Alumni President's Corner
A Message from Alumni Association President Colin Whitehead '06
My fellow King’s Alumni:
As we cautiously move forward and ease restrictions, I will cherish the opportunity to go out and safely meet in person again, but I'll also remember some of the positives that came out of this challenging time.
The way many communities, including King's, were able to make changes and stay connected is impressive. Our Alumni Board meetings have remained virtual, which has allowed us to involve more members from outside the London region. I'm happy with our Board's steps to increase and diversify its reach to our alumni body.
As part of our strategic plans, the Alumni Board added two new positions in the fall. Dalla Zhao '19, International Rep, and Ian McCallum '95, Indigenous Rep, are making progress in expanding our reach and inclusivity. Dalla is working on a new virtual event series for international alumni, which will kick off with an event for Chinese alumni (for those who have returned to China and those who've stayed abroad). You can read more about Ian below.
As we move towards more in-person events, we also plan to keep virtual opportunities, giving our alumni more chances to stay connected and engaged with the King's community. To all of our upcoming graduates – I want to welcome you to the Alumni Association, and I hope to see many of you involved in our programming!
Colin Whitehead ’06
President, King’s University College Alumni Association
Introducing Ian McCallum '95, Indigenous Rep
King's University College Alumni Association
Although Ian enjoyed his time as a King's student - appreciating the small community, getting involved with the rowing team, and working at the Student Centre - he was careful not to be too open about his background. “Back in the 90s, my generation had a fear to share,” Ian explains. He only knew of two other Indigenous students at King's, noting that they were cautious of discussing this when around others, respecting each person's choice to share their identity. Ian found support at the Student Centre but acknowledges that there wasn't universal acceptance of cultural identity.
Ian is a member of the Munsee/Delaware Nation. In their community, the Elders expect that if you go away to a Colonial/Western-style school, you will come back to the community and share what you've learned – you need to practice reciprocity. Ian taught on the reserve before joining the Barrie School Board and has acted as a mentor to teens interested in going to university. Currently, he co-teaches the Munsee language virtually twice a week and organizes quarterly sessions to intertwine culture and history with the language.
Ian acknowledges that there is still a lot of work to be done, but he is seeing progress. His hope is “for all Indigenous people to be able to share who they are and not hide.” He is helping the Alumni and Development Office plan a panel event for October 2022 featuring Indigenous alumni and current students. Indigenous Students Past & Present will provide a forum to discuss Indigenous experiences and share stories.
We are currently looking for Indigenous alumni to serve as panellists. If you're interested in getting involved, please reach out to email@example.com.