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A warm welcome to university life

New major admission award recipients get some advice as they embark on their academic journey at Queen's.

  • Major admission awards speakers
    After speaking at the major admission awards reception Michael Pearce and Kayla Simmons, both fourth-year students at Queen's, were congratulated by Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney, Chancellor Jim Leech, and Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris.
  • Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris
    Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris speaks with a group of students at the major admission awards reception on Thursday, Sept. 20
  • Attendees of the Major Admissions Awards
    The major admission awards reception gives students who have received some of the top scholarships and bursaries an opportunity to meet and speak with their peers.
  • Chancellor Jim Leech looks at a selfie
    Chancellor Jim Leech takes time for a photo with Hannah Julseth, a fourth-year student, and her brother Matthew Julseth, a second-year student. Both are recipients of the Chancellor's Scholarship.

A special group of Queen’s students was recognized during the annual Major Admission Awards reception Thursday, Sept. 20 in Wallace Hall.

Speaking at the event were Kayla Simmons, a fourth-year nursing student and Chernoff Family Award recipient from MacDougall, Ont., and Michael Pearce, a fourth-year engineering student and Chancellor’s Scholarship recipient from Red Deer, Alta.

Both offered advice for the new arrivals and talked about contributing to the Queen’s and Kingston communities.

During her time at Queen’s Simmons has been active in a range of groups and activities including peer learning, orientation planning, and competing with the Queen’s Gaels sailing team. She encouraged those gathered to expand their horizons and to be confident in testing their limits.

“Find the things that you love, the things that make you say yes, and remember that you are capable of so much more than you will ever realize until you take that leap,” she says.

Pearce, a member of the Queen’s Gaels men’s volleyball team, has contributed as a teaching assistant, a scholarship buddy, and as a volunteer coach for a local youth volleyball team.

He looked back on his personal experiences to offer advice, calling on the new arrivals to “do what inspires you, be relentless in the pursuit of your goals.”

The message is one that has resonated with many of the students at Wallace Hall.

“Major Admission Award recipients demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities, creativity, initiative, and academic excellence and are engaged in their communities,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, the emcee for the event. “Year after year we see a high level of engagement and academic success that continues throughout their time at Queen’s and we are proud to recognize their accomplishments.”

Currently, there are 265 entering and in-course major admission award recipients at Queen’s from across Canada.

The selection process is rigorous, with more than 200 faculty, including members of the Retirees Association at Queen’s, volunteering to evaluate the more than 1,200 submissions each year.  

The awards are supported by numerous donors. Many donors want to give back this way because they, too, received some form of support, recognition and encouragement when they were students. Their generosity has a significant impact within the Queen's community and the recipients of their awards. 

Visit the Student Awards website for information about the Major Admission Awards program.