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Welcoming back alumni

More than 3,200 alumni returned to Queen's for Homecoming 2019.

  • Tricolour parade
    Queen's Bands marches in the Tricolour Parade. (Photo by Suzy Lamont)
  • alumni attend football game
    Alumni attend the Gaels football game at Richardson Stadium. (Photo by Suzy Lamont)
  • members of the Tricolour Guard take the field at halftime during the Gaels football game.
    Members of the Tricolour Guard take the field at halftime during the Gaels football game. (Photo by Suzy Lamont)
  • Queen's students show tricolour pride at Spirit Corner.
    Queen's students show tricolour pride at Spirit Corner. (Photo by Suzy Lamont)
  • Alumnus gets his face painted at Spirit Corner before heading to Richardson Stadium.
    An alumnus gets his face painted at Spirit Corner before heading to Richardson Stadium. (Photo by Suzy Lamont)

Homecoming is a time of celebration with thousands of alumni returning to Queen’s.

This year’s event – hosted Friday, Oct. 18 to Sunday, Oct. 20 – featured dozens of events including class reunions, faculty open houses, the Homecoming football game, a fundraising pumpkin smash, and celebrations for the Tricolour Guard – alumni marking their 50th anniversary or more.

All of these events are supported by the hundreds of volunteers who help out each year.

Photographers from the Office of Advancement were busy all weekend capturing some of the colour of Homecoming and the people who make up the Queen’s community.

More photos are available on the Queen's Alumni Facebook page

Gaels capture OUA women’s rugby banner

[Queen's women's rugby team celebrates OUA title]
The Queen's Gaels women's rugby team celebrates after winning the OUA title on Nixon Field, Friday, Oct. 18. The team now advances to the U-Sports national championship in Ottawa, starting Wednesday, Oct. 30. (Photo by Robin Kasem)

The No. 3 nationally-ranked Queen's Gaels halted the No. 4 Guelph Gryphons from extending their OUA banner streak with a decisive 46-17 win in the OUA championship from Nixon Field on homecoming weekend at Queen’s University.

The three-time defending champion Guelph Gryphons dropped their first match to the Queen’s Gaels after having won their previous nine contests against their rivals dating back to 2013. That match was a win for Queen’s that gave them their first OUA title in school history. Guelph has won three-straight banners and two consecutive finals over the Gaels heading into Friday night.

The Gaels jumped out to a 12-0 lead with tries by Celia Martensson and Rachel Hickson. After the Gryphons answered with a try of their own Carmen Izyk and Hickson found the endzone for a 24-5 lead at the half

After the break, the Gaels kept the points coming. First, it was McKinley Hunt who dove over the try line for five points in the opening minutes of the second. That was followed up by Sophie de Goede getting her first try of the match and Hunt adding another. Gillian Reason added another try that was bookended by a pair of tries by Guelph.

Both teams now advance to the U-Sports final in Ottawa starting Wednesday, Oct. 30.

To learn more about Queen’s Gaels teams, visit the Queen’s Athletics website at gogaelsgo.com.

Helping the Queen’s community Thrive

Françoise Mathieu
Françoise Mathieu, a registered psychotherapist and co-executive director of TEND, is the keynote speaker for this year's Thrive Week at Queen's University. (Supplied Photo) 

Thrive Week returns Nov. 4-8 with Queen’s Human Resources offering a full schedule of events focused on the importance of mental health and well-being, while also highlighting the resources available to the Queen’s community.

Thrive Week“Thrive Week is about connecting with the Queen’s community and getting people to think more about the skills and resources they require to thrive throughout the year,” says Steve Millan, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources). “This is a great opportunity to participate in some interesting activities while also learning more about well-being and the importance of mental health.”

New this year is a special keynote speaker event featuring Françoise Mathieu, a registered psychotherapist and co-executive director of TEND, an organization that provides resources and training to address the complex needs of high stress, trauma-exposed workplaces.

Mathieu, an expert on compassion fatigue and secondary trauma, has more than 20 years of experience as a mental health professional. A sought-after speaker, she has delivered hundreds of seminars across North America.

In recent years Mathieu has seen a growing awareness of compassion fatigue and secondary trauma, which is a positive.

“When we first started offering educational sessions 17 years ago it was challenging to convince people that the issue of compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress were occurring,” she says. “I think that we have made good progress to combat the stigma surrounding provider impairment and also convincing leadership that investing in staff mental health and addressing secondary trauma exposure can help everyone work better and stay well.” 

Her talk, “The Edge of Compassion – Staying well while working in high-stress environments” is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 5, 9-10 am at Dupuis Hall.

Other events with a lighter-side include a Haunted Walk and the always-popular Take a Paws, that brings a group of friendly dogs to campus. Also planned are several workshops and sessions, including ‘Creating a personalized self-care plan’ and ‘Beyond Stigma: Increasing our understanding of mental health in the workplace,’ and much more.

Visit the Thrive website to view and register for events. 

Chancellor Leech to receive honorary degree from RMC

[Chancellor Jim Leech]
Chancellor Jim Leech will receive an honorary degree from the Royal Military College during its 116th convocation ceremony. (University Communications)

Jim Leech, the 14th Chancellor of Queen’s University, is being recognized with an honorary degree from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). 

Chancellor Leech graduated from RMC with a Bachelor of Science in Honours Mathematics and Physics in 1968 and during that time received acclaim both as an athlete and student leader. He spent most of his active service with the Royal 22nd Regiment as part of NATO forces in Germany. After serving with the Canadian Forces, he attended Queen’s University and completed a Master’s of Business Administration in 1973.

“Being recognized by one’s alma mater with its greatest honour is quite humbling,” Chancellor Leech says. “I am fortunate to have graduated from the two best universities – RMC and Queen’s. Both have had a major impact on my life. I have been fortunate in my career and life to be supported by many talented colleagues which has allowed me to accomplish much more than was possible on my own.”

After graduating from Queen’s at the top of his class, Chancellor Leech entered the financial services and real estate industry, holding increasingly senior executive positions across Canada. In 2001, Chancellor Leech was recruited to establish the private investment arm of the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan. He was later promoted to chief executive officer, overseeing its growth to become Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan, responsible for investing $150 billion for 310,000 teachers by the time he retired in 2014.

Later that year he was appointed Chancellor of Queen’s University. He was reappointed to a second three-year term in 2017 and the university recently extended his current term for another year to 2021.

“The Royal Military College and Queen’s University have both benefitted greatly from Chancellor Leech’s energy, expertise, and enduring commitment,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “He is a source of strength and inspiration for both institutions and this latest honour from RMC is well  deserved. Congratulations Chancellor Leech.”

Outside of business, Chancellor Leech has taken on leading roles with the True Patriot Love Foundation – for which he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 – the Mastercard Foundation, the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and 32 Signal Regiment. He co-authored The Third Rail: Confronting Our Pension Failures, which received the 2014 National Business Book Award. In 2014, he took part in an expedition to the magnetic north pole to raise awareness and funds for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was invested as a member of the Order of Canada in 2014. He also served as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada to establish the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

In 2017 Chancellor Leech was inducted to RMC’s Wall of Honour, in recognition of his achievements in academia, business and volunteerism. He is one of only 32 outstanding alumni of Canada’s military academies to receive the honour – joining Colonel Chris Hadfield, Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, and Air Marshal William Avery “Billy” Bishop, among others.

At Queen’s, Chancellor Leech has also served as a member of the Queen’s Board of Trustees (1984-96) and University Council (1980-84) as well as the Initiative Campaign cabinet. He also kept close ties with the Smith School of Business serving as chair of the advisory board on three separate occasions and as a member of its global council.

Chancellor Leech will receive his honorary degree at RMC’s 116th Convocation on Friday, Nov. 15.


Created in 1874, the position of Chancellor at Queen’s includes a group of highly-esteemed individuals including Sir Sanford Fleming, Canada’s foremost railway engineer and the father of standard time, and Sir Robert Borden, the eighth prime minister of Canada who made important steps toward a fully-independent Canadian government.

More about the role of the Chancellor and the history of position at Queen’s can be found online.

Follow Chancellor Leech on Twitter at @QUchancellor.

March in solidarity

Queen's community shows support for those affected by racist and homophobic incident.

  • Students, faculty, and staff gather in solidarity with Queen's Indigenous and LGBTQ2+ communities.
    Students, faculty, and staff gather in solidarity with Queen's Indigenous and LGBTQ2+ communities. (University Communications)
  • Kassie Hill and Emma Sparks, Co-Presidents of the Queen's Native Student Association, speak at the rally.
    Kassie Hill and Emma Sparks, co-presidents of the Queen's Native Student Association, speak at the rally. (University Communications)
  • Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs expresses the university's support and commitment to those affected.
    Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, expresses the university's support and commitment to those affected. (University Communications)
  • Queen's students, faculty, and staff gathered in front of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre to hear speakers in advance of the march.
    Queen's students, faculty, and staff gathered in front of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre to hear speakers in advance of the march. (University Communications)
  • Jane Mao, Chown Hall Residence Don and part of the Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP), speaks to supporters before the march.
    Jane Mao, Chown Hall Residence don and part of the Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP), speaks to supporters before the march. (University Communications)
  • The Pride and Métis flags flying at the centre of campus.
    The Pride and Métis flags flying at the centre of campus. (University Communications)
  • Marchers moving down Union Street to the heart of campus.
    Marchers moving down Union Street to the heart of campus. (University Communications)
  • The Haudenosaunee flag flying from Principal Patrick Deane's office at Richardson Hall.
    The Haudenosaunee flag flying from Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane's office at Richardson Hall. (University Communications)
  • Queen's Student Wellness Services staff wave to marchers and display signs of support.
    Queen's Student Wellness Services staff wave to marchers and display signs of support. (University Communications)
  • The Anishinaabe flag flying from Provost Tom Harris' office at Richardson Hall.
    The Anishinaabe flag flying from Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris' office at Richardson Hall. (University Communications)

Queen’s community members turned out in the hundreds to stand up for those threatened by a racist and homophobic poster, recently discovered in a student residence building. Students, faculty, and staff marched in solidarity through the heart of campus from the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre to Chown Hall and back, condemning the act of discrimination.

The march began with speeches from student representatives, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre staff, and senior Queen’s administrators.

“Today, I stand here proud to be who I am,” says Kassie Hill, Co-President of the Queen’s Native Student Association. “I’m proud to be a representative of Indigenous students on campus, and I can say that whoever did this failed to diminish my flame because I am more passionate and more ignited to make change than ever.”

Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation), Kandice Baptiste, Director of Four Directions, and Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, were among those who also spoke to the crowd.

"It was uplifting to see so many members of the Queen’s community attend the students’ march, and stand up to the vile, hateful, racist, violent and homophobic sentiments expressed in the poster placed in Queen’s residence," says Hill. "As terrible as this incident was, it has provided us with an opportunity to make a bold statement and commitment and to act to create real change not only on this campus, but in this country and beyond. It is time to question systems and barriers, and it is time to acknowledge and validate our ways of knowing and being in the world. I look forward to working with our students, my fellow Indigenous colleagues, and all members of the Queen’s community to take action towards lasting change."

Principal’s letter to students on Homecoming

The following is a letter from Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane to all students at Queen’s:

Dear students,

This weekend will see thousands of Queen’s alumni and friends return to campus for our annual Homecoming celebrations. I hope you can join in the festivities and share in the spirit and energy of this quintessential Queen’s event.

The Queen’s pride evident during Homecoming is contagious, fueled by the many alumni, students, staff, faculty and friends who join in to celebrate our university. Homecoming is about reuniting with friends, sharing memories and reconnecting with an institution that, for many, was left behind years ago. We want to ensure that those returning to Queen’s can see all that has changed on our campus, learn what is important to our current students, and get a sense of what student life is like today. In the last few weeks, our institution has dealt with some difficult issues, from climate change to sexual violence to racism and homophobia. This university is not isolated from the challenges of the outside world, but in the face of this I have seen our community unite and strong voices prevail in the name of social justice and equity. I feel privileged to be your Principal. I am asking that over this weekend, you continue to demonstrate the values of respect and inclusion, and take part in the various celebrations across the city with the safety and security of everyone at the front of your minds.

Queen’s students make this place special. Alumni who return remember their time here fondly and want to enjoy that student energy once more when they visit. There is a place for enthusiasm and excitement but that must never compromise safety or infringe upon our neighbors who are left to deal with disruptive or even dangerous behaviour. I urge you to enjoy every aspect of the Homecoming celebrations but to do so responsibly and thoughtfully. At the bottom of this email, I’ve shared some safety-related contacts and resources you may find helpful. Take a moment to add some of these numbers to your phone or download the Queen’s SeQure app that gives you quick access to campus security. 

I am looking forward to participating in Homecoming events this weekend and hope to see many of you at the football game on Saturday (Go, Gaels!). Enjoy being a part of our larger Queen’s family and revel in the collective pride you share with a long line of Queen’s graduates before you.

I wish you all a wonderful Homecoming that’s safe, fun and full of tricolor spirit.

Cha gheill!

Patrick Deane
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Key contacts and resources

Add these numbers to your phone, or download the SeQure Safety App (iTunes or Google Play):

  • Emergency on campus – 613-533-6111 or 911 for life-threatening emergency response
  • AMS Walkhome 613-533-9255 (WALK) or Campus Safe Walk program 613-533-6080
  • Campus observation room – (Chez Lenny across from Leonard Dining Hall or School of Kinesiology & Health Studies – room 107) a safe, confidential non-medical detox service from Student Wellness Service where you can go if you’ve had too much to drink
  • Sexual Violence Prevention & Response

Students promote Homecoming safety

The Alma Mater Society and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students have created a series of videos to promote a responsible Homecoming.

Tricolour parade
Students and alumni taking part in the Tricolour Parade at Queen's Homecoming.

As Queen’s prepares to welcome back over 3,000 alumni for the celebration of Homecoming, many staff, students, volunteers, and community partners are working hard to ensure that the university’s visitors have a weekend full of tricolour spirit. At the same time, the Alma Mater Society (AMS) and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) are also finding creative ways to remind everyone in the Queen’s community to be safe and responsible while enjoying the festivities. To get their messages across, the AMS and SGPS has produced a series of videos that encourage behaviours that can help limit the disruption to the neighbourhoods around the university during Homecoming.

“At the AMS, we all felt it was important to get out this message of safety and respect because we all want to make sure that Homecoming is an event that the entire Queen’s community can take pride in,” says Brendan Robson, Director of Communications for AMS. “I think that these videos will be an entertaining, lighthearted way to remind students and visitors that they need to be responsible while they’re having fun during Homecoming weekend.”

The full schedule of Homecoming events is available online on the Queen’s Alumni website.

The videos focus primarily on preventing broken glass on the streets and discouraging people from going on roofs. For the video about broken glass, the AMS and SGPS decided not to focus on the unsightliness of the garbage or the burden of cleaning it up. Instead, they are relying on a different reason, one that they hope is hard to ignore: the safety of dogs. Broken shards of glass can cut the paws of dogs as they walk along city streets, so the video reminds the audience to keep their four-legged friends in mind while they are enjoying Homecoming. The video features the tagline “Save our Paws,” and it builds on a social media campaign that the AMS and the SGPS collaborated on for this year’s orientation. The two student organizations wanted to use dogs in the video because people connect with them so strongly, but keeping broken glass off the streets is beneficial for everyone’s safety, as people can injure themselves if they fall into the shards.

Following three different dogs around campus, the video shows them doing things that would be dangerous if there were broken glass everywhere, like running and rolling around on the ground. Originally, Robson scripted out the video with a specific idea of what kinds of shots he wanted to get of the dogs. But when filming started, he quickly realized that the dogs knew much more about being entertaining than he did.

For the pair of 15-second videos that aim to keep students off of roofs, Robson chose to adopt the style of a public service announcement. To make sure the videos would connect with students, however, he used a conversational and humourous approach to get the message across.

While Robson took the lead on writing the scripts for all the videos, the production was a true team effort. Studio Q handled the filming and editing, and the actors are members of the Queen’s Players. The dogs in the video also represent a range of the Queen’s community, as they are the pets of various students.

The efforts by the AMS and SGPS to promote health and safety go beyond communications. As they have done in previous years, members of the student government will be distributing water to people on the streets throughout the day on Saturday. And they will also be preparing kits available to all students that have items like water bottles, granola bars, information about wellness resources at Queen’s, and carabiners to help people keep track of their keys. The Walkhome service, operated by the AMS, will also be available over Homecoming weekend.  

Students who consume too much alcohol can make use of the Campus Observation Room (COR), which provides a voluntary, confidential, and non-judgmental space for students to recuperate. For a full list of safety services available to students, visit the campus life website.

Watch the videos on the AMS Facebook page.

Call for Applications – Editor, Queen’s Quarterly

Founded in 1893, the Queen’s Quarterly is an interdisciplinary journal publishing analysis, opinion and reflection in fields as diverse as international relations, science policy, literary criticism, travel writing, economics, religion, short fiction, and poetry. The Queen’s Quarterly has published the work of leading Canadian scholars, public intellectuals and writers throughout its 126-year history, and established itself as a significant resource in the literary and artistic communities.

Following the retirement of the long-serving editor, Dr. Boris Castel, the Queen’s Quarterly is seeking candidates for a term appointment to the position of editor.

Role and Responsibilities

The editor is responsible for determining the editorial direction of the Queen’s Quarterly, and for collaborating with the board and editorial team to ensure the production of a high-quality publication four times per year.

The anticipated start date for the position is January 2020, with the first issue under the direction of the editor scheduled for March 2020. An advisory panel will be appointed by Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Tom Harris, to advise on the selection of the next editor. It is expected that the Editor would hold the position for a two-year term, with the potential for renewal beyond that period. The successful candidate would receive a reduction in teaching responsibility for the term of the appointment.

View the full list of Role and Responsibilities.


The candidate for this position will be a mid-career or senior Queen’s scholar, with a strong publication and research record.

View the full list of Qualifications.

Read the full Call for Applications on the website of the Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic).

Please submit applications materials and questions to provost@queensu.ca. The review of applications will begin Nov. 13, 2019.

Queen’s University is an equal opportunity employer. The university invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities/racialized persons, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons.

Queen’s honours Doug Hargreaves

[Hargreaves family gathers on Hargreaves Way]
Members of the Hargreaves family – Jeremiah Bach, Norma Hargreaves, Hannah Peck, and Vicki Hargreaves – gather on Hargreaves Way, named in honour of Doug Hargreaves, the long-time Queen's Gaels football head coach and associate professor.

During his 19 years leading the Queen’s Gaels football program, Doug Hargreaves was recognized not only as one of the best head coaches in the history of Queen’s but in all of university football as well.

[Doug Hargreaves]
During his time as head coach Doug Hargreaves led the Queen's Gaels football team to two Vanier Cup titles.

Hargreaves, who was also an associate professor in the Queen’s School of Physical Health and Education, led the team to the playoffs 16 consecutive times and won the Vanier Cup, the national title for university football, twice. At the helm of the Gaels from 1976 to 1994, he retired as one of the winningest coaches in the history of university sports and his 0.648 winning percentage is the highest of any Queen’s football coach.

A Queen’s alumnus (Arts’60), Hargreaves passed away from cancer on July 5, 2016.

In recognition of his achievements and lasting contributions to Queen’s, the university has renamed the main thoroughfare through West Campus as Hargreaves Way.

“Coach Hargreaves was a very special part of life at Queen’s during his time with the university and he had a positive influence on many within the Queen’s community, particularly his players,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “His legacy of competitiveness and integrity live on today with the Gaels program and now is recognized on campus with the naming of Hargreaves Way.”

During his time as head coach the Gaels won the Vanier Cup in 1978 and 1992 and captured eight conference titles. Overall, Hargreaves finished with a 110-59-3 (wins-losses-ties) record. His 1978 national championship team finished with a perfect 10-0 record. In 1983, Hargreaves was recognized as Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Coach of the Year, receiving the Frank Tindall Trophy.

His impact at Queen’s wasn’t only felt on the football field. His most enduring legacy consists of his inspirational approach to leadership and life. Hargreaves continually emphasized character, skills, and academic abilities for his players with the goal of creating and building successful careers and lives. He believed that sports was a vital complement to the education of young people and cited many of his best athletes as some of the best academic students.

Dave Wilson (PHE’83, Ed’84, MEd’94), retired head coach of the Gaels women’s basketball team, was a student of Hargreaves' in the former School of Physical Education and a good friend.

“Doug cared deeply for his students,” Wilson says. “He had a real love of sport. His philosophy was that sport is simply a vehicle for helping people to reach their potential. He believed sport could teach values that could help people contribute to making a difference in the world.”

Hargreaves also was instrumental in the formation of the Queen’s Football Club, an organization for football alumni, and the catalyst behind the Queen’s Football Hall of Fame.

Over the years Hargreaves’ dedication and leadership at Queen’s has been recognized with accolades including the Distinguished Service Award, John Orr Award, Jim Bennett Achievement Award and in 2012, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the university.

Hargreaves Way, formerly West Campus Lane, runs north-south through West Campus from Johnson Street to Union Street. Over the coming weeks, Queen’s will work with the City of Kingston on the process of assigning a new Hargreaves Way address to a number of buildings and fields, including Richardson Stadium, Miklas-McCarney Field, and the John Orr Tower. 

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane honoured Hargreaves during a private event with family, friends, and university administrators on Oct. 7. At the event, the Hargreaves Memorial Award was presented to a first-year varsity athlete who has shown academic and athletic excellence.

There will also be a special tribute at the football game at Richardson Stadium during Homecoming on Oct. 19.

To honour Mr. Hargreaves, the Queen’s community and others can donate to the Doug Hargreaves Memorial Fund online or by contacting Allison Slopack at 613-533-6000 ext. 75084.

Public information session: New student residence building

Queen’s is proposing to build a new student residence building on the north-west side of its main campus in Kingston.

A public information session is being held to give interested members of the community an opportunity to learn more about the proposal and speak with members of the project team, in advance of the site plan submission to the City of Kingston:

Thursday Nov. 6, 2019
4-6 pm
Queen’s University
Mitchell Hall, North Atrium
69 Union St., Kingston, ON

This event is a casual drop-in format featuring information boards and an opportunity to interact directly with project team members. You will also have the opportunity to sign up to receive project updates. Attendees will also have the opportunity to tour Queen’s recently-opened Mitchell Hall. 


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