campuses – main, west, Innovation Park and the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Creating meaningful linkages among the campuses is a priority for the university and the CMP.

If you have comments or suggestions regarding the naming of the campuses, or about any other aspect of the CMP please go to queensu.ca/cmp to find out all the ways to connect with the project.