Queen's University

Med students, faculty donate $2M to new building


Queen’s medical students have pledged a half-million dollars to the university’s new school of medicine building.

At the annual general meeting of the Aesculapian Society last week, the students surprised Health Sciences Dean David Walker with two cheques – one for $10,500 and another representing $500,000 that will be collected over the next several years through an optional $100 annual fee.

“This magnificent level of support from our medical students is symbolic of this very special place,” says Dr. Walker.  “I was quite overwhelmed.”

Karmen Krol, the society’s past president, says the students were inspired after their clinical faculty donated $1.5 million to the project.

“We are expressing the sense of community at Queen's and within Queen's medicine, which encompasses students, teaching faculty and administration, as well as alumni,” says Mr. Krol.  “There is a strong sense of closeness.”

The $77-million complex at Stuart and Arch streets is scheduled to open next year. Current teaching facilities are cramped and scattered across campus, which is why everyone is excited that construction is underway, says Mr. Krol.

“From a global teaching and learning view, this new facility represents an enormous step into the future of our program.  It’s easy to see why both students and faculty are eager to be involved in helping to ensure that it comes to completion without compromise.”

Hugh MacDonald, President of the Clinical Teachers Association, says members were enthusiastic to show their support.

“This is a clear reflection of the tremendous engagement of our Clinical Teachers and their devotion to innovative and high quality education for our undergraduate medical students,” says Dr. MacDonald. “We have full confidence we will see great returns on our investment in terms of academic growth, enhanced education for our students and ultimately better physicians for our communities.”

Ninety five per cent of the project funding is now in place, thanks to the federal and provincial governments, and generous gifts from students, faculty, alumni and friends.

“This will be the home for countless future generations of medical students and a meeting point for reunions and alumni activities,” said Taylor Lougheed, president of the Aesculapian Society.

“We are proud that our future colleagues will be able to take advantage of a state-of-the-art facility where everything from study space to lounge space has been designed with students in mind.”

The federal and provincial governments have each provided $28.8 million toward the building. The federal funding is part of the $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program to support infrastructure at Canada's post-secondary institutions. The matching provincial funds come through the 2009 Provincial budget.

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Last updated at 4:38 pm EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
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