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25 years at The Castle

The Bader International Study Centre to celebrate anniversary with an all-classes reunion.

The BISC 25th Reunion logo. (Credit: BISC)
The BISC 25th Reunion logo (Credit: BISC) 

As the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) prepares to celebrate 25 years of operations, its mixture of history and community is the perfect backdrop for a reunion.

The BISC, located in East Sussex, England, is home to students, staff, faculty, and over 575 years of history. The Castle was bankrolled by King Henry VIII in 1441 and eventually fell into neglect during the 1700s, until its restoration in the early 1900s. Alfred and Isabel Bader donated The Castle to Queen’s in 1993 as the International Study Centre. The ISC was renamed the Bader International Study Centre in 2009 in celebration of Alfred’s 85th birthday, as a mark of the university’s deep appreciation for his extraordinary generosity to Queen’s.

The BISC has also been the backdrop to major literary adaptions, including the 1990s Chronicles of Narnia films and a wizardly retreat in 2017 and 2018. Check out Ghosts, A Hanging & Henry VIII: All Part of Herstmonceux Castle’s History to dig deeper into The Castle’s long, and sometimes haunted, past.

“The Castle has become a staple of the Queen’s student experience, as both the oldest and newest part of Queen’s,” says Hugh Horton, Vice-Provost of the BISC. “Thanks to our first year program, opportunities for upper year students, small class sizes, and the many treasures that The Castle and grounds have to offer, we deliver a learning experience like no other. That’s worth celebrating.”

Students returned to the BISC this September for the Fall term. The Castle has recently expanded its innovationinclusion and mental health resources for students, and plans to expand its science education facilities in 2019.

The 25th reunion will take place on the 2019 Canada Day weekend at The Castle. Alumni of The Castle will reunite for a weekend full of activities, including a night at the Headless Drummer, a garden party, tours of the improvements to The Castle, mini-lectures from their favourite professors, and many opportunities to catch up after years, for some even decades, apart.

“We want to bring alumni of The Castle together to celebrate and to commemorate the impact that the donation of the BISC has had on so many lives and on Queen’s international programs,” says Elizabeth Gorman, Associate Director, Alumni and Student Engagement. “The Castle is a very special part of Queen’s, and we aim to give alumni, faculty, staff, students, and the local East Sussex community a fun and educational weekend together.”

To count yourself in for the upcoming weekend, check out the 25th anniversary Facebook page.