Margaret Hooey Governance Award

Terms of Reference

Established in November, 2018 by the Estate of Margaret Lois Hooey, LL.D. 2002. Awarded to a student enrolled in any degree program at Queen’s University who has made an outstanding contribution to the good governance of the University through work with the Senate or any Committee of the Senate. Letters of nomination, including self-nomination, should be submitted to the University Secretariat by 1 February each year. Selection will be made by the Margaret Hooey Governance Award Committee.  Value: $16,500 (approximately) 

Application Process

The 2024 nomination period is now Closed. The award will be presented at the March 28, 2024 Senate meeting. 

To apply, follow this link to complete the application form.  Please note that you will need to have the letters of support ready as a single PDF file to upload as an attachment to the application form.  If you have any questions about completing the process, please contact for assistance. 


  • current student in good academic standing
  • significant involvement with Senate or Senate committee * does not have to be a Senator 
  • demonstration of a high level of effectiveness in the work of Senate, a committee, working group, or other body related to a governance role or responsibility of the Senate

The full guidelines are available below.

2024 Margaret Hooey Award Winner

Congratulations to Emils Matiss for being the 2024 recipient of the Margaret Hooey Governance Award.  

Mr. Matiss is a student in the Neuroscience PhD program. He has extensive service as both as the Graduate Student Senator since 2021 and though various Senate committees. He has served as both a member and as Chair of the Queen’s University Board Senate Advisory Committee, which included acting as chair of the annual Board/Senate Joint Retreat in 2023. In addition, he has been a member of the Senate Cyclical Program Review Committee and the Non-Academic Misconduct Subcommittee. He has also served as the Chair of the Student Senate Caucus for two years and maintains an active relationship with the Society of Graduate and Professional Students and the Graduate Studies Executive Council.

His letters of support note his particular strength in creating and maintaining relationships across the university. This ensured he was able to advocate for student supports throughout COVID-19, as well as for students coming from Ukraine.  One reference noted he “…approached every issue with a selfless desire to help other students, and always with a professional and collaborative approach”. The words of another reference encapsulate the impact Emils has had by saying “…few students can demonstrate the breadth of activity, the depth of impact, and the unwavering commitment to service that Emils has through his contributions to the governance of this university”.

The Margaret Hooey Governance Award Committee was unanimous in its decision to present the award to Mr. Matiss and congratulates him on his remarkable achievements.

The Selection Committee membership is as follows:

Position Name
Chair W. Reeve
Rector O. Crawford-Lem
Chair, SGNC N. Brinklow
University Secretary R. Coupland


2019: Afsheen Chowdhury

2020: David Niddam-Dent

2021: Courtney Bannerman

2022: Sahiba Gulati

2023: Christine Moon

Margaret Hooey

The following is from an obituary which appeared in the Queen's Alumni Review in 2017.

During her more than 30 years of service at Queen’s, Margaret Hooey, the longtime secretary of Queen's University, was admired for her dedication to the university as well as the welfare of her colleagues, students, friends, and family.  Dr. Hooey died peacefully in 2017 at the age of 81.

From assistant to Queen’s legendary registrar Jean Royce, Dr. Hooey went on to become Secretary of the university as well as Secretary of the Senate and the Board of Trustees. She was a valued adviser to four principals and their administrations, and a trusted mentor to students, staff, faculty and trustees.

She is also credited with playing a key role in shaping Queen’s modern governance system and for being an advocate for the unique form of student government. More than her role as an administrator she was viewed by student leaders as a mentor and friend. For many of these students, her signature as secretary of the university on their degrees acts as a permanent reminder of her support, professionalism and kindness.

Her efforts in encouraging student leaders to know the deep history of student governance at Queen’s, to work in partnership with each other as well as the administration, senate, board, alumni and Kingston community, and to believe in the difference they could make together for the ‘community of the university,’ clearly showed her strength of conviction, says former Alma Mater Society president John Lougheed (1984–85). Further supporting students, Margaret also played a key role on the awarding committees for the Jean Royce Fellowship and the Marty Memorial Fellowship. For her dedication and work,

Dr. Hooey received the Queen’s Distinguished Service Award (1992), the John Orr Award (1998), and an honorary doctorate (2002). Away from the university her home on Alfred Street was always active with students, colleagues, and friends and was a home away from home for family members as they attended Queen’s.

Dr. Hooey was well travelled, a talented piano player with a lifelong love of music. She enjoyed summers on the water and her faithful corgis. She was proud of her own education, and the institutions she attended, earning a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto, and a master’s from Bryn Mawr.

“I first got to know Marg soon after I arrived at Queen’s in 1974 when Dawn Clarke and I helped Margaret look after former Registrar Jean Royce at Marg’s home for the last three years of Jean’s life. During that time, Marg’s home was not only a sanctuary for Jean Royce, but was a beehive of activity with Marg’s nieces and nephews, friends, and many of Queen’s student leaders coming and going as part of their weekly routines,” says long-time friend Bill Cannon, an associate professor with the Smith School of Business.

Dr. Hooey often helped draw young faculty out of their “departmental/ school cocoons,” Dr. Cannon explains, and into wider service at Queen’s, such as serving on Senate and its committees, “thus cross-fertilizing the engagement of diverse members of the Queen’s community and thereby enriching it. She was widely known and appreciated as ‘the conscience of Queen’s’ as she continually strove to dissuade administrators from skirting Queen’s established governance rules and procedures simply for the sake of expediency.”

Dr. Hooey was involved in many processes that have made Queen’s the respected and supportive institution it is today, including helping set up the Ban Righ Centre and in organizing the university’s sesquicentennial celebrations and Royal Convocations. In all of her efforts she displayed competence, understanding, a flair for teamwork, a grasp of meticulous detail, and the power to inspire.

Guidelines for the Margaret Hooey Governance Award

  1. To be nominated for the Margaret Hooey Governance Award, candidates must have made an outstanding contribution to the good governance of the University through work with the Senate or any Committee of the Senate.  
  2. Only students registered in the academic year in which the award is presented, and in good academic standing with the University, are eligible.
  3. The high standard set for the award will normally only be met through contributions made over more than one academic year, but in exceptional cases contributions made over a single academic year may merit recognition.
  4. Without intending to limit the range of potential contributions that may merit recognition, the Committee will normally consider factors that include:
    1. The number of Senate, Senate Committee, and/or working group terms served during a student’s time at Queen’s;
    2. The total number of Senate Committees or working groups served on during a student’s time at Queen’s;
    3. Evidence of a higher than expected level of engagement with, or efficacy in, the work of Senate, Senate Committees, or working groups, which may encompass engagement during meetings and with other Senate/Committee/group members, the drafting and/or review of committee reports and documents, conducting research related to agenda items of the Senate/Committee/Group, and a willingness and desire to learn more about the topic of university governance; and
    4. Demonstration of an extraordinarily high level of effectiveness in the work of Senate, a Senate Committee, working group, or other body with a specific mandate to review or revise matters related to a governance role or responsibility of the Senate or a Senate Committee.
  5. Only one student may be selected each year and where no nominations are received that would meet the criteria for an award, the Committee may choose to forego making an award in that year.
  6. If a candidate declines the Committee’s invitation to receive the award, it may select a replacement candidate or decide that no award will be given that year.
  7. In selecting the candidates for the award, the Committee should endeavour to recognize students who do not hold positions on Senate or Senate Committees by virtue of a remunerated office in student government or otherwise. Remunerated roles carry opportunities and privileges for engagement that are expected as part of those roles; such roles are unavailable to many students and contributions in those roles are normally recognized in other ways.  A combination of outstanding service both inside of and outside of remunerated roles may merit recognition with the award.
  8. All members of the Queen’s community (i.e., faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees) may nominate a student for the award. Self-nominations will also be considered.
  9. The Committee should encourage nominations from such groups as women, Indigenous persons, racialized group members/visible minorities, persons with disabilities, persons identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer (LGBTQ), persons identified as being two-spirited and others who reflect the full diversity of Canadian society.