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Did You Know? From the President


Dear Queens Alumni, Welcome to the first digital edition of Queens


Magazine. Tis issue comes to you at a time when our world and country, as well as the Queens community face pain, sadness and unprecedented challenges. While we continued navigating a global pandemic that upended our spring semester like never before, we witnessed the tragic killing of an American citizen named George Floyd. His death has brought the senseless loss of black lives at the hands of law enforcement and the prevalence of systemic racism to the world’s attention. Diverse communities around the country and the world are joining in peaceful protests, one of which proceeded through our campus on June 1. While grieving with George Floyd’s family and our nation, the Senior Leadership Team and I sent a message to the Queens community promising that racism would not be tolerated on our campus. We vowed that we would use our resources and relationships to help people in our community learn more, and to do more. Queens is committed to helping each of our community members find her or his voice and to participate in efforts to create real change to institutionalized systems built on inequity and oppression. Te university has resolved to tackle this challenge with renewed vigor and the same creativity with which Queens approaches all challenges. And we will not have the luxury of being able to only focus on one major challenge at a time. Tis past spring when COVID-19 forced us to virtualize academic instruction and student experiences, in addition to suspending athletic seasons, cancelling study abroad trips and postponing events, Queens’ faculty, staff, students, alumni and community pulled together to create a successful semester. Tough instruction continued, the class of 2020 was denied many of the senior year traditions that Royals hold dear. Te


4 MAGAZINE


special tribute to the class of 2020 in this magazine is an acknowledgment of what these graduates lost, but perhaps more importantly, what they gained. While these life-changing events are still


ever-present, this issue also focuses on the transformative community experiences that occurred prior to March 13. In February, at the grand opening of the Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts and Civic Engagement, we celebrated our gracious donors with an outstanding performance by Sutton Foster in the Sandra Levine Teatre. Te arts have such power to bring communities together and to be a central part of comprehensive efforts for meaningful social change. Queens is tremendously fortunate to have this magnificent facility, as the university works to not only bring our campus community back together, but to also further our engagement in community initiatives related to social justice and socioeconomic mobility. Our editors have sensitively transformed magazine features about opera performances and Olympic-bound athletes into inspiring stories of resiliency, strength and optimism. I hope the inclusion of how Queens rallied to stand against systemic racism and supported our community during the COVID-19 crisis will make you proud of your alma mater. I know that I am. As you read through this digital issue,


please take advantage of the multimedia assets it offers by clicking and exploring more about what is happening at Queens. We plan to resume a print publication in the future but thought we would give this a try to test its appeal, and to be fiscally responsible. Let us know what you think!


Sincerely,


Daniel G. Lugo President


HELPING OTHERS LIVE LONGER


One hundred years ago, Ona Ruth Whitley graduated from Queens with the class of 1920. Her senior classmates voted her “Most Studious,” and for good reason.


Soon after graduation she earned her master of science and landed a job as a senior bacteriologist with the Indiana State Board of Health. In that role, Whitley worked


extensively on medical issues plaguing society. One in particular was diphtheria, a respiratory disease that was a major cause of illness and death, especially among children. Tough there was a procedure for diagnosis and treatment, Whitley found it unreliable. Trough a long trial period, she and a co-worker developed a new medium for a more accurate diagnosis of the disease. Tis led to earlier detection, a quicker triage process and countless lives saved. In the early 1900s at Queens, Class


Prophecies were compilations of futuristic stories often written in yearbooks by a member of the senior class. Tese narratives detailed where classmates might end up a decade after graduation. Whitley’s prophecy in Queens’ 1920 yearbook is strikingly accurate. Te excerpt reads, “After seven years of experimenting, Ona has discovered, at last, the real elixir of youth and beauty. Her formula has been accepted recently, and patented.” While Whitley did not invent a potion


for eternal youth, her discovery of a new medium for the diagnosis of diphtheria undoubtedly helped people lead long, healthy lives.


—Danielle Phillips ’13, MS ’18


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