One of the ways to celebrate alumni while inspiring current students is to invite notable graduates back to campus to talk with students about their experiences. Last year, Queen’s Student Alumni Association President Stephanie Beakbane invited NASA astronaut Drew Feustel back to campus. He arrived with his family and spoke before a packed house in Grant Hall, at local schools and in Queen’s classrooms.
One goal of the Queen’s University Alumni Association is to honour accomplished alumni, which they do, in part, through a series of annual awards. These celebrate lifetime achievement, humanitarianism, volunteerism, and a variety of other initiatives.
The annual QUAA Alumni Awards gala in the fall, organized by volunteers and staff, is a highlight of the alumni calendar. This year, Peter Milliken (Arts'68, LL.D) received the Alumni Achievement Award, and Debra Pepler (Arts/PHE'73, Ed'74) the Alumni Humanitarian Award (link to QUAA page detailing these awards).
The QUAA also funds an annual Excellence in Teaching Award worth $5,000, awarded at Convocation. Recipients are chosen by a faculty-led committee. This year’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching was given to George Bevan in the Department of Classics.
"It’s a gift from current alumni to future alumni," says Judith Brown, Associate Vice-Principal (Advancement) and Executive Director of Alumni Relations. "Alumni care deeply about the learning experience at Queen’s."
Branches of the QUAA also bestow a number of awards, presented at locally-hosted events. Recipients this year included Principal Emeritus Tom Williams (Toronto John Orr Award), the Honourable Flora MacDonald (Ottawa Agnes Benidickson Award), Bhavana Varma (Kingston Jim Bennett Award), Daren Dougall (Kingston Padre Laverty award), and Roger and Lorna Smith (Calgary Johnson Award).