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School of Computing set to celebrate 50th anniversary

  • Class of 1985 gathers on the steps of Goodwin Hall
    In what has become a School of Computing tradition the graduating Class of 1985 gathers on the steps of Goodwin Hall for a photo. (Supplied Photo)
  • School of Computing Class of 2015
    A full 30 years later, the Class of 2015 get together with staff and faculty for their graduating photo at Goodwin Hall. (Supplied Photo)
  • Big computers for School of Computing
    In this clip from a Faculty of Arts and Science newletter, a state-of the-art IBM System/360 Model 50 is shown. (Supplied Photo)
  • Creative Computing Showcase 2019
    A School of Computing student tries out a virtual reality setup during the 2019 Creative Computing Showcase held at the Biosciences Complex. (Photo by Doug Martin)

The School of Computing is marking 50 years at Queen’s University with a series of events, starting with the 50th anniversary celebration Aug. 16-18.

In preparing for the events, organizing committee members Wendy Powley and Sara Perosa sifted through the school’s photo archives. Often they found familiar faces looking back at them, many who still work here, teaching, doing research or keeping the school running. This continuity is a stark contrast to the world of computing which has seen massive changes over the past five decades – from machines that filled entire rooms to the ubiquity of handheld devices.

The result of that stability, however, has been a sense of community within the school, explains Powley, an assistant professor at the School of Computing.

“There are a lot of people who have spent their entire careers here in the School of Computing. That speaks to what a great environment we have in the school. It helps that Kingston is a great place to live as well,” she says. “Our sense of community is something we foster with our students. Queen’s, in general, has a great sense of community, but within the school we are family."

For Perosa, a School of Computing alumna and recent arrival as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, exploring the history of the school and its people was a welcome exercise.

It was really good to see the sense of community here,” she says. “Everybody looked comfortable, like they were amongst friends.”

On Aug. 16-18, alumni, university administrators, current students and faculty and staff from the past and present are taking part in the 50th anniversary festivities to celebrate not only the past but to welcome the many new faculty and staff to the school as it embarks on what is certain to be an exciting second half-century.

The golden celebration begins on Friday, kicked off by a reception at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and a euchre tournament.  Friday afternoon euchre at the Grad Club has been a long-standing tradition at the school.

Saturday features a full day of events including brunch, a mix-and-mingle at the Grad Club, and the 50th Anniversary Cocktail Reception and Banquet at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, starting at 6 pm.

Sunday is open for attendees to explore the university and Kingston.

Already there are more than 100 registrations and there is room for more. To register go to the Queen’s Alumni website.

Several events are planned for the academic year, including a speaker series. The first event features Eli Blevis, the School of Computing’s first PhD student who is now Professor of Informatics in Human-Computer Interaction Design at Indiana University. Plans are also in the works for Homecoming while the anniversary will be incorporated into orientation for this year’s incoming students.

Find out more about the School of Computing.