Grand opening packs Mitchell Hall
April 1, 2019
Roaring applause and celebratory streamers filled the grand central atrium at Mitchell Hall this past weekend, marking the official opening of Queen’s University’s newest building. With a little help from a robot named Ibex, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf and lead donor Bruce Mitchell made the announcement to an audience of several hundred guests – including donors, government officials, and members of the campus community.
“This building, now Mitchell Hall, is all about new approaches and creativity,” says Mitchell, who, alongside other donors, supported the building’s construction with a combined $50 million. “To the students who will study here: I challenge you to use this facility to stretch your minds, discover, innovate, explore, take risks. Use it to make the very most of your experience at Queen’s and to launch yourself toward becoming the leaders of tomorrow.”
The Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund also provided a combined $21.8 million to support the project. Kingston and the Islands Member of Parliament, Mark Gerretsen, and Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, shared remarks during the ceremony. Earlier in the week, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, joined Principal Woolf and members of Queen’s University’s senior administration on a tour of the facility.
“Modern learning spaces are a critical part in supporting skills development to prepare students for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” says Minister Bains. “Earlier this week, I saw first-hand how our government’s investment in Mitchell Hall at Queen’s University is helping students from all programs to advance the next generation of leading-edge engineering research in Canada.”
The Chair of the Queen's Board of Trustees, Don Raymond, as well as Chancellor Jim Leech, Dean of Engineering and Applied Science Kevin Deluzio; and Rector Alexandra da Silva also spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, March 30. Guests then toured Mitchell Hall for a glimpse at many of the spaces and services that have been welcoming students over the past few months during the phased launch of the building, as well as spaces debuting over the next few months.
“On behalf of Queen’s University, I want to express my deepest gratitude to our donors and to the governments of Ontario and Canada for supporting the creation of this wonderful, new facility,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “The facilities and associated programming will have a profound and meaningful impact on the entrepreneurial, professional, educational, and research pursuits of our students, as well as on their overall health and well-being. Mitchell Hall truly strengthens our campus community.”
The building, located on the former site of the Physical Education Centre (PEC) at the corner of Union and Division streets in Kingston, hosts a wide variety of centres and services, as well as lounge, study, and co-working spaces. The Queen’s community is encouraged to visit Mitchell Hall, and explore everything it has to offer.
“Mitchell Hall brings students together in ways that are organic and community-building,” says Rector da Silva. “Under one roof we now have students innovating, accessing crucial resources, connecting with their cultural and religious identities, participating in athletics, and so much more. This is part of what the Queen's experience is about – students sharing spaces in which they can learn and grow together.”