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Queen's welcomes first Commitment Scholars

Admission award recognizes school and community leadership among underserved and underrepresented first-year students.

Aerial photograph of Queen's campus.
300 students applied for the award, which provides $48,000 ($12,000 per year) in funding, as well as financial, academic, and career planning supports.

As part of the university’s ongoing efforts to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) on campus, Queen’s is preparing to welcome the first cohort of first-year Commitment Scholars to campus this fall.

The new award, for Black, Indigenous, racialized, and LGBTQ2S+ students and students with disabilities, is granted to 10 incoming undergraduates each year. It recognizes demonstrated leadership in, and commitment to, racial justice, social justice, or EDII initiatives in a student’s school or community.

The 2021-22 Commitment Scholars are entering programs in the Faculties of Arts and Science, Health Sciences, and Engineering and Applied Science, and Smith School of Business. They will be arriving to Queen’s from cities and communities across Canada, including the Greater Toronto Area, Sudbury, Ottawa, Peterborough, Dundas, North Bay, Vancouver, and Calgary.

“We are very pleased to celebrate these outstanding student leaders,” says Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. “Queen’s students are known for creating positive change on campus and in the local community. It will be exciting to see how these first Commitment Scholars continue to take action to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment at Queen’s. I want to express my appreciation to the panel of faculty and staff readers who reviewed the applications and helped select this group of scholars.”

300 students applied for the award, which provides $48,000 ($12,000 per year) in funding, as well as financial, academic, and career planning supports.

Along with the Commitment Scholars Award, the university has introduced a new annual Commitment Bursary program. 365 members of the Class of 2025 will be receiving a total of $935,000 in each of their four years of study.

These programs were developed in Summer-Fall 2020 on the recommendation of a multi-disciplinary group of staff, faculty, and students that identified several strategies to advance EDII in undergraduate recruitment and admissions, under Queen’s Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism. 

Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment, that led the group, has also implemented the new EDII admission self-identification mechanism, and a new peer equity ambassador program for prospective students.

“We are continuing to take steps to attract and support an increasingly diverse student population, and these new initiatives, implemented with our campus partners, are helping to build momentum to drive progress and change,” said Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment Executive Director Chris Coupland.

This Commitment Scholars Award and Commitment Bursary build on the success and impact of the Promise Scholars program, designed to reduce financial barriers and increase access to Queen’s for first-generation students from the local community.