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Media Advisory - Queen's University honours unsung heroes with latest plinth unveiling

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

KINGSTON – People walking around the Queen’s campus will now have a new way to feel connected to the past of this historic institution. Today, Principal Daniel Woolf unveiled the fourth installment of the Queen’s Remembers initiative:  a new commemorative plinth dedicated to the first five principals of the university.


The eight-page book featured on the new plinth describes the early history of Queen’s. The first five principals all had to take great pains to ensure the survival of Queen’s. When Reverend Thomas Liddell, the first principal, came to Kingston from Scotland in 1841, Queen’s was not much more than an idea in the Royal Charter that established it. Principal Liddell had to work hard to find both students and funds for the school.

Previous plinths have been dedicated to the Indigenous Peoples upon whose land Queen’s was built, the 5th Field Company, and the Nobel Prize-winning research discoveries led by Dr. Art McDonald.


The unveiling of the plinth takes place Thursday, June 13 on the front lawn of Summerhill. The event starts at 2:30 pm and the Principal will be available for a brief comment afterwards. The media is asked to confirm their attendance.

Key Points

  • The new plinth being unveiled is the latest installment in the Queen’s Remembers initiative.
  • It features an eight-page book that tells the story of the contributions of five unsung heroes in the early years of Queen’s.
  • Previous installments in the Queen’s Remembers initiative highlight the Indigenous Peoples on whose land Queen’s was built; the 5th Field Company; and the Nobel-prize winning research discoveries that were led by Dr. Art McDonald
  • The five unsung heroes in this book were the first five principals of Queen’s, who led the school between 1841 and 1864.
  • These principals guided the school through its formative years, which were frequently times of hardship. It was not even always clear that Queen’s would survive.
  • Despite their important contributions, these five people have not always received as much recognition as they deserve.
  • The installments in the Queen’s Remembers initiative offer people a way to explore the Queen’s campus and engage with its rich history.


Anne Craig, Media Relations Officer

613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca