Late last month, the university informed its alumni volunteers and reunion classes about plans to host two Homecoming events in October. Many of our alumni were hopeful that this year, they might be able to return to Kingston.

This announcement was made as early as possible to assist with organizing events. It was also made clear that all activities would be subject to evolving public health guidelines and considerations. Given the complexities and community impact of these large events, it was felt that an early signal would aid in planning and provide time for arrangements to be made for a safe and successful Homecoming. 

However, after recent conversations with both the university and Kingston community including our health care partners, the City of Kingston and police, we have made the difficult decision to cease any preparations for an in-person event this fall due to concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Homecoming 2021 will be entirely virtual. COVID-19 has affected us all and it is clear we will be dealing with the impact of the virus for some time. Our priority is and will always be the health and well-being of our Kingston and university community while we work to fulfill our mission to deliver high quality education and services to our students. We will continue to work closely with our community partners, as we gradually bring back our in-person campus operations and safely resume the research and teaching that is the foundation of our institution.

Though we had looked forward with optimism to an in-person event this year, we remain confident that as with last year, we will be able to host a virtual celebration that will bring together alumni from around the world. Despite the challenges, a virtual Homecoming 2021 will benefit all our stakeholders and most importantly, address any risk to the health and safety of our community.

Patrick Deane
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

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