The first George Richardson Memorial Stadium, located roughly where Mac-Corry Hall and Tindall Field now sit, had always been revered by students. By the time I played football for Queen’s, it was 10 years closed and already full of lore. Opened in 1921 on a piece of land bought from a community of nuns, Richardson Stadium was the field that hosted the 1922 Grey Cup (which Queen’s won 13-1, against the Edmonton Elks). This was also where the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, received an honorary degree from Queen’s on August 18, 1938, and where he made a historic speech that began America’s move away from isolationism.
As Queen’s expanded to accommodate the influx of baby boomers in the early seventies, alumni and students lamented the move to the (then) new west campus. Hope sprang eternal that the stadium would move back to its original home on main campus.
In the meantime, new crops of students paraded down Union Street to watch their Golden Gaels go in and win at west campus. Alumni continued to return, like they always have, at Homecoming, to sing the Oil Thigh with the rest of their extended Queen’s family, one and all making new memories at the new stadium. For most alumni today, their experiences and memories are from the current stadium on west campus.
Although I have many wonderful memories in the second Richardson Stadium, both as a player and as fan, I’m very excited for the third incarnation of our beloved Richardson Stadium. I’m excited for the improved crowd atmosphere and sight lines that the new design will provide. I’m excited to cheer on our Gaels together with students, alumni and the Kingston community. I’m excited for the new fans who will experience the best that inter-collegiate sport has to offer. But perhaps most of all, I’m excited at how the new Richardson Stadium will give us an even better home field advantage…I can only imagine the trepidation our competitors will feel playing in this new stadium!
P.S. I want to invite you to the 2015 Alumni Volunteer Summit (AVS) and Alumni Awards Gala on March 27 - 28.This two-day QUAA conference brings together current and prospective Queen’s volunteers for professional development and networking, offering opportunities to connect, enrich, educate and celebrate Queen’s volunteers. Whether you’re a new or experienced volunteer, this annual event is the ideal way to meet and learn from other world-class volunteers and volunteer leaders.
I hope to see you there!
George Jackson, Artsci'85
President, Queen's University Alumni Association