The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Queen's University, Canada

(Redirected from Queen's University, Kingston)
For other educational establishments called Queens, see Queen's College and Queen's University (disambiguation)

Queen's University, or simply Queen's, is a coeducational, nonsectarian university located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on the edge of Lake Ontario. Beyond the Kingston campus, the university also has an International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England, formerly the home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.



Queen's University was founded in 1841 under its first principal, Thomas Liddell, who arrived in Kingston from Scotland carrying the Royal Charter of Queen Victoria, establishing Queen's College as an educational institution. Originally affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connection with the Church of Scotland (see the Presbyterian Church in Canada as it was called after 1875), it was established to instruct youth in various branches of sciences and literature.

The university became a secular institution in 1912 and, in that year, Principal Daniel Miner Gordon oversaw the drafting of a new university constitution. Queen's Theological College remained in the control of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, until 1925, when it joined the United Church of Canada, where it remains today.

Present day

Today, Queen's has approximately 13,000 full-time undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students. The undergraduate programs offer studies in a variety of arts, science, engineering, and business programs. The university has an extensive graduate program in these areas, and additionally in its medical, law, and business schools.

Queen's is regarded as one of the best universities in Canada; first year students almost always have the highest average entering marks of Canadian universities. The average entrance grade for 2004 was 89%


Student Government

Student government at Queen's was established in 1858 in the form of the Dialectic Society , which is known today as the Alma Mater Society.


The university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the Queen's Golden Gaels.

Queen's University has a rich ice hockey tradition. The university competed against the Royal Military College on the Kingston Harbour in 1886 thus creating the Canadian national sport. Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax, however, have inception fables of their own. Queen's also competed for the Stanley Cup in 1899 and 1906, and won the Allan Cup in 1909.

Faculty of Applied Science (Engineering)

Queen's Applied Science (Engineering) students also have strong traditions, such as dying their leather jackets (known as "Golden Party Armour") purple — the traditional colour of the British Army engineers — and spending Friday afternoons at the Clark Hall Pub, a bar on campus run by the Engineering Society. In Fall of 1956, Sci '60 became the first class to climb the legendary Greasepole , a long standing engineering tradition at Queen's. The Greasepole was originally a football goalpost at the University Of Toronto's Varsity Stadium, before it was stolen by a group of Queen's engineers during the early 1950s. Another Queen's tradition is an event called the "sci-formal" (Science Formal) in which fourth year students spend thousands of hours constructing and transforming the interior of Grant Hall into storybook scenery that rivals movie sets for a one night black tie event. In past years, whole castles, churches, and pyramids have been constructed inside Grant Hall. The Engineering Society also publishes the weekly humour newspaper, "Golden Words."

Queen's Bands

The Queen's Bands are one of the most unique, most celebrated traditions at Queen's. Queen's Bands are called "bands," plural, because there are actually four of them: a pipe band, a brass band, highland dancers, and a troupe of male and female cheerleaders. They perform at all Queen's football games, appear at major university ceremonies, and represent Queen's at numerous parades and events across Canada and the United States. The Bands got their start in 1905, when a few first-year students decided to form a marching brass band "to help things along at football games." The Bands developed their own uniforms in 1920: white duck trousers, tricolour sweaters, and Queen's tams. The current uniforms, with the Royal Stewart Tartan kilt, were adopted only after the Second World War. A pipe band was added to the troupe in 1925, but did not become a permanent fixture until 1938, at which time highland dancers also appeared. It is unclear when cheerleaders first joined the Bands. "Rooters clubs" were formed early this century to lead students in cheers at Queen's games and appear to have gradually become informally, and then formally, linked with the Bands. There are now about 120 students in the Bands. The Queen's Bands celebrated their 100th anniversary in March of 2005.


Queen's students served in both World War I and World War II. Approximately 1,500 students participated in the first world war and 189 died. Months before Canada joined the second world war, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Queen's to accept an honorary degree and, in a broadcast heard around the world, voiced the American policy of mutual alliance and friendship with Canada. Roosevelt stated, "The Dominion of Canada is part of the sisterhood of the British Empire. I give to you assurance that the people of the United States will not stand idly by if domination of Canadian soil is threatened by any other Empire." Canada, during the second world war, had the participation of 2,917 Queen's graduates and the sacrifice of 157. The Victoria Cross was awarded to Major John Weir Foote, Arts '33, Canadian Chaplain Service.


Queen's University has one of the longest running radio traditions in the world, surpassed only by the Marconi companies. The first public broadcast of the station was on October 27th, 1923 as the football game between Queen's and McGill was called play-by-play. CFRC operates to the present day and broadcasts at 101.9 MHz.


Queen's celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary in 1991 and received a visit from Charles, Prince of Wales and his then-wife Diana to mark the occasion.


Queen's students maintain a cordial rivalry with McGill University in Montreal. This rivalry has inspired an annual boatrace between the two universities in the spring of each year since 1997. McGill has dominated in the men's and overall categories, while the Queen's women's boat has been defeated only once.

Nevertheless, the two share a successful publishing house (McGill-Queen's University Press).

Frosh Week

Once first year students at Queen's have moved into residence and become acquainted with some of the new people they meet, Frosh Week begins. First year students travel with a team of upper year students (called Gaels if in Arts, Frecs if in Applied Science, Bosses if in Commerce etc.) who take their Frosh Groups on excursions throughout the Queen's campus and into the Kingston community. This experience helps students feel comfortable in their new home away from home and includes activities such as mud games, shaving cream wars, house parties, scavenger hunts and more.


Smokers, a common term for social gatherings, occur at Queen's and serve two purposes.

The first purpose is to raise money for an event, group, or charity. The money is raised through the collection of "cover" or admission at the door. One event that money is raised for is the fourth year "Science Formal", one of the biggest events for a Queen's Engineering student.

The second purpose is to give a group a venue to gather at. For example, First Year Engineering students will gather to celebrate at Clark Hall Pub after first semester exams for the "Jacket Smoker". At the "Jacket Smoker" the students enjoy the satisfaction of finishing the exams and being allowed to wear their Engineering Jackets.

Smokers are often held at Queen's Campus Pubs (i.e. Clark hall pub), but can be held at off campus bars as well. When the Smokers are held on campus 100% of the cover (minus a fee) goes to the event, group, or charity. At off campus bars only a percentage of the money raised will go to the event, group, or charity.


In October 2004, Queen's University announced a $230-million plan to create a sports and recreation megacomplex called the "Queen's Centre". It is expected to take over ten years from design to completion.

The plans include the building of a six-lane track, an Olympic-sized arena, 25-metre pool, eight basketball courts, vastly larger gathering and meeting space than is currently available, fitness, aerobic, locker and food space and a new home for the School of Physical and Health Education.

The university has also unveiled a slogan for the centre which is "Where mind, body and spirit come together".

List of former Chancellors

List of former Principals

Notable alumni

External link

Last updated: 05-07-2005 16:56:53
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04