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The Nineties: Technology Rules

Except during the Ice Storm
Class of ’95 showing off their new Commerce jackets

The great ice storm of 1998, surfing the Internet, encounters with life-changing ideas and friends – these are some of the highlights former Gordon House residents and BCom’98 classmates Kieran Roy and Shawn Rosemarin remember from their days at Queen’s.

Memorable profs also stand out, including the late Frank Collom, who Kieran describes as a legend in the classroom. “He oozed personality and charm, and his self-deprecating humour made him a favourite,” he says. “Professor David Dunne was also highly influential,” he adds. “His classes were interactive, engaging and ultimately led me to choose a career in marketing.”

Memories Of The Ice Storm: “We Spent A Night Sleeping In The Queen's Pub In The JDUC.”

Photo – Kingston Whig Standard One of Shawn’s most memorable courses was Industrial Relations with Professor Rick Jackson. “Rick’s teaching style was very personal and so engaging I found myself thinking about his classes for days afterwards.” The teacher who influenced his career choice was Professor Yolande Chan, whose “demonstrated passion for the technology industry” was inspirational, he says. Also inspirational were professors Julian Barling and Bill Cooper. Shawn credits them with helping him develop his “personal” side and understanding of how to motivate others.

Having transferred into second-year Commerce from the Québec CEGEP program, without benefit of a Queen’s Orientation, Shawn wasn’t sure what to expect, but says he learned fast. “By the time Christmas mid-terms came around, I finally realized the fine balance that exists between studies and late-night revelry, thanks to caffeine!”

Fascinated by the spectacle of the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial, Kieran spent a great deal of time in front of the TV,watching the courtroom proceedings. “Today, with the mass dissemination of information via the Internet, Twitter and other social networks, I don't think the public's attention will ever again be captured and held the way it was for the 'Trial of the Century',” he says.

Favourite memories for Shawn include summers spent in Kingston working as a research assistant for Economics Professor Bo Pazderka and starting his own computer service business in his third year. “Summer weekends were spent taking road trips across Ontario and attending outdoor concerts,”he recalls.

The ice storm that hit the region in January of 1998 was an unforgettable experience for all who endured it. “I awoke to sounds of giant icicles crashing from the tall trees,” recalls Kieran. “Left without heat,water, electricity or phone at our house, we spent a night sleeping in the Queen's Pub in the JDUC before giving up after five days and heading out of Kingston.”

Shawn also vividly remembers the freezing storm. “After attending a belated New Year’s party at Alfie’s, we awoke to find the entire city covered in ice. What started as pure amazement quickly became cause for concern when we realized the power was out and most of the city was helpless. After a night in the cold, a few of us took a room at a local hotel before heading out of Kingston for a five-day reprieve.”

Both grads also point to the emergence of the World Wide Web as an incredible phenomenon in the mid-‘90s. “By far and away, the greatest technological advancement was the proliferation of the Internet during my time at Queen's,” says Kieran. Upon registering in 1994, Kieran received his first email account, but it wasn't until the beginning of second year that he surfed the Web for the first time. In 1995, laptops were beyond rare and cell phones were non-existent.

“The Greatest Technological Advancement Was The Proliferation Of The Internet During My Time At Queen's.”

Brian Taguchi, Emma Turner, Kieran Roy, Michael Kealy, Michael McDonald and Jennie Johnstone at their 10th anniversary reunion In contrast, today’s students surf the Internet, send and receive countless emails, text and instant messages on their iPhones, and view Twitter as a pastime, not a verb. “The School has evolved from professors using chalkboards and overhead projectors to classes being delivered via videoconferencing,” says Shawn.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is the eternal value Queen’s delivers in terms of quality time spent with friends and a place to discover your true ambitions.”