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Giving back for Homecoming

[Queen's Homecoming 2013]
Homecoming 2014 is set for the weekend of Oct. 17-19. (University Communications0

Homecoming is about more than alumni connecting with each other, students, the Kingston community and former professors during the football game, or at a special dinner.

The annual reunion weekend is also about scores of alumni who mobilize their colleagues to raise funds in support of students, faculty, programs and projects.

During each Homecoming, classes returning to celebrate their reunion often mark the special occasion by setting up or enhancing class funds that provide student financial assistance or fund priority projects.

Homecoming 2014 is no exception.

Some returning alumni, enthusiastic about their return to campus, are honouring their reunion by issuing challenges to their classmates. Here are just a few examples of how alumni returning for Homecoming are giving back to Queen’s this year:

  • Com’89 alumni are celebrating their 25th reunion by establishing a Com’89 award to support a Commerce student entering their first year. Classmate Paul Pancham, Com’89, MD’94, pledges to match all donations up to $250,000. The class hopes to raise $500,000 in time for Homecoming 2014 by issuing this inspirational challenge: “if you have ever been asked where you went to university, and responded with some sense of pride and confidence that Queen’s Commerce was a good answer, if you think Queen’s made a difference in your career or in your life, if Queen’s Commerce helped you get into your grad school of choice, or if you think Queen’s is good enough for your kids, then I hope you will consider donating.”
  • Sci’64 issued a Class Giving Challenge. Donations received since the public launch of the Initiative Campaign in September 2012 through to its reunion this fall will be matched by classmate Barry Stewart, Sci’64, up to $250,000. Additionally, two members of the reunion class, Civil Engineering graduate Reg Gunson, Sci’64, and Chemical Engineering graduate Bob Clapp, Sci’64, will match donations for their discipline, thus doubling or quadrupling class giving. Several areas in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science will benefit from this challenge: the Queen’s Innovation Commons, Dean’s Excellence Fund and the Science ’64 Equipment Fund.
  • Sci’89 is thinking ahead. The class plans to raise $1 million for Queen’s Engineering before its 30th reunion (planned for 2019), including $250,000 between now and Homecoming 2014. The $1 million gauntlet was thrown down by Sci’88 during its 25th reunion in 2013. Sci’89 class members want to be the first class to accept the challenge “in solidarity with them, cementing a new tradition which will be following by the 90’s classes. If we don’t make this effort, a huge amount of future support for our engineering school through this new tradition of giving will simply vanish.” Donations support the Science ’89 Bursary and the fundraising priorities for Engineering.

During Homecoming 2013, despite the cancellation of Homecoming for the five previous years, many returning alumni chose to support Queen’s philanthropically. Twenty-eight reunion classes incorporated a class appeal to their reunion planning. In total, between pledges and gifts, students can now count on financial assistance from the $1.14 million given by alumni during Homecoming in 2013.