Seeking thinkers who also “do”
Who gets admitted into first-year studies at Queen’s? Associate University Registrar, Undergraduate Admissions, STUART PINCHIN, ARTSCI ’78, explains.
As I write these words, fall term is in the rear-view mirror, the spring term is underway, and the Undergraduate Admission office has wound up the recruitment portion of the annual admission cycle.
From the middle of August until year’s end, Queen’s admission staff visited more than 1,000 schools across Canada and around the world, and they spoke with thousands of potential Queen’s students. At the Ontario Universities’ Fair in Toronto, 123,000 people came through the doors,and I think Queen’s representatives met every one of them.
In October, and again in November, Queen’s played host to more than 8,000 high school students and parents who attended our fall Open House. They did so in\ some of the most dreadful weather we’ve had in Kingston in a long time. I continue to be staggered by the numbers of people who came to campus.
We meet all kinds of students, wherever we are: farm kids, city kids, Aboriginal kids, kids in private schools, and kids who will be the first in their families to go to university.
We speak to students who want to come to Canada to escape the unspeakable horrors they witness in their home countries. We are sought out by students willing to leave their families for four years and travel thousands of miles to get a great education, and by still others who live no more than 10 minutes from campus and hope to call Queen’s home.
Every once in a while I’m asked why we bother to recruit. The best answer I have for that comes from what current students and alumni alike have to say about this university: a Queen’s education is an amazing experience.It truly is. The reason for that is not the ivy-covered limestone buildings or the history or the traditions we hold dear. It is not any one thing. Rather it’s the perspectives, and unique personalities of the people who choose Queen’s that make this such a special institution.
When we recruit, we go out into the world to bring the world to Queen’s. We go to Mumbai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York, Vancouver, Halifax, Thunder Bay, and Calgary – not to mention places closer to Kingston, such as Ottawa, Toronto, and “the wilds of Oakville.” We do it to find students who want to learn, discover, think, and do – and who will bring their own unique personalities and qualities to Queen’s.
We have 17 admission staff – including one dedicated staff member who lives in China. Our recruiters spend half of the year planning their recruitment and travel. On the road, we go looking for those students who will find a home at Queen’s – well-rounded students who are not only academically gifted – but who also demonstrate leadership at home, in their schools and in their communities. We’re seeking students who will come to Queen’s to enrich their own lives, our campus, and the lives of their student colleagues and professors.
Every year it works. Every year we admit a new class of fresh faces – each with their own vibrant personalities and perspectives – who are ready to make their marks on Queen’s and on one another. Each September, as I stand on the steps of Victoria Hall residence on Move-in Day, I feel passion for the work we do, I also feel a belief that this group of future leaders will make Queen’s proud and make the world a better place because they’re in it.