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Growth, renewal, and celebration in 2019

[Year in Review 2019]
Top, from left: Members of Ethelbert Bartholomew's family hold up his Doctor of Medicine degree; Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane is officially installed; Mark Green will become the next provost and vice-principal (academic) in March 2020. Middle, from left: The BISC marked its 25th anniversary; Queen's celebrated the opening of Mitchell Hall; the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative was hosted at the Isabel. Bottom, from left: The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science celebrated its 125th anniversary; Rembrandt's Head of an Old Man With Curly Hair was donated to the Agnes by Linda and Daniel Bader; a proposed design for a new residence was unveiled.

In 2019, Queen’s University turned 178 years old, and it was another year of growth, renewal, and celebration across campus.

The university underwent a transition of leadership as Patrick Deane officially became the 21st principal and vice-chancellor of Queen’s on July 1. Principal Deane, who served as vice-principal (academic) at Queen’s from 2005 to 2010, returns from McMaster where he had served as president for nine years.

At the same time, Queen’s bid farewell, at least temporarily, to Daniel Woolf, after 10 years as principal and vice-chancellor. A few months later Dr. Woolf was appointed principal emeritus. After a sabbatical, he will return as a professor in the Department of History.

In late November Mark Green was announced as the next provost and vice-principal (academic), beginning a five-year term on March 1, 2020. Dr. Green earned his Bachelor of Science at Queen’s and completed a post-doctoral fellowship here as well. He became a professor at Queen’s in 2001, and has held a number of key leadership positions in the faculty over the years and was the co-chair of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force.

Another leadership announcement followed shortly after with the appointment of Mary Wilson Trider as the chair of the Board of Trustees. An experienced healthcare sector executive, she will begin her four-year term in June 2020, succeeding current board chair Donald Raymond.

At the faculty level, Mark Walters became the Dean of the Faculty of Law on July 1, while Brenda Brouwer was appointed Interim Dean of Smith School of Business in November.

Campus Development

The university added to its growing list of modern facilities with the grand opening of Mitchell Hall in late March. The building offers expanded engineering and research facilities, collaborative and experiential learning spaces, and a wide spectrum of student services, and much more.

Lead donor Bruce Mitchell, who, alongside other donors, supported the construction with a combined $50 million, helped open the building during the gala event. The Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund  and the Government of Ontario also provided a combined $21.8 million to support the project.

To meet the needs of the student population a new residence has been proposed for construction on Albert Street. The project is currently undergoing community consultations and the approval process. In November a conceptual design was unveiled and several information sessions were held to engage neighbouring residents. Current plans call for construction to start in the spring/summer of 2020 with an occupancy date of September 2022.

In April, the university conditionally approved a student-led redevelopment project of the John Deutsch University Centre.

Earlier in the year the West Campus District Energy Conversion Project was completed. The project involved decommissioning a 2.5-kilometre steam line that runs underground along Union Street and the introduction of more efficient boiler systems at West Campus. The upgrade will help Queen’s to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a cumulative 33,000 metric tonnes over the next two decades.

Anniversaries

Special anniversaries are to be expected at an institution with 178 years of history.

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science marked 125 years with a series of events hosted throughout the year to recognize the many accomplishments of faculty, staff, and alumni that make it such a special place.

It was a golden celebration for the School of Computing as well as the Department of Psychology as they marked their 50th anniversaries.

Queen’s University Library marked the 25th anniversary of the opening of Joesph S. Stauffer Library while, across the Atlantic Ocean, Queen’s community members, including the Bader family, gathered in East Sussex, England to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Bader International Study Centre (BISC).

Special Events

In April, the university righted a historic wrong by signing an official letter of apology for the 1918 ban on admission for Black students to its medical school, acknowledging the institution’s past racist actions and repeated failures to hold itself accountable. A few weeks later, the university posthumously conferred a Doctor of Medicine degree to Ethelbert Bartholomew, which was accepted by members of his family during spring convocation.

In May the Agnes Etherington Art Centre welcomed a fourth painting by Dutch master Rembrandt van RijnHead of an Old Man with Curly Hair was donated by Linda and Daniel Bader in memory of Daniel’s late father and Queen’s alumnus, Alfred Bader. Dr. Bader, chemist, entrepreneur, visionary philanthropist, and discerning collector of art, passed away in December 2018.

A few months later a touring exhibition celebrating Rembrandt, as well as some of his colleagues and students – Leiden circa 1630: Rembrandt Emerges. The exhibition – which draws on the strength of the Bader Collection, debuted at the Agnes and will visit three other cities over the next year and a half.

In February, Queen’s joined the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a group of 19 leading North American research institutions united in a collaborative effort to accelerate local action against climate change.

Queen’s became smoke-free on June 1 with the introduction of a ban on smoking, vaping, and the use of tobacco products on its Canadian campuses and properties, a key step in its ongoing effort to foster a culture of wellbeing.

In September, Queen’s hosted a special event with two Nobel Laureates – Queen’s Professor Emeritus Arthur McDonald and U.S. chemist Martin Chalfie – at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts as part of the first-ever Canadian tour of the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative. 

Notable Awards

Queen’s named the first-ever Distinguished University Professors. Nine faculty members – Donald H. Akenson; Stephen Archer; Nicholas Bala; Susan P. C. Cole; Cathleen Crudden; John McGarry; Ram Murty, Kerry Rowe; and Suning Wang – were recognized for contributions to their respective fields of study.

Some of the highlights of the numerous recognitions from outside the university include: Will Kymlicka receiving the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Gold Medal; Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the research team of Pascale Champagne, Michael Cunningham, Philip Jessop, and Warren Mabee were awarded the NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize for their work in building a sustainable future.