Gifts in any amount can make a big difference to what the Department can offer its students. The Queen's Online Giving web site allows benefactors to contribute to three funds that go directly to the Department of English. The site is secure and easy to use, and provides several options (one-time or recurring gifts, electronic fund transfer, etc.). The Department is deeply grateful for the support it receives from alumni and friends.
If you prefer to give in other ways, please contact:
Dr Shelley King, Head
Department of English
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
The Cappon Trust
Established in 2013 to mark the 125th anniversary of the Department of English, and named for James Cappon, the first Chair appointed in English at Queen's, the Cappon Trust is intended to provide funding both to enhance alumni relations and to enrich the experience of members of the Department of English community. Initiated with an endowment drawn from our Alumni Fund, the proceeds from this investment will be used to support our Summer and Fall Convocation celebrations, to fund continued participation in Homecoming events, and to strengthen ties with alumni by inviting graduates to return to campus to address our current student body.
A successful fundraising campaign might also allow us to bring back a piece of the Department’s history. In 1960, the Department of English established the title Cappon Professor, an honour designed to recognize extraordinary contributions to research in the Department of English. Malcolm Ross, who served as Head of the Department of English (1957–1960), was the first to hold the title Cappon Professor; he was succeeded by John Stedmond, George Whalley, A. C. Hamilton, and George M. Logan. No new incumbent was appointed on Logan’s retirement in 2007: the Department reimagined the terms of the appointment at a time when it was unable to fund the course release that had traditionally accompanied the title.
Thanks to the generosity of contributors to our Alumni Fund, we were able to establish the Endowment portion of this fund with $80 000, which allowed us to begin building closer ties with our students, past and present. Help us reach our goal of doubling this endowment by the Department’s 130th anniversary in 2018.
The Alumni Fund enables the Department of English to cultivate the intellectual and social life of its community in ways that would otherwise not be possible. It makes possible everything from our September reception for incoming graduate students, to our Visiting Speakers Series, to our capstone experience for fourth-year undergraduates. In October 2013 it funded “Wine and Cheese with Profs,” our first-ever Homecoming event, and also enabled us, with the generous assistance of private donors, to host a celebrated performance of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets.
The most significant sponsorship provided by the Alumni Fund is our Annual Giller Prize Event. Since 2007, the Department has invited the winner of the annual Scotiabank Giller Prize to deliver a public lecture at Queen’s. This event is part of a capstone experience for fourth-year English majors and medials, who all receive free copies of the prize-winning book. The event also features a book-signing, a reception, and readings by an array of visiting speakers and writers. Since the inception of the Giller Prize Event, the Department has hosted Elizabeth Hay, Joseph Boyden, Linden MacIntyre, Johanna Skibsrud, Esi Edugyan, Will Ferguson, and Lynn Coady.
This unique event was initially funded by the Queen's University Faculty of Arts and Science, and then through the generosity of 2 alumni donors who helped to make our capstone idea a reality for its first six years. Please consider making a donation to our Alumni Fund: help us continue our new tradition of bringing together our exceptional students with the best in Canadian writing.
The Writers’ Fund
In the past decade Creative Writing has attained an increasingly prominent role in the life of the Department of English. Each year the department hosts a variety of writers who come to give readings and workshops for our students. In 2006, we began our Writer in Residence program with the aid of the Canada Council, the Principal’s Development Fund, and our own Writers’ Fund. For one term in each academic year, a distinguished Canadian writer visits the department to participate in a range of literary events and offer mentorship to students involved in creative writing. Our distinguished writers have included Lillian Allan (2006), Billeh Nickerson (2007), Helen Humphries (2008), Stuart Ross (2009), Diane Shoemperlin (2011), Phil Hall (2012), and Tim Wynne-Jones (2013). As part of his residency Phil Hall developed the idea of the Page Lecture, an annual address in honour of Kingston author Joanne Page, in which eminent writers from all parts of Canada and working in all genres take as their topic some aspect of the page, and so a new lecture tradition was born.
The generosity of Alumni can help to maintain this program of readings, lectures and mentorships which contribute so much to the experience of our students. This fund is also used to support the publication of Lake Effect, the biannual anthology featuring the best creative writing produced by students in our Creative Writing courses.
The Whalley Fund
The Whalley Fund was established to honour a key figure in the history of the Department of English. Born in Kingston on 25 July 1915, George Whalley pursued an extraordinary life: Rhodes scholar, athlete, decorated naval officer, poet, and stellar academic. He joined the Department of English at Queen's in 1950, where he was appointed as Cappon Professor in 1962 in recognition of his scholarship, and served as Head of the Department in the years of growth between 1962–67, and 1977–80. During his career Whalley became an internationally respected literary scholar specializing in poetry of the Romantic period and a charismatic teacher.
Following Whalley’s death in 1983 this fund was initiated with the goal of establishing an endowed Chair in his name. However, until such time as a major donor steps forward to provide the substantial funding required to sustain a named chair, the Whalley Fund enriches the intellectual life of the department in two key ways: it supports an annual lecture in his name, enabling the Department to invite a distinguished speaker of special merit to campus; and every 3–5 years a scholar specializing in Romanticism or Critical Theory is invited to teach a course in the graduate program as Visiting Whalley Professor.
The Whalley Fund will be especially important in 2015 in helping to support a 3-day conference in honour of the centenary of Whalley’s birth. Your gift will help us continue the tradition of academic excellence allied to creativity that has been George Whalley’s legacy to the department.