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    YEAR IN REVIEW: Top news stories at Queen's

    There were plenty of interesting news items at Queen's University in 2014, including (clockwise from top left): the installation of Jim Leech as chancellor; the opening of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts; the announcement that Queen's will lead a international clinical trial for a new class of cancer drug; and the Board of Trustees approving a revitalization plan for Richardson Stadium.

    It’s been a year of openings and new beginnings at Queen’s and as 2014 draws to a close the Gazette takes a quick look back at some of the top news items for the university.

    From the installation of a new chancellor and the unveiling of new facilities, to a new set of guiding principles and the leadership of a cutting-edge research project, there has been much going on at Queen's.

    Changing of the chancellors

    There was a changing of the guard for the role of chancellor, the highest officer and ceremonial head at Queen’s. The community said goodbye to David Dodge, who completed two three-year terms, and welcomed Jim Leech to the position. Mr. Leech, the former president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, stepped into the role on July 1, and was installed at the start of fall convocation, which he then presided over for the first time. Mr. Dodge, a former Governor of the Bank of Canada, oversaw his final convocation in the spring and was honoured, as all his predecessors have been, with a portrait that now hangs in The Peter Lougheed Room in Richardson Hall.

    A jewel by the lake

    A bold plan with a bold design, few could have imagined just what a special building the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts would turn out to be. Melding modern design with heritage properties on the shore of Lake Ontario, the Isabel offers state-for the art learning facilities as well as a world-class concert venue. Officially opened in September for the start of a new school year, the Isabel was designed by world-renowned architecture firm Snøhetta and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after performance in the region.

    Revitalizing Richardson

    Sports programs at Queen’s University have a long and storied history and the field of dreams for many Gaels over the decades has been Richardson Stadium. However, the current venue has seen better days and it was announced in December that a $20.27 million revitalization project was approved by the Queen’s Board of Trustees.  Construction of the stadium is expected to begin after the Gaels’ 2015 football season, and completed by the following autumn.

    Research leadership

    Queen’s has long been known as a research leader in a number of fields, including medicine, and in November it was announced that the NCIC Clinical Trials Group will lead an international clinical trial of a new class of cancer drug aimed at curing non-small cell lung cancer. The trial will be open to 1,100 patients in Canada and around the world. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in North America and is the leading cancer killer in both men and women.

    Mapping a new direction

    Looking to the future, Queen’s adopted a new Strategic Framework designed to guide the university’s decision-making over the next five years. At the core of the framework are four priorities, or strategic drivers, supporting the university’s vision of being a balanced academy: the student learning experience, research prominence, financial sustainability, and internationalization. The framework identifies a number of goals for each strategic driver, as well as a series of performance metrics to help gauge the university’s progress through 2019.

    And finally, 2014 also marked the return of the Gazette in newspaper form and an expansion online. It’s been an interesting and exciting year and we are looking forward to bigger and better things in 2015.