Queen's University

A fond farewell

Some final thoughts and “thank-you”s from the outgoing president of your alumni association.

Looking back, 2013 was an exciting year for Queen’s alumni. We saw strong alumni participation in University Council, QUAA board representation on the Board of Trustees and External Relations and Development Committee, the return of Homecoming (twice), many successful Branch events and award ceremonies. The QUAA was also able to support a number of campus organizations and events through our Grants program, one of the many ways alumni continue to give back to campus and current students. (Read about this year’s recipients at bit.ly/quaagrants.) We’ve also been able to help QTV and Queen’s Athletics stream Gaels’ home games online this year, and – new this month – help launch the new Queen’s email address service for all alumni. Sign up for yours at queensu.ca/alumni.

In just a few months, we look forward to welcoming about 4,500 members of the Class of 2014 into the QUAA. And on April 4-5, we’ll welcome alumni volunteers back to campus to attend the Alumni Volunteer Summit (AVS) and QUAA Alumni Awards Gala. AVS is a dynamic conference that offers professional development for current and prospective volunteers. The Alumni Awards Gala will celebrate the high level of achievement of our alumni, students, and faculty. The award winners and their ­stories are always inspiring.

[photo of QUAA volunteers]Jess (centre) with attendees at the 2012 Alumni Volunteer Summit.

That same weekend, we’ll also hold our AGM, to report on the work of the QUAA board. At that time, I’ll have the pleasure of passing the torch to my successor as QUAA President, George Jackson, Artsci’85. George was a member of the Gaels football team (1981-84). These days, he’s a Kingston resident who works as a ­facilitator at the Queen’s Executive Decision Centre and is an avid sailor in his spare time. I know George will help chart and navigate a strong course for the QUAA during his two years as QUAA President.

As my time in the job winds down, it’s a time of reflection and thanks for me. ­Reflecting on my decade with the QUAA board, I’m thankful for the amazing learning experiences I’ve enjoyed and for the wonderful friendships I’ve forged. I was ­delighted to be able to work with so many dedicated and creative volunteers. To them, I say a thank-you for your enthusiasm. And a thank-you for your love of Queen’s.

Another joy in my role as QUAA President has been working with such professional and energetic staff partners. Thank you to them for their support, friendship, and hard work. My role with the QUAA board had a strong component of collaborating with the University’s talented leadership team – (the senior administration, the Chancellor, and the Board of Trustees). It’s been a pleasure working with them. The QUAA is also fortunate to have the support of the Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA), which brings a fresh, enthusiastic student perspective to alumni relations. I’ve worked closely with several QSAA leaders and ambassadors. I thank them for all their hard work and initiative.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of my role, and I’ve also been inspired by the student leaders of the AMS, SGPS, and the office of the Rector. Thank you for all that you’ve brought to our discussions, and what you give back to campus. I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish as alumni.

This is but a short list of the Queen’s people who’ve made my volunteer ­involvement with the QUAA such an ­absolute joy.

I couldn’t have devoted as much time to my duties – the many trips to Kingston, the phone meetings, and the retreats – without the dedicated support of my husband, John, and my parents, Linda and Rudy Joss, Sc’69. I’ve also been inspired by my little man, Bentley, born on Queen’s birthday (October 16th) on the day that I became quaa President. Bentley has demonstrated an early appreciation for all things tricolour.

I look forward to new opportunities to give back to the Queen’s community, and I’m thankful for all that I’ve gained during my many wonderful Queen’s experiences, both as a student and as an alumna. May our paths cross again. Until then: Cha Gheill!

Queen's Alumni Review, 2014 Issue #1Queen's Alumni Review
2014 Issue #1
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Last updated at 11:46 am EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
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