As he begins his two-year term as president of your alumni association, George Jackson, Artsci'85, outlines his priorities and his expectations
I’m honoured and excited to serve as the 2014-16 president of your Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA). As I begin my two-year term, I want to thank our outgoing president, Jess Joss, Artsci’96, for all her support, service, and the leadership she has demonstrated, not only during her term as president, but during her entire tenure as a member of the QUAA board.
I also want to thank our retiring board members, Colin Joseph, and Tim Turnbull, for their years of service, and I look forward to working with our returning Board members, Sue Bates, Artsci’92; Jeremy Mosher, Artsci’08; Natalie Patterson, Artsci'00, Artsci'01, Ed'02; Josephine Tsang, PhD’06; Zahra Valani, Artsci’03, Ed’04; and Marcus Wong, Artsci’03. Working with this great team, I know my term as president will be one filled with lots of great programs that will continue to engage our global alumni family 140,000-strong.
For those of you who don’t know me, please let me introduce myself. I was born in Simcoe, ON, in 1961 – at the beginning of J.A. Corry’s term as Queen’s 13th principal. I was privileged to play football for the Gaels during all four of my student years. As a young student-athlete, I appreciated the support of the Queen’s alumni family from the day I arrived on campus as a rookie trying out for the football team.
I saw and experienced first-hand the generosity of our alumni – the giving of their time, talents, and treasures, but most of all, their ability to have a lot fun while doing it. So after graduating with a BA in Political Studies, it was a natural progression for me to get involved with the Queen’s alumni family, and I’ve never stopped being involved.
As you may know, QUAA's mission is “To reach out and foster a lifelong association with Queen’s, to engage our members in the life and work of the University, and to serve the alumni community in all its diversity.” In the coming year, we will continue to focus on the following strategic pursuits:
- Increased engagement of the alumni population in the life and work of the QUAA;
- Engagement of future alumni – current students;
- Connecting with alumni wherever in the world they live and work; and,
- Promoting a culture of alumni philanthropy and volunteerism
The QUAA Board structure has morphed and realigned to stay relevant while augmenting the strategic direction of the University and the needs of alumni. Beginning in 2014 are some new or realigned positions on the Board including directors of class reunions, alumni giving, operations and our global Branch network.
At the core of our mission as an association is our drive to heighten alumni engagement in the University and our communities through volunteering. Many of us volunteered as students, so it only seems logical that we should continue to do so as alumni.
In early April, the QUAA hosted its 2014 Alumni Volunteer Summit (AVS), a two-day conference designed to connect, enrich, educate, and celebrate Queen’s volunteers. This year’s summit featured world-class speakers from Queen’s and Kingston, plus great networking opportunities for our volunteers and potential volunteers. The weekend culminated with the annual Alumni Awards Gala, which honoured exceptional alumni and other members of the Queen’s community. The AVS welcomes the entire Queen’s alumni family, so if you’ve never had the opportunity to attend, I want to invite you to join us in Kingston next spring.
In the meantime, I look forward to connecting with you and the rest of my extended (alumni) family in the coming year.
George Jackson, Artsci'85
President, Queen's University Alumni Association