For the past week-and-a-half, flags at our campuses have been flying at half-mast as a symbol of honour and mourning for Queen Elizabeth the Second, who died on September 8th...at the age of 96...and after 70 years as the monarch of the United Kingdom and the head of the British Commonwealth.
On this, the day of her funeral, I think it is fitting to reflect upon this remarkable woman's life...and, perhaps, to reflect upon our own capacity to replicate her most admirable trait: namely, her sense of duty to her community.
Even critics of the monarchy system have been uniformly complimentary about Elizabeth's seven decades of selfless service to the people of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.
From the time the crown was thrust upon her due to the death of her father at a very early age, to her own passing at an advanced age, she was the most diligent, steadfast, dependable representative of the British parliamentary system of government...and the modern-day symbol of English culture and civilization.
She exhibited that sense of duty...indeed, a rare degree of dedication...to her role for seventy years. Seventy years.
By saying this, I'm certainly not suggesting that our students should strive to stay at their first, post-graduation places of employment for seven decades.
But I am suggesting that the sense of duty, of responsibility, of the need to be a positive contributor to one's community...all of those are admirable Elizabethan traits that we would all do well to emulate throughout our professional, personal and social lives.
Patricia France, M.Ad.Ed., LLD.h.c.