Dear members of the King’s community,
As we approach the end of term, I am full of gratitude and hopefulness. At King’s, our post pandemic goal has never been to go back. It has instead been always, to quote my favourite KSU Orientation Week t-shirt, to go “Onwards!”. In still-challenging circumstances, this is what we have been doing on all fronts. As always at King’s, it is the work of all of us, inspired by our shared commitment to King’s and its mission. Hence my gratitude. Hence my hopefulness.
Since I wrote you last year, we have made substantial progress toward making Alex Hall into an accessible residence and soon, we will announce the appointment of our first ever, full-time Accessibility Officer. We have expanded the School of Journalism into the School of Journalism, Writing & Publishing and added a new MFA degree in fiction, in the same year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Foundation Year Program. We have launched a unique-in-Canada initiative to create a cohort of Mi’kmaw students in our undergraduate journalism degree and collaborated with Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) in hiring King’s grad Emily Pictou-Roberts to be Atlantic Canada’s first ever, on-campus Auntie in Residence for Indigenous students at King’s and MSVU. And we have launched an exciting research project with the Nova Scotia Health Authority and the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association called Books by Heart that will seek to answer the vital question “Can books save lives?” when they are made readily available to patients and hospital staff in an acute care unit. Of course, we know they can!
As we all know, the pandemic and particularly the necessary responses to it were very hard on students. King’s students have faced and overcome extraordinary adversity and loss. They are an inspiration and it is truly wonderful to have them once again living and learning together in community all around us. Our two large Matriculations in Alumni Hall and our first Formal Meal in the newly renovated Prince Hall, with capacity attendance, were joyous occasions. I have enjoyed the resumption of my dinners with the students of each residence floors and bays and my “Lunches in the Lodge.” Kathryn and I are looking forward to hosting an end of term open house, aware as we are that it will be the first opportunity for three cohorts of students to be welcomed into the Lodge as a home away from home.
Still, these remain challenging times for our students as they live with the lasting adverse effects of the pandemic and all they have missed in the past three years and while they now face the challenges of inflation and uncertain economic times. The supports we are able to provide them, in which we have, with your help, heavily invested in recent years, are more important than ever. So, too, is all that happens in our academic programs and residences and in the athletics department, Wardroom, library and chapel, and in every aspect of college life, to create the genuine and authentic experience of community that is our defining mission.
Underpinning all of our progress and our ability to support our students in difficult times is the dedication, engagement and generosity of King’s faculty, staff, alumni, parents and our wider community of friends. Last year’s Annual Fund was the strongest in King’s history. Gifts from individuals like you helped us to enrich our academic programs; fund scholarships, bursaries and student jobs; advance our aspirations to be an equitable, diverse, inclusive and accessible university that contributes meaningfully to reconciliation; improve student spaces and supports; and support athletics and all the other programs that make a King’s education holistic, including our rejuvenated choirs under the new and inspired direction of Dr. Neil Cockburn. Unrestricted gifts gave King’s important stability and the flexibility to address needs, challenges and opportunities in a uniquely fluid time.
Your support has been, and continues to be, critically important to the ability of King’s to meet the needs of today and create the opportunities of tomorrow. I hope that you will consider making a tax-deductible gift to the King’s Annual Fund today.
Your gift to the Annual Fund, regardless of its size, can and does make a difference for King’s students here today and for those yet to come. Please join me in this King’s tradition by making a gift to the Annual Fund.
President, Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law, University of King’s College
P.S. Please know you have giving options. You can also make your gift online; or you may contact King’s Director of Advancement Adriane Abbott at firstname.lastname@example.org to make individual arrangements. Thanks again.