Queen’s University announces ‘Virtual Homecoming’ for 2020

Queen’s University Homecoming in 2014. Photo by Jennifer Williams via Queen’s Alumni Services.

Queen’s University announced a decision Thursday, May 21, 2020 to cancel all in-person Homecoming 2020 events, as well as in-person alumni events until the end of the year.

“We know that this decision will cause great sadness and disappointment to the members of our alumni family,” said Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand. “We had always hoped that this measure would not be necessary.”

Queen’s announced earlier in the day that most Arts and Science undergraduate classes would be move online for the 2020 fall term.

“The health and safety of all members of the Queen’s community is our number one priority,” said Vice-Principal Bertrand, “and we want to ensure that the same measures we are taking to protect our students are also in place for our alumni.”

According to the University, Queen’s Homecoming attracts more than 3,000 alumni and their guests from around the world to the campus every year. Homecoming normally culminates with busy, crowded street parties in Kingston’s University District. As public health guidelines continue to emphasize social distancing and minimal close contact among groups, Queen’s say their aim in this cancellation is to restrain the spread of COVID-19 and ease the burden on hospitals and other health-care providers. 

“We know that our alumni look forward to reconnecting and reuniting with their classmates, housemates, teammates, and students and many of them plan their reunion activities months and even years in advance,” Vice-Principal Bertrand said. “Our Homecoming team is actively exploring virtual activities to help keep the spirit of this cherished event alive this October.

“We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students and alumni above all else,” Bertrand adds, “and we look forward to the day when we can all be together again in-person to celebrate our relationships, our memories, and our university.”

Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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