Thank you for being a vital part of the Bishop’s community!

If you wish to add your voice to the 140 or so Alumni stories below, please send your testimonial to

“Bishop’s was where we met and fell in love. But not just with each other – with the school, and with Quebec too. 

The tight-knit community spirit at Bishop’s is truly unlike anywhere else. We’ve met former Gaiters from across Canada who continue to Bleed Purple long after graduating.  

Bishop’s also provided an atmosphere for me to learn and practice French, as well as a chance for both of us to learn about Quebec’s unique history and culture. We love Quebec, and it’s thanks to Bishop’s that we’ve stayed since graduating. 

We truly hope that the Quebec government reverses its decision to nearly double tuition rates for out-of-province students – a measure that will surely deter future generations of Gaiters who have so much to offer La Belle Province.” 

– Josh ‘20 & Elise ‘19 

“I arrived at Bishop’s in 1995 having been born in Quebec but never having lived there. The 4 years I spent in the Townships gave me a love for Quebec that I would have never had otherwise. 

Three years later I met my wife, another Ontarian that did her university degree in Montreal because she was looking for a richer cultural experience than she felt the local universities afforded her.   

Now, 20+ years down the road we have three young daughters that were born abroad (UK and France) and have been placed in the Francophone system (not immersion) in Toronto, to continue their education in the only language they have ever known in school – French.” 

– Bill MacDonald ‘99 

“I moved from Vancouver to Lennoxville in 1998. I mostly came because I’m very dyslexic and hoped (correctly) a small university would allow me to make a relationship with professors. My learning disability kept me from focusing on French in undergrad, but I did an immersion course at UQTR after graduating. More importantly, I gained a deep appreciation for Quebec culture and history. I left Quebec in 2003 and did my graduate school in Ontario. A decade ago, I moved to Saskatoon and joined the history department at the University of Saskatchewan. My PhD research focused on the history of London, England, but in the past decade I shifted my focus to understanding the global history of London’s growth. For the past 7 years I’ve been collaborating with historians at two French universities in Quebec on the history of the timber trade that supplied Britain with this essential building material. We’ve developed a new understanding of the historical geography of the timber trade in the St. Lawrence Valley and Ottawa Calley. My time living in Quebec has been essential in giving me the background knowledge and appreciation of Quebec’s unique history. I really hope my kids, who are in French immersion, have the opportunity to study in Quebec.” 

– Jim Clifford ‘03 

“My name is Max Crowther. I am originally from Newfoundland and came to Bishop’s in 1993. I chose it because it was small yet had a remarkable theatre program, a solid undergrad potential for my degree in English Language Arts and Psychology, and because it was in Quebec. A part of Quebec I had never set foot in, and I was craving the adventure. 

I fell in love – with the university, the friends I’ve made, and with the Townships. Bishop’s allowed me to cross a threshold into a new world, and I loved it. A year later, I met the person who would become my wife and the mother of our two kids. I graduated and stayed in the Townships. That was because of BU. So much so that when my two degrees (BA ’98 and BEd ’99) were finished, I wanted to stay. 

Bishop’s (and I’m sure McGill and Concordia) are gateways. A means to attract multilingual, multicultural, and multitalented individuals to the province of Quebec. I became a Quebec resident. My kids are Quebecers. This is our home.  

For the CAQ to be so punitive and short-sighted boggles my mind. Had the tuition been so high, I could not have come to BU. The government would have missed out on me as a part of the teaching profession and, pragmatically, my paying taxes for over 30 years to the province. Surely, one can do the math… 

As a teacher, we know that nothing sustainable can be achieved via force. Bilingualism, the beauty of the French language, and the Quebec culture I love need to be promoted, praised, encouraged, and even funded.  

Yet, this? This will not help. It will continue to drive a wedge, sow division, and hurt the province. I hope they may see reason. I hope we can fight to let reason shine. I hope Bishop’s University gets a reasonable chance to be what it truly is – a new home for people like me.” 

– Michael “Max” Crowther ‘98 

“The unbelievably large increase in tuition for non-Quebec secondary school graduates being imposed in September 2024 without prior open discussion is astounding!  M. Le Premier, Canada is a democracy and Quebec is a part of it!  

At the recommendation of my high school Principal, I applied to Bishop’s University and was enrolled in its B.Sc. program in September 1961. Coming from a mining community in northern Quebec, the Principal advised several students over the years that going to a large university in a big city would be too much culture shock. And he was right! I thrived at Bishop’s, in part because of its wonderful location, its small classes, readily available interaction with the professors and staff and the many extracurricular and social activities that were accessible on campus. I went on to graduate in 1965 with an Honours B.Sc.   

I and many of my classmates and fellow students went on to obtain post-graduate degrees in universities across Canada and other countries.   

Students enrolling at Bishop’s from other parts of Canada have a unique opportunity to gain an appreciation of how great life is in La Belle Province. They have unlimited opportunity to intermingle with a population that is largely bilingual, so becoming reasonably fluent in French is a distinct possibility. Wouldn’t the Premier appreciate that? 55% of Bishop’s current enrollment is from Quebec while 30% is from elsewhere in Canada.  

I can imagine that families and/or high school graduates considering attending Quebec’s “English” universities would baulk at such a high tuition cost. But some would withdraw consideration simply because they would feel insulted. In the long run, Quebec would suffer greatly by drastically reducing the number of young English-speaking people exposed to life in Quebec.   

Bishop’s is by far the smallest university to be adversely affected by this onerous Quebec education law. Its unique history and very survival cannot be allowed to be jeopardized!”  

– Richard Devereaux ‘65 

“My name is Ian Jones; I graduated from BU in 2007 with a degree in English and Philosophy. I went on to grad studies back in my hometown of Guelph, Ontario and now teach at a community college in Southern California. 

I often talk with my students about how moving to Quebec and having great cultural experiences outside of the classroom helped me develop into the educator I am today. 

I hope to one day send my own kids to BU so they can also have such a unique experience. 

I was saddened to hear that tuition might be doubled for out-of-province students—you have to know this will destroy BU! It is my sincerest hope that people will see that BU is special, and if it’s abandoned now, it will be gone forever.” 

– Ian Jones ‘07 

Richmond Regional High School showing their support

The staff of RRHS is proud to stand with their fellow education colleagues against a measure intended to diminish the presence of the English-speaking community in Quebec. Increasing out-of-province tuition fees for students attending Bishop’s, Concordia, and McGill does nothing to protect the French language, and limits Quebec’s future as a world leader in industry, medicine, high-tech, and research. We support our community!

Richmond Regional High School

“As an Alumni of Bishop’s University, it was one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences for me personally. It gave me a chance to grow as a single mother and to also believe in myself and my abilities to succeed in life. It provided me with and educational experience on a beautiful campus, that will forever be ingrained in my mind, one that I will forever treasure.” 

– Susie Martin ‘02 

“I attended Bishop’s University from a smaller city in Ontario from 2008-2012. The chance to attend such a small school with such spirit and sense of community is one that I will cherish forever. It is not easy for young adults to leave their family, friends and hometown, and Bishop’s makes the transition as easy as imaginable. 

The impact of increase in tuition proposed by the government of QC will be extremely significant for the school itself and the potential BU students from out of province. Many students won’t be able to make the choice to attend such a special school as a result of the hike in tuition. It will simply be unattainable. Even for those who may be in a lucky position to, may still miss out on BU to remain in their own province with many alternative options of schools at a cheaper price. To think of the utter devastation this may cause to a university that not only I attended, but both of my sisters as well, is heartbreaking. 

It saddens me deeply so hear that people may miss out on a school like Bishop’s. I would go back a hundred times over, but had I been faced with this back when I was applying to universities, I do not know that I would have had the benefit of attending. The four years of memories I gained while at Bishop’s will never be forgotten, nor my friends or the amazing professors and staff. 

This will be truly devastating to Bishop’s and the little town of Lennoxville, and I hope so much that something is done.” 

– Leah Dick ‘12 

“I grew up in Montreal, attending Bishop’s from 1963-67. Although ultimately, I left Quebec, that landscape of my youth has never left me. It informs how I think about our country, that we are a bilingual nation and that we benefit from that enormously. It enriches us and expands us as Canadians and gives us a richer understanding of our cultural heritage. My French improved substantially throughout my years at Bishop’s, and I have continued to work on it and have used French at many times in many different situations in my life. 

How fortunate I was to be able to attend a small liberal arts university with easy access to professors, small classes and a chance to meet students from across the country. As a small university, many of us have kept in touch, forming links across the country. What a shame if we were to lose a treasure like Bishop’s because of a shortsighted policy which would create financial barriers for students from other provinces.” 

– Jean Hollingworth ‘67 

“My four years as a Bishop’s University student were transformational for me. I came from a rural part of Ontario that had mainly Dutch dairy farmers and very little current immigration. Although I was privileged to have received excellent French language and cultural training through French Immersion in high school, none of it felt real until I moved to the Sherbrooke area for university. 

At Bishop’s, my classes and my residences were full of students from all over Québec, from other provinces, and from around the world. Many of my friends were from Montréal and the Gaspé peninsula, and now, thirty years after graduation, I still visit them often. I loved being able to practice speaking French with native francophones in Sherbrooke and on my regular visits to Montréal. By the time I graduated, my French language skills had improved to near fluency. 

After graduation, I moved to Saskatchewan for grad school, and I ended up staying there. In the West, there is not much understanding of Québec’s distinct society or sympathy for its desire to retain French as its primary language. As a person who has lived there as a Bishop’s student and as a frequent subsequent visitor, I have been able to educate my fellow prairie dwellers about why Québec is and should remain special. 

I married a fellow Bishop’s student (who was also from Ontario), and my sister is also a Bishop’s alum. All of our hearts are breaking at the prospect of out-of-province students having to pay very high tuition fees to attend English universities in Québec. Our families would not have been able to afford to send us. Even the current fees, which are considerably higher than we paid in the 90s, would have been a sacrifice, but one they would have made. Without the wonderful experience of becoming part of the fabric of Québec for four years, our appreciation of Québec and of our entire country would be much poorer.” 

– Pamela Giles ‘94 

Champlain College showing their support

Alumni from Champlain Regional College-Lennoxville in Sherbrooke proudly wearing the colours of their alma mater to support English-Language university institutions.

Champlain College staff showing their support

“To my dear alma mater, 

I will get to the point immediately: I would not be who I am today without my Bishop’s University experience. 

I came to Bishop’s in 1998 with a desire to embrace and understand my Quebec brothers and sisters. Coming from the Greater Toronto Area as a young Political Studies student, I had a desire to understand Quebec; to be immersed in your culture; to understand what drove political decisions past, present and in future.  

While my major may have changed by the time I convocated, my love of Quebec culture, the arts, the people, did not.  I cannot imagine a better undergraduate education experience. My years at Bishop’s were foundational. 

Over the years I have recommended Bishop’s and other Quebec universities time and again to prospective students to help them understand the beautiful Quebec diversity, way of life, and a joie de vivre that may not be present in their Ontario hometowns. The immersive experience of language and culture is so important in the shaping of mind and heart.  

Given the hurdles of the new tuition, too many will miss out on a Sound and Liberal Education in La belle province. Had this happened back then, I, too, would have missed out; and the door to understanding the unique Quebec identity first-hand would have been shut to me.  

I send my hopes and good wishes to you that this situation is resolved, and the door to excellent higher education in Quebec remains open and accessible.” 

– Tuuli Hannula ‘02 

“I attended Bishop’s from 1987-1990. I came from Ontario to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree. My time at Bishop’s, the town of Lennoxville and the beautiful province of Quebec was nothing short of incredible. The small size of the campus and the student population allowed me to make many lasting friendships and permitted close connections with faculty.  I hope others will have the great opportunity to attend this special university and enjoy all it has to offer.” 

– Alessandra Araneda ‘90 

“As an international student living in Quebec, Bishop’s was the perfect option (and perhaps the only option not being fluent in French) I initially had to be able to come to Quebec. 

I completely understand the need for the QC government to feel they have to take measures to protect language, however, I also feel that limiting the access to out of province students by raising tuition fees, greatly affects small institutions like Bishop’s which are key to help non-Quebec students become part of the Quebec culture and even learn French. 

If it wasn’t because of the access to this education, I wouldn’t have been able to become a Quebec resident or even learn as much French as I have, let alone live daily speaking French or have my children be born in the province and attend French school without any problems. 

I may not be from Quebec, but my kids now are! 🙂  I’m definitely not yet fluent in French, but they are. I may still be embarrassed of my French spelling, but I can speak, function and carry conversations. I love this province and everything it has to offer. I love living here. And having been able to study at Bishop’s made that possible. 

I think there is a slight miscalculation in the strategy, sadly. Many people come here to study and then to stay. I hope this option continues to be accessible for other Canadians who cannot yet speak French but would love to immerse themselves in the beautiful Quebec culture and eventually get to learn the language or even move here permanently because of these opportunities. 

Thank you, Bishop’s University!” 

– Marlene Cruz Lozano ‘04 

“I am proud to write a testimonial in support of Bishop’s University, my much-beloved alma mater. As a graduate of the Class of ’95, B.Sc. Computer Science, minors in Business and Economics, I can confidently say that my time at Bishop’s in the beautiful Eastern Townships left an indelible mark on my life. Recti Cultus Pectora Roborant. 

Bishop’s provided not just a world-class education, sometimes called the Canadian Ivy League school, but a nurturing and enriching environment fostering personal and intellectual growth both in and out of the classroom. Dedicated faculty and staff created a supportive, spirited community where curiosity was encouraged, and diverse perspectives were celebrated. 

One of the aspects that sets Bishop’s apart is its commitment to small class sizes, allowing for meaningful interactions with professors and fellow students. This intimate learning environment not only facilitated a deeper understanding of the coursework but also encouraged critical thinking and collaborative problem-solving. 

Beyond the academic sphere, Bishops provided a vibrant campus life. The numerous clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities allowed me as Vice President, Projects of AIESEC Bishop’s to explore my interests, develop leadership skills, and forge lifelong friendships that extend worldwide. The sense of community at Bishop’s is unparalleled, creating a second home where students from diverse backgrounds come together to share experiences and create lasting memories. 

As an alum, I continue to be impressed by Bishop’s’ commitment to innovation and excellence. The university’s continuous efforts to enhance its programs and facilities demonstrate a dedication to providing the best possible education for current and future students. What Bishop’s teaches has been integral to Quebec’s ambitious, competitive, strong cultural identity and development — and Canada’s — for the better part of two centuries. 

As a new retiree, now begun a new career turn, my Bishop’s education is forming a new framework, a new jumping off point, for work suited to the new challenges this millennium brings us all. I am grateful for the education, values, and experiences that Bishop’s University provided me. My time at Bishop’s has been instrumental in shaping who I am today, and I am confident that the university will continue to positively impact the lives of many more students in the years to come. 

I wholeheartedly support Bishop’s University and encourage prospective students to embark on their academic journey at this exceptional institution. Bishop’s is not just a place of learning; it is a community that fosters growth, friendship, and a lifelong love of knowledge.” 

– Rob Bartnik ’95 

“It has been nearly 30 years since I graduated from Bishop’s University with a degree in chemistry. It feels like yesterday. My staff advisor had set up a job interview for me at Clairol – near enough to the townships I could live in a part of Canada that still captures my heart. But in my final year at BU, I was able to take my first electives and fell in love with learning through a broader lens, and I was voracious with my appetite to learn.  

But I was 22 years old and instead I went on to another bilingual region of Canada and pursued higher degrees at both Carleton and U of O. I often wonder what turns my life would have taken if I remained in Quebec like several of my classmates did.  

Because my roommate had a car I found myself visiting areas outside of Lennoxville and trip-by-trip I found myself falling in love with this corner of the world. So much so that I came back to “Les Cantons” to stand on the Quai de Lac Massawippi on a perfect fall evening to propose to my now wife of nearly 30 years. In my time at Bishop’s, I skied every hill or mountain within a 2h drive, we ate at a half dozen Érablières, and of course we spent out-of-province money and emotional capital in a province that would deny future non-Quebecois the opportunity to see something truly magical. 

Thank you for 180 years of service to ALL Canadians. It is sad to think that will all come to an end with the update to policy by the current provincial government.” 

– James McIntyre ‘94 

“Our two children are graduates of Bishop’s University – our daughter graduated in 2003 and our son graduated in 2007. Their reasons for attending Bishop’s were – its outstanding reputation, small class sizes and the opportunity to immerse themselves in Québécois culture. Both children were in French Immersion programs in both elementary and secondary school. Their experiences at Bishop’s were exceptional and have influenced their lives profoundly. 

We remember our first visit to Bishop’s to tour the campus in July, 2000 – in fact, this was our first visit to the beautiful Eastern Townships. We were so impressed with what we saw. I remarked to my husband that I thought we were in ‘Brigadoon’ – a magical town that appears once every one hundred years!  

Not only did Bishop’s have a tremendous impact on our children but also on us. We visited at least five-six times a year when they were students and have continued to visit the area every year since 2000. We have made 65+ trips to Lennoxville! We supported our children financially during their time at Bishop’s and continue to support local businesses with our tourist dollars each time we visit.  

Because of our exposure to the Bishop’s community we have made life-long friends in the Lennoxville area and have benefited immensely from their friendship and the experiences we have shared. We consider ourselves fortunate as anglophones to have opportunities to improve our French and to appreciate the beautiful culture in the Eastern Townships. It is our favourite place in the world. 

As retired educators, we know the value of an exceptional education. Our children were the beneficiaries of outstanding faculty and a caring and inspiring culture at Bishop’s. There is no doubt that their current success can be attributed to their time at Bishop’s. 

We believe this is a short-sighted decision by the Government of Québec. Because of our children’s experiences at Bishop’s, we have promoted the school to colleagues, friends and family. We have also recommended the Eastern Townships as a travel destination to many people. 

We are saddened by this new policy and sincerely hope the Government of Québec will rescind this policy. As a family, our lives have been enriched beyond measure because of Bishop’s University.” 

– Karen and Jeff Blackwell

“The Bishop’s University community and the province of Quebec have thrived because of the diverse body of students coming from outside the province. The opportunities for interaction between students from and outside Quebec have created lifelong relationships and networks that will continue to benefit the province and its universities for decades to come. The increased tuition will negatively impact the beauty and celebration of Canada’s multicultural makeup.” 

– Dorcas Ettang ‘05 

“I am a graduate of Bishop’s University, I attended from 1998- 2002, at which time I graduated with an honors BC in Sociology, a major in Women’s Studies, and a minor in Criminology. 

 I was born and raised in a small town in Ontario, on a beautiful farm; the eldest child of four girls.  I excelled at school and loved learning- I knew from a very young age that I would be going onto university; I just didn’t know where. 

I always longed to explore Canada and the world around me, and when it was time to apply for universities, I took a friend’s advice and applied to BU.   

Prior to applying, I had the opportunity to attend an information session about BU in a larger urban center and I loved what I heard- small class size, small campus; friendly, knowledgeable and accessible teachers; and its location in Lennoxville near Sherbrooke felt a lot like my experience growing up. 

After I went to the info session, I took a trip with my mom to see the campus to make sure it would be the right fit for me- it was going to be a major life change and everyone in my family was nervous, so we went to see BU in person. 

We arrived at the campus about mid-morning and were greeted by a sociology student named Catherine- we were struck at the similarities because my name is Katherine and I was thinking of studying Sociology. 

Catherine took us through McGreer hall, then into some of the other academic buildings as well as a residence where I met a 4th year student who became a sorority sister to me when I pledged Alpha Delta Pi in my second semester, first year. 

Both my mom and I fell in love with the sense of security and love of knowledge that our guide illustrated BU as offering- it felt to me like I’d found my new home.   

 After our tour we explored Lennoxville, having dinner at the Lion D’Or- soon to become my home away from home home 😉 We stayed for another day in Sherbrooke then headed back to Ontario- my mind was made up, BU was where I was going. 

I completed my admission application and was sent early admission acceptance- I was thrilled.  Though I received offers of admission from the other schools I applied to, with scholarships, I turned them down- BU was the place for me. 

When September came around that year, I was so excited- and so nervous. I didn’t know anyone, I had never lived away from home before, and I wasn’t sure that I had made the right decision. 

Once I arrived on the campus again, though, those fears disappeared as I met the people on my residence floor, joined in frosh activities, and started classes.   

Though there were some rough patches adjusting to the independent life, I loved every minute of that first year- many of my good friends now, twenty-five years later, are still those that I met those first days and weeks at BU. 

My classes and education at BU were world class- I am so grateful to have been able to learn from the professors I did, and to be able to combine my studies in such a way that I graduated with more than one concentration.   

I loved the small classes and ease of access to professors- I never felt like I was a burden to them, they were always able to support me when I needed- I know that doesn’t happen at bigger campuses. 

While I didn’t speak French fluently, I never felt ostracized or shamed by the citizens of Lennoxville or Sherbrooke- I tried when I could to communicate in French but sometimes it was easier to speak English. 

 In sum, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend BU as an out of province student… it changed my life in so many ways, and absolutely shaped the person that I have become today. 

When I heard the news of the incredible tuition hike my stomach sank- I thought of what that would have meant to me, had I been in the process of thinking of schools next fall- as the eldest of four, there would be no way my parents could help me afford that tuition, nor would I be able to afford the student loan debt that would be incurred to support me. 

I also thought of what this proposal means for my kids- I have identical 4.5 year old triplets and I had the (romantic) notion that they may go to BU together in my legacy… It’s a long way off yet to be sure, but just thinking that they would face those astronomical costs made me take a breath. 

Thank you for taking the time to read through my story- BU is in my heart and soul, I strongly hope that the Quebec government rethinks its position on out of province students because there are so many kids like me who want to dream, explore, and learn without taking on massive loads of debt to get there.” 

– Katherine van der Veen ‘02 

“As a 2017 alumnus from Ottawa, Ontario, the news of tuition hikes for out-of-province students is catastrophic. I empathize with all incoming students who might not benefit from this rare university experience.  

Since I first stepped foot on campus in September 2013 to begin my undergraduate studies, Bishop’s University showed how academically nurturing and supportive the environment can be. This experience fueled my passion for academic research and teaching at the undergraduate level. I’ve always held the liberal arts and independent thinking mindset from Bishop’s University, which I exercised daily on my way to later earn my PhD degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Ottawa. I believe the undergraduate education I received from Bishop’s University tops no other university in Canada, let alone Quebec. 

The tight-knit community of Bishop’s University allowed me to foster collaboration and friendships with students of all backgrounds. These relationships led to the development of several mental health awareness initiatives with pan-Canadian collaborations and organizations. During these initiatives, and as a bilingual student, I represented Bishop’s University in mental health advocacy – including interviews given in both English with CTV news and French with Radio Québec. Unfortunately, with the tuition hikes for out-of-province students, this bilingual representation will not only marginalize the Francophone community, but also disperse the potential of bright out-of-province students away from Quebec to elsewhere in Canada. 

I am deeply concerned by the Quebec government’s approach of promoting the French language by actively oppressing the Anglophone community. It is a shame of how deeply affected Bishop’s University will be by this governmental decision.” 

– Nicholas van den Berg ‘17 

“I grew up in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and when I chose a University, I wanted a small town but outside of the Maritimes, so that I could meet people from across the Country and live in a new region. Bishop’s gave me that experience. I met lifelong friends from coast-to-coast, while having the opportunity to study at a world class university, with an incredible sense of community and spirit.  

During my four years at Bishop’s, I was able to explore the province, having spent time skiing, hiking, and eating, throughout the beautiful Eastern Townships, and was incredibly lucky to be so close to what is now one of my favourite cities in the world – Montreal! The culture, the people, the natural beauty, throughout Quebec is second to none. I have returned to the province almost yearly since graduation, including it now being a favourite vacation destination with my family. 

As a parent, I dream of my children being given the same opportunity I was, to study at Bishop’s University.” 

– Joanne Ghiz ‘05 

“I graduated from Bishop’s in ‘91. 

I am a graduate from French immersion in Toronto and I was able to continue taking French courses throughout university. I chose Bishop’s because of its small class sizes and my ability to get involved in sports teams, clubs and student government. I was an RA for two years which helped pay for my time at university, gave me invaluable experience and make more friends in different years. 

A group of us returned for homecoming this year and the university and community was so welcoming. It was wonderful to see friends and reconnect. 

If tuition was double other universities in Canada back then I would have been unable to attend.” 

Susan Hepp ‘91

Sherbrooke Elementary School showing their support

Alumni from Sherbrooke Elementary School in Sherbrooke proudly wearing the colours of their alma mater to support English-Language university institutions.

Sherbrooke Elementary School showing their support

“I attended Bishop’s University and graduated in 2003. As a graduate of a high school French immersion program in Ontario, part of what attracted me to Bishop’s was that it was an English university in a French-speaking province. While I wasn’t sure that my French language skills were strong enough to engage at the post-secondary level, the ability to be surrounded by the French language was a huge draw. After I graduated from Bishop’s University, I moved back to Ontario and obtained a teaching degree. I have been a teacher for 20 years in the public school system in Ontario and have taught core French to many of my students over those years. Without my experience living in Quebec, I would not have developed proficient French language skills. I regularly integrate aspects of Quebecois food, culture and history into my teaching programs. And I, hopefully, foster an interest in the French language and Quebec culture in my students. I understand the inclination to want to protect French language and culture, but I fear that this policy will backfire and actually do the opposite of what it has set out to do. I implore the Quebec provincial government to reconsider their proposed tuition hike for out-of-province students. It is incredibly short-sighted.” 

– Brooke Charlebois ‘03

“It was with profound sadness that I read of the Government of Quebec’s decision to raise tuition for out-of-province and international students. As a proud alumnus of Bishop’s University, a community with representation from across Canada and the world, such a decision will have a catastrophic impact. I am proud to represent Bishop’s University and share my experiences and learning from my time in Quebec in the various provinces I have lived, studied, and worked. 

When reading of the decision to raise tuition for out-of-province students, I felt a visceral reaction because it will severely limit the exposure to future students of the wonderful and distinct culture of Quebec. As an out-of-province graduate of Bishop’s University, and for the thousands of other students and graduates from all universities, we are exposed to a global economy in which we become not only ambassadors of our respective universities, but of the culture and experiences we gained from having the opportunity to study in such a distinct and unique province. The decision to raise tuition will, unfortunately, lead to the erosion of world-class universities, but more damaging, is the long-term economic, cultural, and social consequences on the national and international stages as students and future leaders are forced to find other institutions and provinces to be ambassadors for. I urge the Government of Quebec to revisit this decision and to explore the role that it can play in helping to expand the opportunities for all students, researchers, and communities to lead on the national and international stages.” 

– Doug Pawson ‘06

“I am writing to express my profound dismay at the substantial increase in tuition fees for out-of-province students wishing to study at English language universities in Quebec.  

I am a Bishop’s University alumni (Hons BA History, 1987) from Toronto Ontario. I am the niece of Dack Thomas (B.A. History, ’63), and the parent of a prospective September 2024 entrant into the BA/Bed program, our application was submitted a few weeks ago. I am thrilled that my Bishop’s experience has encouraged my daughter to see the benefits of studying in Quebec.  

I chose Bishop’s for my post-secondary education based on the quality of the school but what set Bishop’s apart was the location. Studying Canadian history in Quebec at Bishop’s offered a context that I simply could not have gained anywhere else in Canada. The importance of living in Quebec was integral to my studies but my learning experience was not limited by curriculum. I gained better French language skills, understanding, and appreciation of Quebec and the French Canadian culture as well as many francophone friends. My enduring connection to Quebec is centered around the Bishop’s experience, which has drawn me back to visit Lennoxville, and elsewhere in Quebec with my family to reunite with Bishop’s classmates and friends met through Bishop’s.   

We are all very excited to see my daughter start her own experience in the fall, but we do know that this increased tuition will certainly create a significant additional expense for us which we had not anticipated or prepared for.” 

– Sarah (Perry) Spencer ’87

“I recently received the message from the principal, and I am saddened with the government’s decision to increase tuition for Canadian students outside of the province of Quebec. 

Coming from outside of Quebec, Bishop’s University gave me the opportunity to live in Quebec surrounded by the French language while completing my university studies. I was able to further my French after completing French immersion program through school. Bishop’s is a unique university that offers a small-town community while taking part in a diverse cultural province. You don’t feel like a number, as the class sizes are small offering an opportunity to get to know your professors and students building lifelong friendships.  

I hope there is a resolution as otherwise this will create a barrier for many to attend Bishop’s and experience this great university.” 

– Christina Salvatore ‘04

“As a proud Canadian, with roots in Montreal and upbringing in Toronto, my decision to enroll at Bishop’s was a thoughtful one, despite securing admission to several Ontario schools. The allure of the school’s stellar reputation, combined with its intimate class sizes, beckoned me, igniting a desire to embark on a new chapter of my life in the captivating province of Quebec. 

Bishop’s University not only met but exceeded my expectations, cultivating a vibrant sense of community and camaraderie among students spanning all four years of undergrad. In stark contrast, tales from friends attending McGill or Western revealed daunting first-year classes with an overwhelming 500 students. In my final year, I was privileged to enroll in a Philosophy course under the tutelage of Dr. Jamie Crooks, the then Dean of Philosophy. This exclusive class, limited to just 20 students, epitomized the pinnacle of academic engagement, as I found myself immersed in profound and informative discussions, guided by the insightful leadership of Dr. Crooks. 

Bishop’s also instilled in me a sense of social responsibility. For two of my four years at Bishop’s, I proudly participated in the Big Buddies program, dedicating mentorship time to the children of single mothers seeking positive male influences in their lives. Bishop’s’ commitment to social issues provided the platform for me to make a meaningful difference in these children’s lives. 

Moreover, my reminiscences are punctuated by the remarkable spirit of the school, whether it was cheering for the Gaiters Football team or my involvement in the Bishop’s University Ski Team (BUST), a unique aspect that set us apart. Our competitive successes, notably absent in most Ontario universities, added a thrilling dimension to my academic journey. 

I fervently hope that Bishop’s continues to thrive, offering unique and engaging experiences for generations to come.” 

– James Marshall ‘93 

“Hello and bonjour! 

Coming from Alberta in 1994, Bishop’s provided me with the security of knowing that I can be in a comfortable learning environment while also being able to take full advantage of Quebec culture. Weekend trips to Montreal, Quebec City, and around the Eastern Townships allowed for an experience that I cherish to this day. To say that I loved my time at BU would be the most massive of understatements.” 

– Kyle English ‘98

“I grew up in Lennoxville as a tail end Baby Boom child. For many years us kids born in 1958-59-60 were the bulge on the demographic curve. My father’s family settled in the Massawippi and St Francis River valleys nearly 150 years before I was born in Sherbrooke. Growing up there was no question that I would not attend Galt, Champlain, and Bishop’s. Get as much education as you can was almost a family motto! Between two parents and four siblings we have more than a dozen certificates, DECs, degrees and two incomplete Masters. For example, from Bishop’s I earned a BA in history; my sister has a BCom; as adult learners, our mother got her BA and a post-graduate education specialist certificate, and our father received his BA in history. (Our brothers attended lessor institutions like St Mary’s, University of Ottawa, and Carleton). I even had a second-year scholarship exchange with University of Alberta. 

Despite my family’s very modest status, we exemplify the value the English community gives higher education. While I cannot claim to have left much of a legacy at Champlain or Bishop’s, the experience raised my limits in society. I recently retired from the Canadian Forces after a 35-year career in the intelligence function, serving overseas in three different wars, and now I am a defence contractor in the space sector. Whatever I experienced on the east banks of the Massawippi River had a lasting effect on how I think and see the world’s problems. 

Lennoxville is my hometown. Growing up in the 1970’s and ’80s I watched valued and productive industries and institutions leave Quebec or fail, because of small -p- provincial politics and attitudes. Not all change is progress. The economic heart of Lennoxville is no longer transportation, manufacturing and agriculture; those are important, but not as important as the engine that is education eptimitized by Bishop’s. To lose a quarter or more new students will unquestionably damage the vibrant and genuine character of Lennoxville. I agree with former Premier Charest (whose children my mother taught at kindergarten) dramatic and unexpected changes to tuition schedules will be disproportionately felt by Bishop’s.   

Bishop’s has weathered challenges over the decades – the change from a theological university to a secular institution, the arrival of CEGEPs and the loss of four year programming, the discontinuation of Ontario Grade 13, discouragement of a heavy drinking culture (which I blame squarely for the closure of the Georgian Hotel, God rest its shabby soul), and never-ending and distracting language tensions. But this time around, demographics are not in Bishop’s favour. The school needs foreign and out of province students to continue providing the highest quality of instruction and experience to all its students. But equally important, Lennoxville needs Bishop’s. As long as the best export from Lennoxville is well-trained minds, I see Quebec benefiting.” 

– Terry Warner ‘82

“I was born and raised in London, Ontario and I graduated from Bishop’s with a double major in Political Studies and International Studies with a minor in French Language Studies in 2014.  

Bishop’s was perfect for me. I learn best with a personalized teaching approach, and this is exactly what Bishop’s provided. I chose Bishop’s over the other French campuses in Ontario because it was the only place where I could be fully immersed in the French culture, while benefitting from an intimate learning environment. Bishop’s not only helped me fall in love with the region, but also allowed me to explore the possibilities of civic engagement. I chose to stay in Quebec and to be involved in local governance and to contribute to Quebec society.  

I have been involved in Municipal Governance here in the Eastern Townships since my graduation from Bishop’s. I have been an elected official in Ste Edwidge de Clifton since 2017, becoming Deputy Mayor upon my re-election in 2021. 

I also currently serve as the Vice-president of “La Table de Concertation Culturel de la MRC de Coaticook”, a board I have been an elected member of since 2017; and I am a representative on the Régie Intermunicipale de Gestion des Déchets de la Région de Coaticook” board since 2021.” 

– Lyssa Paquette ‘14

“I am a Canadian who was born in Montreal, attended public and High School in Thetford Mines, QC and “grew up” at Bishop’s between 1960 and 1964. I then moved to Toronto to study law and remained to practice law for 40 years, the last 32 of which with Borden Ladner Gervais which has an office in Montreal.  

While I have lived in Ontario for most of my life, I am proud to have lived and learned in Quebec and consider myself a Quebecker. Bishop’s University launched me into adulthood and provided me with an education that enabled me to succeed in life. By growing up and receiving the foundation of my education in Quebec I believe that I am a better Canadian with an appreciation for, and understanding of, both of the anglophone and francophone cultures. If the Province of Quebec wants to be understood and appreciated in the rest of Canada and the world what better way to achieve this than encouraging and enabling non – Quebeckers to study in English or in French at universities in Quebec. 

Yes, there is a cost to subsidizing a portion of a non – Quebec student’s tuition at Bishop’s, Concordia and McGill. But, as I think I have experienced, there is a huge benefit in exposing that student to Quebec and its culture and language. Based on many visits to Quebec and interactions with family, colleagues and many friends both francophone and anglophone I do not believe that the French language is at all threatened today and in fact is in a  much stronger position than it was 50 years ago.   

Please Quebec, reverse the non – Quebec surcharge on studying and learning at Bishop’s, Concordia and McGill. 

Vive le Canada, Vive le Quebec et Vive Bishop’s!” 

– Winn Oughtred ‘64

Princess Elizabeth Elementary School showing their support

Alumni from Princess Elizabeth Elementary School in Magog proudly wearing the colours of their alma mater to support English-Language university institutions.

Princess Elizabeth Elementary School showing their support

“The entire 4 years I spent at BU gave me international insight and pride in Quebec. Coming from Ontario meant I was opening up my world already and lead to working abroad and all over Canada. The connections made are long lasting and the education affordable for all.  

It would be a true loss for the Eastern Townships to lose the diversity of students due to affordability.” 

– Kerri Martin (nee Breadner) ‘96

“My name is Lauren Hutchings and I studied at Bishop’s University from 2016-2021 in the Education Program. I am an anglophone from Ottawa, Ontario. When I was in High School and we needed to begin our search for post-secondary institutions, I already knew where I wanted to go. I did not apply to any other university but Bishop’s. On paper, it had everything I was looking for. A small student population, a deeply rooted and close connected alumni, a strong sense of pride, and a sense of belonging. My older sister was already a student there, so I had been to the campus multiple times and got to experience first-hand what it was like to be immersed in the BU community, but also the lovely Lennoxville community. I was welcomed with open arms by her friends, and I wasn’t even a student there yet. In the fall of 2015, I attended the Open House, applied the day of and was accepted by the end of the event. 

Even as a first-year student, my opportunities were endless. As a mainly undergraduate school, Bishop’s students can easily get involved in events, groups, clubs, jobs, student exchanges, and sports without being overshadowed by a massive student population. They can bond, connect and build professional relationships with their professors. Many of these opportunities are unheard of for undergraduate students and that experience is priceless. During my 5 years at Bishop’s, I joined many clubs, played on the Women’s Varsity Soccer team, coached the Women’s Club Soccer team, represented my program in many Education events, and worked for the Recruitment and Admissions team as a Student Ambassador. In my first year, I lived in residence and the 7 people I shared a floor with, are still friends of mine to this day – one of which I am now married to. My husband is from Lévis, QC and one of his reasons for choosing Bishop’s University was to learn more English. After graduation, we moved to Lévis, and we still live there now. Overtime, I have learned to speak Quebec French, but I have also been welcomed into a Quebec family who sees the value in my bilingualism. 

I love my university and I am proud to be a Bishop’s alumni. I do not feel my English education has taken from the culture of this beautiful province. In fact, it has allowed me to contribute to it. I cannot imagine a day that it does not exist. It is a community that welcomes all and has something for everyone. The pride that oozes from this university is like none other and the growth I experienced during my attendance will forever be cherished.” 

– Lauren Hutchings ‘21

“As a Canadian and resident of Quebec for four years (1992-1996), I was very sad to see the recent announcement that Canadian students from other provinces will be charged the same tuition as international students and much more than Quebeckers. The flow of Canadians back and forth across the country is one of our great strengths. It enables us to better understand each other and the many cultures that make up the country.   

I went to university at Bishop’s for the very reason of learning more about Quebec and its culture and people. It was a tremendous experience for me, and one I will not forget (nor could I have gained the same experience anywhere else). Even though I am now living and working in Vancouver, I still have numerous ties with Quebeckers and get back there when I can.   

Unfortunately, the government announcement will result in a much less diverse student body at Quebec universities, as few students from out of province will be able to afford (or choose to pay) so much higher fees to go to Quebec than other universities. In our case, for example, our 16-year-old daughter is considering attending universities in Quebec, BC and Atlantic Canada. Doubling tuition makes it unlikely she will choose Quebec when there are good (and much cheaper) options elsewhere. I am sure other families are coming to the same conclusion.  

I also fear a reciprocal move by other governments to increase the fees charged to Quebeckers if they choose to attend university elsewhere in Canada. This would be detrimental to university communities as well as the students themselves.    

I hope the Quebec government resumes the longstanding policy of welcoming all Canadians.” 

– Roy Millen ‘96

“I received your email requesting testimonials for English speaking students from out of province. I am also worried that Bishop’s will be greatly negatively affected by the Quebec government’s new policy of charging out of province students double tuition. I also think that it will negatively impact the spread of French language learning amongst English speaking Canadian students. If I would have had to pay double tuition I would not have gone to Quebec for my education. 

I came to Bishop’s from Alberta in 2000 mainly for the opportunity to attend University in English, and to be exposed to French on a regular basis. I took French classes, enjoyed the opportunity to go to Sherbrooke and speak French, as well as to make friends with many bilingual students from Quebec with whom I spoke French. I also participated in a one-year exchange in France. I truly believe that having English speaking universities in Quebec welcome students from other provinces can and does improve bilingualism across the country. I have used my French language skills to help me to get jobs working for international humanitarian organizations, including MSF (Medicines sans frontiers/doctors without borders) and the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross). I have worked in the French language in Côte d’Ivoire and had many French speaking colleagues in various missions with whom it was very helpful to speak French. I now live in BC and am fluent in French. I intend to send my son to French school next year. 

I am grateful for my time spent at Bishop’s and the opportunities it gave me. Going to Bishop’s was an important step towards my goal of becoming bilingual. Apart from the language opportunities I have spoken about, I enjoyed the totality of my experience at Bishop’s: I enjoyed the small class sizes, played rugby, acted in plays and loved the social aspects of students from across Canada coming together in small town Lennoxville. Now, almost 20 years after graduating, I have friends who live coast to coast in Canada and I am married to a man I met at Bishop’s. It truly was a formative part of my life. The new policy of double tuition for out of province students would dramatically change the student body at Bishop’s for the worse. And it would take away French language learning opportunities from English Canadians like myself.” 

– Leanna Hutchins ‘05

“My name is Christina, Bishop’s University class of 2020 alumna. This is my testimonial urging the Québec government to reconsider raising tuition costs for out-of-province students. 

I am originally from Toronto and fell in love with the French language early in life. During my 4 years at Bishop’s, I regularly looked for any opportunity to embrace and integrate with the French part of our community. If tuition had been so incomparably high compared to Ontario schools, I would not have been able to afford the opportunity and privilege to come fall in love with Québec. Despite being away for 3 years now, I have maintained my French and my love for Quebécois culture while living in other places for medical school (Anguilla in the Caribbean, northern Ontario, and Chicago). I have even begun the process of becoming a certified medical translator to strengthen my application for medical residencies next year. You heard that right. Because of Bishop’s, I will be applying to Québec’s placements in both French and English to train and set up roots as a physician. A potential new bilingual and rural doctor… where have I heard those words recently…? Oh right; in many a pleading statement by your very government. I am just one example of an out-of-province BU graduate who has the power to greatly enrich Québecois communities. This is only because I compared these universities on an even playing field to other Canadian schools. I wonder how this tuition hike would have changed the course of my life if it had happened in 2016.  

Students coming from different backgrounds and other provinces do not threaten your culture. We don’t come to Quebec to turn it into another Toronto, Calgary, Halifax, or Vancouver. We come because we want to appreciate and integrate. For me, it was through skiing, music, volunteering, learning traditional recipes, and taking advantage of all the outlets Bishop’s offered to experience the French Canadian way of life.  

Please reconsider. You are threatening the school that we love. You aren’t protecting Québec, you are merely trying to stamp out what makes it special.  

We’re begging you,” 

– Christina Baily Wilson ‘20

“I came all the way from British Columbia and Bishop’s was the most amazing undergraduate experience I could have imagined. With the opportunity to play on the women’s soccer team, I made wonderful friendships, with friends from all provinces, that I still have today…20 years later! Lennoxville was a delightful town to spend 4 years in and I was able to travel and explore other regions of Quebec. As a native French speaker from BC, this cultural addition to my education was priceless. The size of the school allowed me to have a rich education that propelled me on to medicine and I am a practicing neurologist today. I have Bishop’s to thank for my educational foundation and beautiful memories.” 

– Suzanne Bourque ‘02 

“As a graduate of Bishop’s University from the Class of 2014, I frequently reflect on my academic journey there with a deep sense of gratitude. Nestled within the scenic Eastern Townships of Quebec, Bishop’s offered an academically rigorous environment, further enriched by the province’s diverse cultural tapestry.  

My decision to attend Bishop’s was heavily influenced by the positive testimonials from past students. Upon enrolling, it became immediately apparent why Bishop’s held such esteem. The educators there were committed to knowing their students by name, creating an atmosphere of community and belonging that stood in stark contrast to many larger institutions.  

During my time at Bishop’s and in the subsequent years, I was fortunate enough to explore various parts of Quebec. The vibrant streets of Montreal, the historic charm of Old Quebec City, and the quaint allure of small towns in the Eastern Townships all hold a special place in my heart. In fact, such was my fondness for Quebec that I continued to visit the province annually after my graduation, forging even deeper connections with its landscapes and communities. 

However, amidst these cherished memories, I am deeply concerned about recent developments that marginalize English Canadians. While the experiences and memories I’ve cultivated in Quebec are invaluable, I am compelled to re-evaluate my association with the province in light of these changes. If such sentiments persist, it would be with a heavy heart that I reconsider my annual visits and financial contributions. It pains me to think that a province I hold so dear might be sending a message that English Canadians are no longer welcome.  

In conclusion, my years at Bishop’s University were transformative, providing me with a robust educational foundation and fostering enduring relationships. I value the lessons, experiences, and networks I acquired during my time there, but I also underscore the significance of fostering an inclusive environment that welcomes all Canadians, regardless of their linguistic background.” 

 – Justin Blackburn ‘14

“My name is Andrea Brumwell, and I am an alumnus of Bishop’s University, Class of 2015, who attended from out of province (Ontario).  

During my time at Bishop’s, I experienced the diversity of Québécois culture through my Québécois friends from Bishop’s, ranging from Montréal to Cantons-de-l’Est and to Sacré Coeur. I was also warmly welcomed by the Sherbrooke community during my time as a researcher at U de S. Indeed, I have maintained these relationships since and have been drawn back to Québec many times since graduating Bishop’s.  

I frequently share my fantastic experience at Bishop’s, and recommend others visit Québec for its beauty, culture, and residents. Although I currently live in Ontario, I continue to use the French skills I gained during my time at Bishop’s in my current job where I engage Québécois physicians. 

The decision to significantly increase tuition for out of province students will be incredibly detrimental to Bishop’s University. Ultimately, it will majorly impact the ability for others to share the greatness of Québec across the country.” 

– Andrea Brumwell ‘15

Champlain College showing their support

Alumni from Champlain Regional College-Lennoxville in Sherbrooke proudly wearing the colours of their alma mater to support English-Language university institutions.

Champlain College staff showing their support

“Hello. My name is Julie Senior-Cosman. I was a graduate of the Graduate School of Education in 1990. Prior to this, I attended Bishop’s from 1986-89 obtaining my BA Major Biology, Minor Geography.   

I had the opportunity to visit Bishop’s by chance, after driving by the university one August day with my family. We had spent some time in Lac Megantic visiting relatives of my mom. My mom’s family had a farm there.  I asked my mom “What is this?” and she replied, “This is Bishop’s University.” We had time in our schedule to go on a tour and I instantly fell in love with the campus!! I loved the New England style architecture of the buildings, the rural setting and the size of the campus. It was the summer before Grade 13 in Ontario and I was thinking about what I wanted to major in and what I wanted to do when I graduated. As a resident of London, Ontario, Western University was certainly an option for me but the size of this university was not what I was looking for. I knew that I wanted to study biology somewhere. I had toured McGill, Carlton and Guelph as well. By Christmas of that year, I had decided I wanted to attend Bishop’s because I loved the Quebec culture, I loved the Eastern Townships and most of all, I loved Bishop’s facilities and courses. I loved the small class sizes Bishop’s offered, and the hands-on labs provided as part of the science program. In my time at Bishop’s I played varsity rugby and was involved with many intramurals and clubs.  

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend Bishop’s for several reasons. I was offered an academic scholarship. I met my husband during a geography class in 2nd year- we dated for several years and eventually got married on campus at the chapel in the summer of 1993. I have wonderful friends whom I have met at Bishop’s and keep in touch with more than 30 years later.  

As a graduate of the Graduate School of Education, I secured my first ever teaching position at Stanstead College, about 45 minutes from Bishop’s. I spent an amazing 3 years there.  

In total, I spent 7 years in Quebec and loved my time there very much. So even though I came from southwestern Ontario, I chose to stay in Quebec upon graduation and become fully immersed in the culture and language, and felt completely at home.  

Bishop’s will always hold a special place in my heart!!” 

– Julie Senior-Cosman ‘89

“Bishop’s is a truly unique university in Canada, a small and intimate educational experience in the heart of the Eastern Townships where anglophone students can come to Quebec and ingrain themselves in French culture from the surrounding community while studying in English. When I applied to Bishop’s over 20 years ago (has it really been that long…) I didn’t know what to expect except that I was a kid from New Brunswick looking to strike out on his own at a university where I wouldn’t be just a number. What I remember from the ensuing four years are dozens of special moments inside and outside the classroom. Academically as a double major in business and economics, I was able to compete in the NIBS case study competition and travel to Dublin with three other students where we defeated 7 other schools to claim the top prize. I had a number of tough but fair professors who pushed me to be the best student I could be. Outside the classroom, I acted in several plays, and even directed one. I also wasn’t a stranger around the music department, playing bass with my band the Water Solubles as we rocked out for our friends at various venues across Lennoxville over the years. I’m not sure this diverse experience could have happened anywhere but at Bishop’s. Lastly, in the context of potential tuition hikes to out of province students, I should share my experience working as a house manager at Centennial Theater. As one of the few students who stuck around for the spring semester who could also speak French semi-fluently, I was given the daunting task of managing our busy rental season where various French speaking organizations hosted hundreds of citizens of Sherbrooke for dance recitals, awards ceremonies, and other events. There was nothing quite like that experience to really encourage me to sharpen up my French language skills. Again, I would never have gotten this opportunity anywhere else. Going forward from 2024 I am confident that policies will be reconsidered and other out of province students will continue to get the same opportunities I was blessed with in my four years at Bishop’s.” 

– David ‘07

“As a native Ontarian and former student of Bishop’s University, I continue to cherish the fond memories I made during my 4 years living in the scenic eastern townships of Quebec. The enriching relationships – with both friends and professors – built during those formative years at such a historic university are hard to match. The small class sizes made for intimate classroom environments where everyone felt welcome and at ease participating. Bishop’s helped to shape the person who I am today. I continue to positively reflect back everything the school taught me even though it’s been 15 years since graduating.” 

– Geoffrey De Grasse ‘08 

“During my studies at Bishop’s my major was in English, but I enjoyed many opportunities to take French classes where anglophone and francophone students studied together. I met people from Quebec, across Canada, and outside Canada as we learned about Quebec arts, culture, and history. We learned not only through the texts we read in class but also through class outings. These trips to Sherbrooke to the historical museum and to hear storytellers telling folk tales in French were among the many memorable experiences I had. On my own, I enjoyed live musical performances, plays, and films in French during my time in Lennoxville. Since graduating, I have carried with me the knowledge from my classes, as well as a continuing interest in Quebec culture. I have used my French skills in both my professional life and on trips to Quebec, and other French-speaking parts of Canada.” 

– Katharine ‘18 

“Before coming to Bishop’s from Ontario, I had no need to speak to anyone in French. I could have lived my entire life successfully in English. After arriving at Bishop’s, I was surrounded by Francophone culture, so much more exciting to me than what I had left behind.  Bishop’s provided an Anglo-French base for my gradual and growing admiration of Québec. Within five years of graduation, I published an academic article in French. I now regularly read French literature. And my family spends vacations in Québec with our close Francophone friends. New Francophones can be taught as well as born. Please encourage other Anglophones like me to live and study in Quebec. 

Avant d’arriver à Bishop’s, je n’avais besoin de parler à personne en français. J’aurais pu vieillir avec succès en anglais. Après mon arrivée à Bishop’s, j’ai été entouré de culture francophone, bien plus excitante pour moi que ce que j’avais laissé derrière moi. Bishop’s a fourni une base anglo-française à mon admiration progressive et croissante pour le Québec. Cinq ans après l’obtention de mon diplôme, j’ai publié un article académique en français. Je lis désormais régulièrement de la littérature française. Et ma famille passe des vacances au Québec avec nos amis proches francophones. Les nouveaux francophones peuvent aussi bien être instruits que naître. S’il vous plaît, encouragez d’autres anglophones comme moi à vivre et étudier au Québec. » 

– Stephen Harris ‘88 

“I’m a native of Victoria, BC and a Bishop’s alumni. Without BU I would have never come to Quebec, met my wife, had 3 beautiful bilingual children or become a contributing member of our Quebec economy. 

I made a choice to move to a new province, to a university sight unseen and it forever changed the course of my life- it was the best decision I ever made. The friends and contacts I have made have formed the person who I am today. From the rugby field to the classroom and in my professional career there is not one aspect of my life that has not been directly impacted by the BU community. Had the current change in tuition occurred during my time of university selection, Bishop’s would have been quickly dropped from my prospective list. 

I hope that this poorly thought out and impactful political decision to increase tuition will not rob prospective out of province students from a life changing opportunity both culturally and academically. 

Raise a toast!” 

– Stephan Chapheau ‘04

“One of the best decisions that I ever made was attending Bishop’s University. 

Growing up in Peterborough, Ontario, I had limited exposure to the French language, culture or history. I had taken basic high school French, but I knew that if I wanted to pursue my dream of working in national politics, I had to be able to speak both of this country’s official languages. 

What I realized while attending Bishop’s between 1990-1994 was that learning the language was only part of the equation. The other side of the equation was that being immersed in a bi-cultural, bilingual environment helped shape my view of Quebec, of Canada and of the world in general. 

I saw how “Townshippers” lived, worked, celebrated and learned together, in both English and French. I learned that speaking a language perfectly was less important than simply doing your best to speak it at all – that the simple gesture of trying and practicing your French in Lennoxville, Sherbrooke and the surrounding communities was seen as a sign of respect by residents. It is a lesson I have taken with me throughout my career, including now when I interact daily with French-speaking elected officials from across this country. 

While at Bishop’s, I was exposed to exceptional professors, a diverse and inclusive student body and an environment that fostered excellence. The environment gave me confidence, inspiring me to give back, and I was proud to serve two-terms at the President of the Students’ Representative Council and also to represent the graduating class of 1994 as Valedictorian – in French and in English.  

Since leaving Bishop’s, I have worked for two federal party leaders – including a former Prime Minister – and held senior roles with organizations such as the Ottawa Senators, Canada Post and CIBC. I was named one of Bishop’s “Top 10 After 10” and have been a member of the Bishop’s Jump mentorship program since its inception.  To this day, my closest friends are from Bishop’s and wherever we live in the world, we are ambassadors for the university and for the province. 

This is why I am so deeply concerned about recent policy changes introduced by the Quebec government would see tuition almost double for Canadian students choosing to attend a Quebec university from outside of the province, because had these rules been in place when I was considering university options back in 1990, I would never have been able to attend Bishop’s.  

As the son of a single mother who worked several jobs at once to provide for my sister and myself and given that I paid for every step of my university education, these new rules would have precluded me from ever setting foot on the Bishop’s campus. 

I know firsthand that universities change lives because Bishop’s changed mine. It afforded me the academic structure and self-assurance to work and live in both English and French for the last 30 years, to develop a love and respect for the province of Quebec, to have my own children educated in French, and to foster lasting friendships with people from across the province, the country and the world.  

It is my most sincere hope that future generations will receive the same opportunity as I had to live, learn and be inspired at Bishop’s University and that the province will reconsider decisions which would devastate an educational institution which is respected and admired globally.” 

– Chad Schella ‘94

“My name is Han Zhang, I’m an Enrollment data analyst in Registrar’s Office of Bishop’s University.  And with no surprise, I’m an alumni. I got my Master of Computer Science degree in 2020 from BU.  

I originated from China. Before I came to Quebec, I knew something about her already from both the medias and the Internet: the world-leading aviation industry; the fruitful research in Artificial Intelligence; the outstanding gaming and IT companies, etc., and the most important, the diverse culture. Among these, the French culture and language is a very important reason attracting me to Quebec. And Bishop’s gave me an access to it. That is because it’s very hard to apply those French universities in Quebec as a non-francophone applicant. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to approach Quebec for a non-francophone international student without the three English universities in Quebec, i.e., McGill, Concordia, and Bishop’s.  

After entering BU, on one hand, I was dedicated on the major courses study. On the other hand, I spent lots of time on French learning – I registered the French courses in Bishop’s almost each semester in addition to the major courses. During the courses, we learned the grammar, the vocabulary, the listening, etc. After 3 semesters, I was able to do the debate on class, all in French. And there were a lot more international students doing the same things as me, the Chinese, the American, the Brazilian, the Indian, the Japanese, the Iranian, …. – the whole process was so natural, so quiet…. nobody forced us to do so.  

Oh, by the way, during my study in BU, I brought my wife and daughter here as well. My daughter entered a daycare in French at the age of 2. My wife learned the French in French class by the government in the evening. In the daytime, she worked in a hotel, in French. After my graduation, I got my first job in CGI. So, we decided to settle down here in Quebec. 

Till now, we have been living here in Lenoxville, Sherbrooke for 6 years. Time flies. During this time, we’ve been through a lot… the COVID, (no, that’s not the point). I have passed the French exam – TEFAQ. Oh yes, my daughter is 7 years old now, who is almost a Quebecois – she speaks “Ben, oui….” all the time. She used to be very shy to knock at the door during “trick or treat” in Halloween. Last year, she did it all in French (I believe this year it will be the same too).  Speaking of my wife, she can tell jokes to her clients in French now.  

I’m very grateful for Bishop’s. For me, it’s more than a university giving me the knowledge, it’s pretty much like a window showcasing me the diverse culture of Quebec, attracting me, and letting me go through it and then – be a part of it.” 

– Han Zhang ‘20

“Growing up in the heart of Vancouver, my interaction with the French Language, and the unique culture of Quebec and other parts of French-speaking Canada, was incredibly limited.  

My education in French began with 2-3 hours per week in Grade 4, and only increased to 3-5 hours from grade 8-11. Needless to say, my grasp of the language was extremely limited, my accent poor, and I struggled to think when I would ever need speak French. Growing up where I did, it seemed to me like Cantonese, Mandarin, or Punjabi, may have been a better language to learn.  

When it came to applying for universities in Grade 12, I knew that I did not want to go to a massive school in a big city like the University of British Columbia or Simon Fraser University. I wanted to go to a small college in a small college town. My father, and his parents, are graduates of Mount Allison, and thus I had an appreciation for the liberal arts model.  

I applied to Bishop’s after hearing about the school from a family friend who had enrolled in the Fall of 2013. After learning of the school, I was attracted by it’s beautiful campus, it’s relative proximity to Montreal, the selection of programs, and the low cost. The cost of enrolling at Bishop’s in 2014 was not much more than going to school in BC. And, due to the generosity of alumni, the entrance scholarship that I would qualify for would make Bishop’s less expensive than any comparable school in the country.  

So I applied to Bishop’s, was accepted, offered an entrance scholarship, and travelled to Sherbrooke for the first time in late August of 2014, just ahead of move-in day. I fell in love with L’Estrie the minute my family and I drove through the rolling hills on the way towards town from Montreal. I quickly learned that the French that I thought was “conversational” was actually at a “survival” level. But my fellow students, and the community, were very welcoming, and I made it through those first few months without any issue or homesickness.  

I spent three years at Bishop’s, graduating in 2018. During that time I gained an immense amount of respect for the unique culture of Quebec and the important role that the French Language plays in making Canada what it is. I went from thinking that French was not applicable to my life, to being extremely jealous of those who effortlessly went back-and-forth between the two. One of the things I credit Bishop’s with is providing me an opportunity to meet so many amazing people from around Canada, specifically Eastern Ontario and Quebec. Prior to attending Bishop’s, I didn’t know anyone who was Franco-Ontarian or really anyone from Quebec outside of Montreal. Bishop’s provided me a whole new world view, and a newfound respect for a Province that I didn’t know much about.  

I was very thankful to take a class called “Quebec Society” in my first year. It was an eye-opening course that provided the historical and sociological information to help me best understand how the Quebec we know today was formed. That course taught a Vancouver kid to understand and accept that the French Language was in jeopardy in the mid-20th century, and that the language laws enacted were necessary to ensure that Quebec’s most populous city remained a place where the French majority felt welcome and included.  

I know that those initial laws, and subsequent ones, were damaging to certain sectors of the economy. However, throughout the last 50 years, higher education has remained somewhat protected from these French-centric policies.  

This latest policy decision, to effectively double the tuition at English language universities will not protect the French language. It will cause students like me to go to a school in another part of Canada where I would have never gained the appreciation and respect for the French language or the province of Quebec. It will cost the Province dearly, as I and many other out-of-province students spent tens of thousands of dollars on rent, groceries, entertainment, and arts and culture, while attending school and paying the 10% sales tax rate while spending money earned outside the Province. Furthermore, the cultural exchange that happens on these campuses will be limited, and those from Quebec will have less opportunities to interact and learn from Canadians from across the country. 

The French language must be protected in Quebec, that is a fact. But limiting the diversity of Canadians attending Quebec’s English universities is not an answer. We need more Canadians to live, work, and study, in Quebec and learn the French language. I believe that keeping out-of-province tuition at current levels is key to maintaining diversity on these campuses and providing a safe space for young people from Quebec, and outside of the Province, to interact and gain appreciation for one another’s linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Raising out-of-province tuition at English universities will reduce opportunities for young Quebecers, hurt the economy, damage the reputation of Quebec nationally, and isolate our second largest Province from the rest of the country. “ 

– James Hanoomansingh ‘18

“I am a very proud, very successful person BECAUSE of living in Quebec and being able to do my education there!! I LOVED LIVING IN LENNOXVILLE AND SHERBROOKE. Like LOVED IT! I wouldn’t have changed a thing about my amazing education. I drove back and forth in a 73 Datsun B210 from the Yukon, and then an 89 Mercury Topaz; I weightlifted with the Turcotte sisters who were on the national team, Guy Hamilton, Sebastien Groulx and I wouldn’t have met my weightlifting family if I couldn’t have experienced living in the province of Quebec.

Please DO NOT take these measures lightly! I met my wonderful boyfriend in Lennoxville, Gilles Poirier–the first guy to ever treat me the way a woman should be treated. Bishop’s was so much more than a post-secondary education–I met a whole new Quebec family there. NOW MY DAUGHTER GOES THERE. I believe in Bishop’s, I believe in all that Quebec has to offer in friendships, sport, education, economy and life experience. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE decision makers, reverse this decision. Quebec French students are welcome in all parts of Canada–English students wanting to experience Quebec should not be financially penalized and instead welcomed into Quebec. I am PRO FRENCH, PRO QUEBEC–ask anybody who knows me. Best decision I made to go there for school. Please don’t take away that privilege from other students, including my son, who would also go there when he’s done high school. I LOVE YOU BISHOP’S. I love all of the people I made friends with there–the weightlifters, Nancy and Francois, Lynn, Kyla, Norm, Jen, my Swedish friends, Sylvie, … saddened by the announcement and I think it’s very short sighted. Please please please support this link and if you are in Sherbrooke or other parts of Quebec, support having other Canadians study in your beautiful province. THANK YOU!! TAG ANY PEOPLE IN QUEBEC OR WHO ATTENDED BISHOP’S, McGILL or CONCORDIA! 

Je suis une personne très fière et très réussie PARCE que je vis au Québec et que je peux y faire mes études !! J’AI AIMÉ VIVRE À LENNOXVILLE ET SHERBROOKE. J’ai adoré ! Je n’aurais rien changé à mon incroyable éducation. J’ai fait des allers-retours dans une Datsun B210 73 en provenance du Yukon, puis dans une Mercury Topaz 89 ; J’ai fait de l’haltérophilie avec les sœurs Turcotte qui faisaient partie de l’équipe nationale, Guy Hamilton, Sébastien Groulx et moi n’aurions pas rencontré ma famille d’haltérophilie si je n’avais pas pu vivre au Québec. Veuillez NE PAS prendre ces mesures à la légère ! J’ai rencontré mon merveilleux petit ami à Lennoxville, Gilles Poirier, le premier homme à me traiter comme une femme devrait être traitée. Bishop’s, c’était bien plus qu’une éducation postsecondaire : j’y ai rencontré une toute nouvelle famille québécoise. MAINTENANT, MA FILLE Y VA. Je crois à Bishop’s, je crois en tout ce que le Québec a à offrir en matière d’amitié, de sport, d’éducation, d’économie et d’expérience de vie. S’IL VOUS PLAÎT S’IL VOUS PLAÎT S’IL VOUS PLAÎT décideurs, annulez cette décision. Les étudiants français du Québec sont les bienvenus dans toutes les régions du Canada. Les étudiants anglophones souhaitant découvrir le Québec ne devraient pas être pénalisés financièrement mais plutôt accueillis au Québec. Je suis PRO FRANÇAIS, PRO QUÉBEC – demandez à tous ceux qui me connaissent. La meilleure décision que j’ai prise d’y aller pour l’école. S’il vous plaît, n’enlevez pas ce privilège aux autres étudiants, y compris à mon fils, qui irait également là-bas une fois ses études secondaires terminées. JE VOUS AIME BISHOP’S. J’aime toutes les personnes avec qui je me suis lié d’amitié là-bas – les haltérophiles, Nancy et François, Lynn, Kyla, Norm, Jen, mes amies suédoises, Sylvie, ….. je suis tellement attristée par l’annonce et je pense que c’est très court aperçu. S’il vous plaît, s’il vous plaît, soutenez ce lien et si vous êtes à Sherbrooke ou dans d’autres régions du Québec, soutenez que d’autres Canadiens étudient dans votre belle province. MERCI !! TAGEZ TOUTES LES PERSONNES AU QUÉBEC OU QUI ONT FRÉQUENTÉ BISHOP’S, McGILL ou CONCORDIA !” 

– Trena Irving ‘97

“My name is Amanda Chaval (née McAlpine) and I graduated from Bishop’s University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts; Major in Music and two Minors in Theatre & Creative Writing/Journalism (a unique offering only Bishop’s has!) I came to Bishop’s as an out-of-province student, having completed high school in BC and Ontario.  

Being from Ontario put me in a unique situation; I loved everything Quebec had to offer during my 4 years. I researched universities for a long time, putting significant thought into my decision to go to Bishop’s: to take advantage of an out-of-province experience, to live & learn in a French culture, and the small size of Bishop’s was attractive (not to mention purple was already my favourite colour…) I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for Bishop’s. My years there directly impact what I do today and how I see the world. My experience is so close to my heart, and Lennoxville will always feel like home.  

By living in Quebec, I was able to greatly improve my French and develop a strong appreciation for Quebec and its culture.  

Today, I am a Choir & Theatre teacher at a high calibre independent International Baccalaureate and Round Square school. I am also a mezzo-soprano with a professional Opera Company. If it weren’t for the individualized liberal arts education and specialized opportunities I got in the music department at Bishop’s that are not available at other music schools, I would not have got to where I am. The amount of times I got to star in a play (and write my own plays, not to mention stage manage & direct too) during the short play festivals every year at Bishop’s, and singing in the University Singers under Jamie Crooks’ direction, helped foster my love of the arts and showed me that I can make a career out of it.  

Also… I am a French teacher. I am bilingual because of attending Bishop’s and have continued sharing my love of the French language & culture.  

Everyone talks about how people at Bishop’s are so passionate about Bishop’s. I always felt that students who came from a different province were even more passionate about Bishop’s. They moved further, had greater sacrifices and higher ambition to make Bishop’s their home. Supporting students across Canada to take advantage of the Bishop’s experience is a key value Bishop’s holds. This cannot be taken away. 

I will always be grateful for spending my formative years at Bishop’s, they are a cornerstone to who I am today. I will always bleed purple.” 

– Amanda Chaval ‘11

“I am 59 years old, and I (was born in and) grew up in Ottawa.  I have been living in Calgary, Alberta for the past 25 years.   

The reason I chose to attend Bishop’s University was because I wanted to attend a relatively small undergraduate university, and I wanted to attend an English-speaking university. Bishop’s was on my short-list of universities to attend. The other two universities on my short list were: 1. Mount Allison University (Mt A) in Sackville, New Brunswick; and 2. St Francis Xavier University (St. FX) in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. 

My anglophone mother was born and raised in Antigonish. and my francophone father attended St. FX 80 years ago in the 1940s. Also, my family lived in Sackville, New Brunswick before I was born. My father was born and raised in Chéticamp, Cape Breton (a French Acadian fishing village). All my relatives on my father’s side of the family are francophone, and I spent every summer of my childhood in Chéticamp. I attended a French school for kindergarten (in Ottawa), and I attended French immersion for grades 1 to 8 inclusive (in Ottawa). I attended an English high school (in Ottawa). My parents divorced when I was 10 years old, and from then onwards I was raised by my francophone father. My father spoke French regularly, as he worked as an executive in the Federal Government. In my youth I visited Montreal regularly to play sports and watch professional sports (baseball, hockey and football). Specifically, I remember participating in a cultural hockey exchange (sponsored by Jean Belliveau and the Montreal Canadiens) when I was 10 years old (in the fall of 1974).  

I attended Bishop’s University from 1983 to 1986 (40 years ago). I enjoyed it so much that I decided to attend law school afterwards (at Dalhousie University in Halifax). The special part about Bishop’s was how young students from a variety of different backgrounds: 1. learned about each other; and 2. got along very well with each other. Also, the professors made learning fun. And the campus and surrounding area were absolutely gorgeous. My close friends at Bishop’s University were from everywhere: China, Greece, U.S., Jamaica, Brazil, west end of Montreal, east end of Montreal, south shore of Montreal, central Montreal, rural Quebec, PEI, Toronto, Cornwall, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Ottawa. The French language and the French culture are something that all students at Bishop’s University loved. We were a big happy family. Bishop’s University was a place where open-minded Quebecers and students from elsewhere (who respected and loved the language and culture of Quebec) could live together and all “learn” together in the broadest sense of the word.   

I have read in McLean’s magazine recently how Bishop’s University is the happiest university in Canada.  I hope this continues, as it appears to have been a very happy place for at least the past 40 years.    

I would not have attended Bishop’s University if tuition at Bishop’s University was significantly higher than what I would have to pay to attend other similar universities, such as Mt A and St. FX.  

– Coady Cormier ‘86

“Always knew that going away for studies was an important part of growing. Being immersed into a completely different culture does wonders on a young mind. Sr year of HS I was accepted into UofT but my friend, who is a legacy at Bishop’s, was going there and the idea of moving across the country without anyone who knew where I was from made the decision easy, I applied to BU and was accepted with a scholarship and never looked back. It was one of the best decisions of my young life.  

I’ve been blessed to have it translate into a fruitful career, I graduated with an HONS in music performance from BU and now am responsible for North America sales and product marketing for Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer for the Jeep brand and live in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is interesting how many of my colleagues who have MBA’s from the finest ivy’s are constantly floored I only have a ‘Music degree’ from a Canadian University. To me a true testament of a complete and diverse liberal education that Bishop’s provides.” 

– David Hudson ’03 

“English version follows. 

Je n’ai pas appris le français au Québec.  

Je ne suis pas diplômé de Bishop’s. 

De nationalité française de surcroît, je ne serais pas, si j’avais encore l’age d’étudiant de Baccalauréat (au sens québécois du terme) concerné par cette mesure d’augmentation des frais de scolarité promue par le gouvernement du Québec. 

Et pourtant, je m’exprime. 

J’ai passé une année académique en échange à l’Université Bishop’s, un établissement que j’avais retenu pour 3 raisons: 

– sa taille réduite promettait une proximité inhabituelle, peu ordinaire avec le corps enseignant,  

– son campus « rural » était gage d’une intégration rapide 

– sa langue d’enseignement était l’anglais.  

L’expérience allait dépasser toutes mes attentes. 

Non seulement j’allais bénéficier, en cette année 92-93, d’une qualité académique remarquable à la Williams School of Business, mais j’allais y vivre d’une expérience humaine intense, pleines de rencontres, dont certaines se transformeraient en amitiés profondes, encore vivantes aujourd’hui, avec des étudiants francophones, anglophones, du Canada et d’ailleurs. 

Et puis, l’histoire ne s’arrête pas là…  

…Mes deux enfants choisiraient, sans doute influencés par mon expérience québécoise, de réaliser toutes leurs études au Québec, 25 ans après moi! L’un à Bishop’s (BBA, diplômé en 2022), et l’autre aujourd’hui en 3ème année à l’Université de Montréal, faculté de médecine. 

Ce qui donc, commençait comme un simple échange dans une université anglophone, allait avoir une influence durable sur ma vie, mais aussi sur celle de la génération suivante. 

Je n’aurais probablement jamais mis les pieds au Québec, sans l’attrait de Bishop’s, cette université anglophone à taille humaine, « perdue » en Estrie sur les bords de la rivière Massawipi…! 

Je n’y serais sans doute jamais retourné tant de fois… et bien sûr, mes enfants nés en Espagne n’y auraient sans doute jamais étudié. 

Ce n’est que mon histoire, bien sûr, mais n’est-ce pas une illustration de l’attrait des établissements anglophones du Québec, et de la manière dont ils sont, eux aussi, d’excellents ambassadeurs de la «Belle Province » au delà de ses limites, au Canada et au delà? 

Je partage avec le gouvernement du Québec son interêt pour le soutient de la langue de Molière (et de Louis Hémon, Marie-Claire Blais, Gabrielle Roy, aussi!), rare dans un continent hispano-anglophone. 

Ne serait-il pas regrettable, pourtant, de ne pas offrir la possibilité à tous les élèves, francophones ou pas d’expérimenter le Québec? 

Ne serait-il pas regrettable aussi, d’empêcher le Québec de s’enrichir en retour de ces nouveaux-venus, qu’ils soient temporaires ou définitifs?  


I haven’t learnt French in Québec.  

I’m not a Bishop’s graduate. 

And being a French national, I wouldn’t even suffer the consequences of the Québec government measures increasing tuition fees for Canadian, non-Québec students. 

Yet, I’m sharing my thoughts. 

I’ve spent one academic year as an exchange student at Bishop’s University, which I had shortlisted for 3 reasons: 

– its limited size would allow an unusual and highly valuable proximity to the academic body,  

– its countryside, highly residential campus, would help me « belong » faster 

– its teaching language was English 

My Bishop’s experience would exceed my expectations: 

Not only would I, during the 92-93 academic year, experiment the remarkable learning experience at Williams School of Business, but I would live an intense human experience, new friendships, some of them still alive today, with French and English speakers alike, from Canada an abroad. 

And that was only the start… 

… Both my children, probably influenced by my own experience, would choose to fully study in Québec, 25 years later. One at Bishop’s (BBA, class of ‘22), et the other currently in 3rd year at Université de Montréal, School of Medicine. 

What started as a modest exchange program in an English-speaking university would not only durably influence my own life, but also… the next generation! 

Without Bishop’s, this human-size anglophone university, “lost” in the Eastern Townships, on the Massawipi river, I might as well have never traveled to Québec, 

I would have never returned so many times, and my Spain-born children would have never studied in Québec. 

It’s only my story, of course, but it illustrates how attractive anglophone universities in Québec can be, and how they are also valuable ambassadors of province, in the rest of Canada, and beyond, aren’t they?    

I share the Québec Government view that French language deserves support in a continent dominated by English and Spanish. 

Wouldn’t it be a pity, however, not to offer all students, francophones or not, a chance to experience Québec? 

Wouldn’t it be a pity for Québec not to benefit from what these newcomers, temporary or… for good, can bring to the Province?” 

– Bruno Tromeur 

“I am originally from Alberta, and I attended Bishop’s University from 1996-2000. The reason I came to Quebec for university was because I had travelled around Europe for 6 months the year before, during a gap year, and so many people asked me what it was like to live in Canada. I had really only been to Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan so couldn’t really answer this question. I researched universities in other provinces and found out about Bishop’s. The size was the main thing that attracted me- being from a small town I didn’t want to live in Montreal. I applied to Bishop’s and was accepted! My cousin and I drove from Alberta, and we arrived in Lennoxville on a muggy, hot September day. I was amazed at the architecture of the buildings and was lucky to have a room in the Norton residence that faced the quad my first year.  

Everyone at the university and the town of Lennoxville were friendly and welcoming. I loved my 4 years at Bishop’s. It’s hard to put into words how much this experience shaped who I am today. I made lifelong friends at Bishop’s and even stayed in the Eastern Townships for a couple of years after graduation. I made friends with and had a partner who was a Francophone from Sherbrooke and I learned to speak French.  

After my time in Quebec, I lived in Europe for a few years and am now back in my home province of Alberta. I recently discovered that my ancestors on my dad’s side come from a long line of French Catholics who were the first settlers in Quebec. I may be an Albertan by birth, but my ancestors were the first French people to live in Quebec. In fact, my ancestry DNA indicates that I am 25% French.  

When I read the news that tuition was doubling for out of province students, my heart sank. I have two daughters who will hopefully attend post-secondary one day. And now, attending Bishop’s is not an option for them. It really makes me upset and frustrated that their options are being limited like this. And I don’t see the reason why. Do other provinces charge out of province students double? I don’t see any benefit to restricting access to post-secondary education to any Canadian in Quebec by making it financially unattainable. Honestly, we need to encourage people to go and live in other provinces. To expand their horizons and rid themselves of stereotypes. By restricting movement, it only serves to silo people and their thoughts and encourages division. We need less of this in our world today, not more. 

It is my hope that the Quebec government reconsiders its very shortsighted decision which doesn’t appear to be based on any kind of facts. I urge them to ask themselves what purpose it will serve to have less young people coming into Quebec from other provinces. I think any potential benefits will greatly be outweighed by the negatives.  

I hope that this testimonial helps in some way. Thank you for reading it. Raise a toast.” 

– Cori Klassen ‘00

New Horizons staff showing their support

Alumni from New Horizons Adult Education Centre in Sherbrooke proudly wearing the colours of their alma mater to support English-Language university institutions.

New Horizons staff showing their support

“I moved from Toronto to the Eastern Townships of Quebec when I was 18 to attend Bishop’s University, where I completed a double bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Fine Art. Surrounded by nature and Quebecois culture, I discovered my passion for protecting the environment and became an ambassador for this beautiful province. 

I did well in school because I was able to learn in my mother tongue while I picked up French working in restaurants. Tuition for out-of-province students was already high, but manageable enough that I could focus on schoolwork. Bishop’s presented me with professional and experiential opportunities, including a semester abroad in Ecuador. I graduated with a high Grade Point Average and went on to complete a master’s degree at Concordia University. Today, I live in Montreal and I have a job in the natural sciences that I absolutely love. I am completely bilingual and I don’t ever see myself leaving Quebec. 

I can’t imagine my life if I hadn’t come to Quebec. The problem is, Quebec wants a future without people like me. The recent unfathomable hike in tuition is devastating to prospective out-of-province students and to Bishop’s University, which is a strong advocate for the protection of the French language. If tuition was that high when I was in school, I would have never come here, and I would have never learned French. 

Bishop’s University is an important institution to the local economy and plays a pivotal role inincreasing how well-known Quebec is for its hospitality and vibrant francophone culture internationally. This counterproductive policy would be catastrophic to Bishop’s University and damaging to bilingualism, cultural exchange, and an inclusive environment. 

À l’âge de 18 ans, j’ai quitté Toronto pour emménager dans les Cantons de l’Est du Québec, afin d’étudier à l’Université Bishop’s, où j’ai obtenu un double baccalauréat en études environnementales et en beaux-arts. Entourée par la nature et la culture québécoise, je me suis découvert une passion pour la protection de l’environnement et je suis devenue une ambassadrice de cette belle province. 

J’ai bien réussi mes études parce que j’ai pu apprendre dans ma langue maternelle et, en même temps, j’ai travaillé dans des restaurants où j’ai rapidement appris le français. Les frais de scolarité pour les étudiants de l’extérieur de la province étaient déjà élevés, mais suffisamment gérables pour que je puisse me concentrer sur mes études. Bishop’s m’a offert des opportunités professionnelles et expérientielles, notamment un semestre à l’étranger en Équateur. J’ai obtenu mon diplôme avec une moyenne générale élevée et j’ai poursuivi mes études en vue d’obtenir une maîtrise à l’Université Concordia. Aujourd’hui, j’habite à Montréal et j’occupe un poste dans le domaine des sciences naturelles que j’adore. Je suis parfaitement bilingue et je ne me vois pas quitter le Québec. 

Je ne peux pas imaginer ma vie si je n’étais pas venu au Québec. Le problème, c’est que le Québec veut un avenir sans les personnes comme moi. La récente et insondable hausse des frais de scolarité est extrêmement néfaste pour les futurs étudiants de l’extérieur de la province et pour l’Université Bishop’s, qui est un ardent défenseur de la protection de la langue française. Si les frais de scolarité étaient aussi élevés lorsque j’étais étudiante, je ne serais jamais venu ici et je n’aurais jamais appris le français. 

L’Université Bishop’s est une institution importante pour l’économie locale et joue un rôle central dans l’accroissement de la notoriété internationale du Québec pour son hospitalité et sa culture francophone dynamique. Cette politique contre-productive serait catastrophique pour l’Université Bishop’s et préjudiciable au bilinguisme, aux échanges culturels et au développement d’un milieu inclusif.” 

– Zoe Compton ‘17

“En tant que francophone à Bishop’s, j’ai eu le privilège d’apprendre l’anglais tout en partageant la culture québécoise avec des amis venant d’autres provinces et pays. L’atmosphère à Bishop’s est à l’image de la chaleur, de l’ouverture d’esprit et de l’harmonie du Québec. Le peu d’étudiant par classe contribue à un environnement d’apprentissage exceptionnel. Les enseignants de Bishop’s, passionnés et dévoués, ont véritablement à cœur le progrès de leurs élèves, transmettant avec leur passion avec brio. Mon expérience à Bishop’s a été tout simplement extraordinaire, et je suis reconnaissante pour toutes les opportunités enrichissantes que cette université m’a offertes.” 

– Catherine ’18 

“This is the story of how I ended up choosing Bishop’s… 

Like so many young people trying to navigate the future of their lives & studies, I was fearful. I had no idea what I wanted to study, where I wanted to go, or which institution would help set me on a path for success. 

I was born in Oakville, Ontario but hadn’t lived in Canada since I was two years old; so, when it came to the thought of attending a Canadian university, I wasn’t fully sold on the idea. Instead, I was likely going to choose to study at a university closer to where I grew up in Massachusetts – after all, we have plenty of reputable universities to choose from in New England.  

That was until I found Bishop’s. 

In thinking about Quebec, I always had fond memories from visiting as a child; much of my family history is rooted in Quebec and the French-Canadian culture. My grandparents all spent the entirety of their lives here, many of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends were from Montreal, and I had always been fascinated by the richness of Quebec’s society. Making it so when I found Bishop’s, it felt like it made perfect sense. 

It had the small, close-knit community I had been searching for, it had the academic strength and rigor that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice, and it had students from all over the world, ensuring that I’d have a myriad of voices, perspectives, and backgrounds to share in my experiences on campus. 

Simply put, Bishop’s had it all for me – it had community, diversity, and the potential to help me grow into the best version of myself as both a person and an academic. 


Seven years later and I’m still living in the beautiful Eastern Townships of Quebec, right near the mighty Massawippi shore. I can assure you this likely would’ve never happened without Bishop’s and access to affordable, high-quality education. 

I’m the youngest of three siblings and my dad is a single parent; my mom passed away when I was only eight years old. Therefore, affordability was amongst the top of my concerns when choosing which institution to attend. Had Bishop’s been at the rates that are projected for Fall 2024, I can’t say for certain that I would’ve enrolled or even applied. 

They say home is where the heart is, and Bishop’s became just that to me: home. 

This year is our 180th anniversary, and I want nothing more than for future students from all over to find their home here at Bishop’s, in Sherbrooke, and in Quebec for many more years to come.  

This can’t happen if we don’t continue to keep affordability and equitable access to education at the forefront of our decision-making. I’m pleading that the provincial government reconsider this proposal and acknowledge the detrimental ramifications it will have on an institution that means so much to me, as well as the entire educational landscape in Quebec. 

Our diverse, beautiful, profound, and in this case, most importantly, small, institution faces an insurmountable threat from this proposal.  

As a proud BU Alumnus, I ask that our university be allowed to continue being a place for students from all over to come, learn, and leave prouder than when they entered. 

It’s with the utmost heart and candor that I share this testimony – thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. 

Raise A Toast,” 

– Eric Gendron ‘21

“I grew up in Calgary and specifically chose to attend university in Quebec. My parents had grown up in Montreal and my connections to Quebec were a constant part of my childhood. Completing my degree at Bishop’s led to me later attending Université Laval and working in Montreal for many years. 

Bishop’s afforded me the opportunity to experience a wonderful part of Quebec. Without that experience, I would not have gone on to further my studies at Laval and working for several years in Montreal. While in Montreal, my wife and I volunteered and got to know many different parts of Quebec. While our careers did eventually take us out of the city, our ongoing connections and frequent visits are part of our lives. 

Raising tuition to levels far beyond other programs outside Quebec will mean fewer students that will be assets to Quebec while they are studying and hopefully many will stay, contribute and learn to speak French. The policy will also put in peril institutions that are part of the fabric of Quebec.” 

– James Porter ‘89

“Hello / Bonjour, 

I am originally from Moncton, New Brunswick and someone who took French Immersion there. The idea of studying in Québec was appealing as a way to keep practicing French. Even though I didn’t know anybody from my high school years when I arrived at Bishop’s in 2004, I felt right at home while pursuing my BBA there. It was an experience like none other with small class sizes, friendly (and knowledgeable) professors, a tight knit (and fun-loving) community, and passionate (and hard-working) students with most taking part in at least one extra-curricular activity. In my case, I wrote for The Campus newspaper, was the Yearbook Editor in my graduating year, and helped the local Golden Key chapter. While doing errands around town, I made sure I used my French often which wouldn’t have been possible had I attended a university outside of Québec. 

Even though I didn’t stay in Québec after graduation – though I would have loved to live in Montréal – Toronto has a vibrant alumni community which helped me keep in touch with fellow alumni; especially during the first few years after graduation. For those recent alumni out there, I recommend the JUMP mentoring program. My French language skills became very useful with my current employer – Grafton Apparel – when they started opening Tip Top stores in Québec recently after a 20-year hiatus. Meanwhile, the spirit of community involvement and leadership skills I obtained from Bishop’s were handy during my ongoing road safety advocacy in Toronto to this day. 

Quand j’ai entendu le plan du gouvernement Legault à doubler les droits de scolarité pour les étudiants canadiens hors Québec à 17 000 $ par année, j’ai devenu furieux car ça serait une menace contre la capacité de l’Université Bishop’s à préserver leur expérience sans pareil pour les générations futures. Au contraire des universités McGill et Concordia, l’Université Bishop’s dépend plus sur ces étudiants hors province; ce qui consiste à un tiers du corps étudiant. Il faut que le gouvernement Legault renverserait ce plan immédiatement et assurerait le futur de l’Université Bishop’s pour les années à venir. 

When I heard the plan from the Legault government to double tuition fees for Canadian students outside of Québec to $17,000 per year, I was furious because it would threaten Bishop’s University’s capacity to preserve their unparalleled experience for future generations. Unlike McGill and Concordia Universities, Bishop’s University depends more on these out-of-province students which consist of one third of the student body. The Legault government must throw out this plan immediately and assure Bishop’s University’s future for years to come.” 

– Robert Zaichkowski ’08 

“I moved to Quebec in 1986 to attend Bishop’s. It’s the only university I ever wanted to go to; I lived and worked in Lennoxville for 15 years, and I’ve lived here in Quebec’s Eastern Townships ever since. 

I’m never leaving. 

All the French that I know, I’ve learned from bilingual Quebecers. 

Stopping English kids from attending school in Quebec isn’t the way to increase the French spoken in the streets. Letting English kids attend schools in Quebec is how you spread the French language across the country.” 

– Jim MacAulay ‘94

“My name is Kurt Heinrich and I attended Bishop’s from 1999 to 2003. My time at Bishop’s was life changing. During my studies, I was transformed from a sad, awkward and mediocre student to a confident and positive achiever. I benefited greatly from Bishop’s small and interconnected academic and social environment. But perhaps even more so, I also benefited from the university’s role in connecting me to the richness of Quebec culture and community. During my four years at Bishop’s, I made new francophone friends, spoke French everyday as I hitchhiked between Sherbrooke and Lennoxville and had the opportunity to discover and immerse myself in Quebecois culture when I met a francophone girlfriend and her family, taking frequent trips to La Bose near Quebec City where her family resided. In my final year at Bishop’s, I explored the Eastern Townships and Sherbrooke. For a Vancouver born and raised person, my experience at Bishop’s was my first exposure to Quebec and Canada’s amazing bilingual heritage. It is where I fell in love with Montreal and truly started to understand the unique nature and importance of Quebec. If I’d stayed in BC or studied in another province, this never would have happened. Even today, 20 years later, I think often of how much I appreciated and grew as a result of this academic and cultural experience.” 

 – Kurt Heinrich ‘03

“Going to Bishop’s was one of the best experiences of my life and I credit a lot of my future and success to it.  

Having a liberal education in a small town with smaller classrooms allowed me to get 1:1 support with teachers and build strong relationships with my peers.  

It was a supportive environment that encouraged and celebrated diversity. 

Going to Bishop’s was the best decision I ever made. 

I met my lifelong friends there, played on a varsity team, went on exchange in Spain and gained incredible confidence and skills for the workforce. 

The network Bishop’s has across the country has been invaluable in finding a career and building a professional network. 

Increasing tuition fees for non-Quebec students would have robbed me from the unique experience that Bishop’s offers.  

Our student body is comprised of so many different people with different backgrounds and that’s what makes it so special.  

I urge the Québec government to reconsider and allow Bishop’s to continue being the best student experience university in the country.” 

 – Madeleine Lemaire ‘17

“I live in Brockville, ON and went to Bishop’s from 2010-2014. Originally, I had heard of this small liberal arts university for their soccer team and when I was in Grade 12, I was invited to go to Bishop’s for the weekend to see the school and meet the team. That weekend trip sold me on coming to Bishop’s; I can remember sitting outside of Dewhurst Hall and thinking this University is amazing and I cannot wait to come here next year and cheer for the Gaiters.  

Over my four years at Bishop’s, I had the best university experience. I loved that it was a small school where you got to know each of your peers and the small classroom sizes gave me the chance to know my professors on a first name basis. Bishop’s became my second home where I created lifelong memories I will never forget. It is evident that Bishop’s has the best school spirit, and I was involved with frosh week for all four years. At Bishop’s I had the chance to meet my husband and formed a few best friends that I will have for a lifetime. 

I had the chance to attend homecoming this year because my husband was on the 2011 lacrosse team where they won the National Championship Baggataway cup and were being inducted in the Bishop’s Hall of Fame. I’ll never forget walking to class at 8:30 am that Monday morning and drinking beer from the cup on my way to class. When I went back to visit Bishop’s this year it was as if nothing changed, and I was reminded just how important this University meant to me. I know I will be sending my future kids to Bishop’s for them to experience this great University that I call myself lucky to have had a chance to be a part of this school. Raise A Toast!” 

– Natalie Watson ‘14

“As a graduate of Bishop’s, I came to the university from Ontario in 1990. I completed a 4-year Honours degree in Sociology with a Minor in Women’s Studies that carried me through my early years of working and then onto complete a secondary degree, a Bachelor of Education. Living in Lennoxville for those four years shaped my life as it is now, with both friendships, business relationships, and my commitment to lifelong learning. The culture of Quebec, the Eastern Townships, and the campus were hugely influential on me, both the francophone and the anglophone aspects. During my time in Lennoxville, not only was I completing my post-secondary education, but I was also getting an education about the history of the people of Quebec and the Townships which were both French and English. I chose Bishop’s for many reasons:  

  • The size of the university.
  • The geographic location to Montreal, my love of the Townships, skiing, and access to the east coast of the US.
  • The history of the school, its Anglican roots, and the traditions that it carries.
  • The diversity of the student body and the presence of (at the time) a predominantly francophone CEGEP on campus.

In 2019, my son chose Bishop’s for his BBA degree and moved from British Columbia to Lennoxville. He completed his degree this spring, June 2023. The graduates of 2023 endured the pandemic and strict laws/protocols throughout the existence of Covid and despite the stricter regulations in the province of Quebec, my son and his friends chose to return to Lennoxville despite the restrictions placed on them as students and their social lives. Their commitment to the school, to their education, and the respect they have for the province were all reasons for him to return to Lennoxville as opposed to staying in his home province of BC. 

The community that the school provided for them, the safety of knowing that they were supported, and the love and devotion they have for Bishop’s University and Lennoxville could not have been and is not more apparent. 

As a family of alumni and supporters of Bishop’s we could not be more devastated and frankly disgusted at the decision the Quebec government has made to raise tuition for out of province students. This initiative could not be more short-sighted and a total detriment to not only Bishop’s, but McGill (where my niece is currently a second-year student and my sister graduated in 1996) and Concordia. Post secondary education is meant to be an opportunity to grow, learn, and expand knowledge. With these impending changes these opportunities will cease to exist for students from across the country who want the same experiences I have described above. The cost of tuition will be punitive and in no way reflect the diversity and acceptance that Bishop’s has stood for over the years. Out of province students ALREADY pay substantially more tuition than Quebec students to attend Bishop’s and other English-speaking universities in Quebec, why are they being penalized even further? 

I am personally broken hearted to think that 180 years of tradition and education could end because of an insurmountable cost for out of province students to attend the university.  

This decision is divisive and has the potential to destroy Canadian educational history and will negate the reputations of these educational bodies that have welcomed students from across the country for well over 100 years. 

There is no other school in the country like Bishop’s. My experience and my son’s experience at the school, in town, in the community, and in the province of Quebec has shaped who we are, our pride of our education, and our respect of the privilege of attending university.” 

– Kate Boddington ‘94

“My name is Scott Griffin graduate of Bishop’s 1960 and Chancellor of Bishop’s  2004 – 2013.  

My time at Bishop’s was a life changing event.  

I was a resident of Toronto having attended a small private school north of Montebello, PQ. 

I had some knowledge of Quebec, but little of the Eastern Townships and I fell in love with both. 

As a result, I remained in PQ (Montreal) for 12 years, working downtown Montreal and Ville D’Anjou. 

Bishop’s was very small in the 1960’s but the experience and exposure to Province of Quebec and specifically the Eastern Townships gave me a real insight into the culture and beauty of the province which has remained very special for me. Subsequently, as Chancellor I saw and met literally hundreds of students, both French and English who expressed the same strong connection to Bishop’s and the Townships. 

I strongly believe Bishop’s University is a huge and important asset to the Province of Quebec and the Eastern Township’s and deserves to be seen and treated as such. 

Mon nom est Scott Griffin. J’ai gradué à Bishop’s en 1960, et fus Chancelier de Bishop’s de 2004 à 2013.   

Les années à Bishop’s m’ont beaucoup marqué. 

Ma famille résidait à Toronto, et je fus pensionnaire dans une petite école privée, près de Montebello, Québec. 

Je connaissais peu du Québec alors, et pas beaucoup des Cantons de l’Est – mais je suis devenu complètement attaché aux deux. 

Je suis donc resté au Québec – vivant à Montréal douze ans, travaillant au centre-ville et à la Ville d’Anjou. 

Bishop’s était une petite université dans les années soixante, mais l’expérience vécue de ces années , particulièrement dans les Cantons de l’est, m’a touché et j’ai bien ressenti la culture et le coeur du Québec. Dans mon poste de Chancelier de Bishop’s pendant presqu’une décennie, j’ai rencontré des milliers d’étudiants, francophones, et anglophones, gradués de Bishop’s, qui ressentaient ce même attachement pour le Québec et surtout pour les Cantons. 

Je crois fermement que l’université de Bishop’s représente un énorme atout pour la province de Québec, et les Cantons de l’est. Cette université est essentiel en formant notre jeunesse nationale, et bilingue.” 

– Scott Griffin ‘60

“My name is Ashley Carpenter, class of 2015.  

I am the first in my family to go to university, I am of Indigenous descent but do not have status, I am dyslexic. I supported myself financially independently from my family while in university.  

I remember Jamie in Accounts Receivable and someone in accessibility services gave me a bursary because in 1st year, I did not get enough money from OSAP for tuition fees and if not, I would have to quit before Thanksgiving. I don’t remember the exact figure, but it was enough to pay for tuition for the fall semester. I am terribly troubled by the potential to increase tuition by double for out of province students. I don’t know how to explain how poor I was during my time at Bishop’s. I would sit in my undergrad classes writing in a notebook while other students had MacBooks and I was worried about paying for medication. I would have 100 dollars to last me 8 months. In conclusion, raising tuition rates for out of province students would completely destroy the fundamentals of our small liberal arts tight knit community. I would have never gone to Bishop’s if this were the case.  

Things I did at Bishop’s more than attending class: 

1) Heather Thompson and I would go weekly to the Drummondville medium security prison to volunteer. I won a Purple Letter award at Bishop’s for community involvement.  

2) I ran/helped run 3 separate volunteer programs weekly. Prison volunteering, Best Buddies, Prison Letters, Sociology Club. 

3) I worked with Buildings and Grounds as a painter during for 4 months during 3rd year. 

4) The community/church run supper programs kept me fed Tuesdays and Fridays. 

5) The late Gerry Coulter, Vicki Chartand Mary Ellen Donnan wrote a reference letter for me, and I was accepted into a Master’s program at McMaster. 

6) Won the McConnell Student Opportunity Fund Award to help Vicki Chartand start Prisons Letters program at Bishop’s. 

7) I speak with people I went to university with daily after 10 years and could not see anywhere else to go for university than where I did. 

The Bishop’s bubble literally changed my life. Students out of province are 60% of the Bishop’s student population.” 

– Ashley Carpenter ‘15

“It is no overstatement to say that my experience at Bishop’s University has been one of the greatest influences on my life. The career path I’ve followed, the skills I rely on, and the relationships with people I count amongst my closest confidantes were all formed during my time at this gem on the Massawippi.  

As an anglo New Brunswicker who gained French proficiency in high school, Bishop’s offered a rare opportunity to pursue advanced education in my native tongue while being immersed in a community where I could actively use my second language.  

This unique experience enabled me to strengthen my French language skills while deepening my appreciation for and understanding of the Quebecois culture.  

I continue to lean on my experiences from studying in Quebec to this day. The Eastern Townships will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’ve had the opportunity to return many times since graduating with my family for vacations. Trips we look forward to each summer!  

If the recently proposed tuition policy for out-of-province students is implemented, however, we will be choosing not to return. This ill-conceived policy sends a message to people like me that we are not wanted or valued. The idea that this policy will somehow protect the French language is fanciful. It will only result in deepening the gap in understanding between different language communities, leading to increased tension.  

And it puts a knife to the fiscal throat of a 180-year institution that has been a beacon for bilingual talent across this nation, of which Quebec has benefitted from tremendously.   

It’s my sincere hope that the government will give due consideration to the many stories like mine being shared and reverse this objectionable course of action before irreversible damage is done.  

 Il n’est pas exagéré de dire que mon expérience à l’Université Bishop’s a été l’une des plus grandes influences sur ma vie. Le cheminement de carrière que j’ai suivi, les compétences sur lesquelles je compte et les relations avec les personnes que je compte parmi mes plus proches confidents se sont toutes formées au cours de mon séjour dans ce joyau du Massawippi. 

En tant qu’anglo-néo-brunswickois ayant acquis une maîtrise du français à l’école secondaire, Bishop’s m’a offert une occasion rare de poursuivre des études avancées dans ma langue maternelle tout en étant immergé dans une communauté où je pouvais utiliser activement ma langue seconde. Cette expérience unique m’a permis de renforcer mes compétences en français tout en approfondissant mon appréciation et ma compréhension de la culture québécoise. 

Je continue de m’appuyer sur mes expériences lors de mes études au Québec jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Les Cantons-de-l’Est occuperont toujours une place spéciale dans mon cœur et j’ai eu l’occasion d’y revenir à plusieurs reprises depuis l’obtention de mon diplôme avec ma famille pour les vacances. Des voyages que nous attendons avec impatience chaque été ! 

Toutefois, si la politique de frais de scolarité récemment proposée pour les étudiants hors province est mise en œuvre, nous choisirons de ne pas y revenir. Cette politique mal conçue envoie le message à des gens comme moi que nous ne sommes ni recherchés ni valorisés. L’idée que cette politique protégera d’une manière ou d’une autre la langue française est fantaisiste. Cela ne fera qu’aggraver le fossé de compréhension entre les différentes communautés linguistiques, ce qui entraînera une tension accrue. 

Et cela met un couteau sous la gorge financière d’une institution qui, depuis 180 ans, est un phare pour les talents bilingues à travers ce pays, dont le Québec a énormément bénéficié. 

J’espère sincèrement que le gouvernement prendra dûment en considération les nombreuses histoires comme la mienne qui sont partagées et annulera cette ligne d’action répréhensible avant que des dommages irréversibles ne soient causés.” 

– Adam Peabody ‘13

“I attended Bishop’s University from 2003 to 2007 as an out-of-province student from Ontario. 
Upon graduating, I found myself packing up my apartment on rue Queen, hopping onto Hwy 10 and making a hard stop in NDG, a neighbourhood in Montreal’s west end; the city I would call “home” for the next 5 years working in my field of marketing.

My decision to enroll at Bishop’s is one that has afforded me an amazing career filled with many “pinch me” moments in my chosen field. I truly would not be where I am today had I not had the good sense to choose Bishop’s over my other post-secondary options. Moreover, living in the Eastern Townships and embedding myself into the local culture by working part-time at the beloved Centennial Theatre not only put my French Immersion-taught French to good use, but improved upon it and empowered me to thrive as a bilingual individual.

To say I was thrilled to move to Montreal at the tender age of 21 and start my career in marketing, for a major athletic brand no less, is beyond an understatement. To suggest those 5 years in Montreal weren’t some of my favourite, personally and professionally, would be a lie. But I am being completely honest when I say the opportunity to do so would never have happened had I not attended Bishop’s. I probably wouldn’t have even applied if the tuition had been double the cost of a university education in my home province. 
My time spent in the province of Quebec didn’t start and stop with my time at Bishop’s. Investing 4 years into a student’s academic career for a 5+ year return seems pretty solid to me; no #girlmath required with this one. I also know my experience isn’t an anomaly, that my story echoes thousands more like me, whether we studied at McGill, Concordia, or Bishop’s.

I hope the Quebec Government will reconsider this shortsighted plan. They’re not just walking away from top-tier talent, they are also walking away from top-tier talent who could be future contributors to the province of Quebec, who will want to lean into the opportunity to embrace the French language and Québecois culture as much as I did.” 

– Jessica Copeland (nee Starkey) ‘07

“Having grown up in a small Ontario town in the 1960’s and 70’s, the only time I ever travelled to Quebec was for EXPO’67. My destiny would change when I was 17 years old when my father happened to sit beside a former Chancellor of Bishop’s University on a flight to Montreal. The Chancellor explained the University’s values and educational philosophy and described how important Bishop’s had been for him personally and his family. Who could have predicted that one conversation between two strangers on a plane, would have such a positive impact on my future?  

When I arrived at Bishop’s in 1979 it was my first experience living and learning in Quebec. Within hours, I met lots of new friends coming from all parts of Quebec and the rest of Canada. For the first time in my life, I was quickly exposed to French language, culture, and of course, fell in love with the ‘joie de vivre” of Quebec.   

My academic experience at Bishop’s was outstanding. My professors were engaging and challenged me to believe in myself. I benefited from experiential learning and leadership opportunities that set me on a path to a successful career. As part of my degree program, I also spent a summer in a French Immersion program at Laval University. 

Bishop’s is a family matter for me. I married a fellow Bishop’s student from Quebec. Both of my sons attended Bishop’s. One continues to live in Lennoxville and through his work at Bishop’s, and within the broader community, he is dedicated to the development of young athletes across the province of Quebec. 

I have had the privilege of maintaining very close relations with the University for over four decades. As a former President of the Alumni Association and member of the Board of Governors, I have a deep appreciation for the fragile nature of University funding. The situation is particularly challenging for Bishop’s due to its small enrolment relative to other Quebec universities. However, the answer does not lie in creating significant financial barriers that will only act as deterrents to attracting and retaining students from other provinces and territories.  

Through my close ties with many Francophones who live in the Eastern Townships, there is a high degree of mutual respect for one another’s language and culture. By providing fair and equal access to out-of-province students wishing to study in Quebec, both the economy and social fabric of Quebec society is enhanced. Giving students the opportunity to live and learn in Quebec will encourage their desire to develop their French language skills, and potentially live and do business with Quebec for the rest of their lives. 

My hope for Bishop’s is that it will continue to thrive as one of Canada’s top educational institutions and to be a shining example of how English and French speaking Canadians can live and work harmoniously together while building a strong community and shared sense of purpose. Bishop’s has successfully provided an outstanding education to students from across Quebec, Canada and the world for 180 years and I remain optimistic that it will continue to do so for generations to come.” 

– Cathy McLean ‘82

“I am writing this email after letting the shock of the recent decision from the Quebec government sink in. I don’t think I am alone when I say that I am extremely worried about the future of my alma mater, along with the other bilingual universities across the province, that are relying on a large percentage of their student body to attend from provinces outside of Quebec. The value proposition and affordability of choosing Bishop’s has been extremely hampered by the province’s decision. 

As an early 2000’s grad from Bishop’s, my decision to attend a school in Quebec from a rural high school in Ontario was out of the ordinary to say the least. I did not visit the school campus prior to accepting the offer (this would have easily swayed me, especially after a drive through the breathtaking route into the Townships). Rather it was after attending a impassioned presentation from the school’s recruitment officer, Dave McBride and hearing what a small liberal arts college located in the heart of the Eastern Townships could offer its students, staff and alumni that I made my decision.  I was drawn to Bishop’s not only as a place of higher learning, but as a place where I could expand my knowledge of the French language and the culture of Quebec. 

I was not disappointed. From the first day on campus, Bishop’s provided a unique and endearing experience. It is a place of connection, where relationships with the French and English communities, as well as the international student body, meet, learn and thrive in a unique setting. You come to an understanding very quickly that social connection to people is your key to success in Lennoxville, and this skill carries so much weight to this day, over 20 years later. I have chosen to work and live overseas, so I am reminded of this daily as I represent Canada from my current residence in Singapore. And my husband, Stuart (also a Bishop’s grad) and I are teaching our children how important these soft skills and cultural ambassadorship are to their success in a changing world that is facing terrifying headwinds. 

I think that the obvious impact of this decision to raise school fees by such a large percentage for non-Quebecers is that it puts universities such as Bishop’s at a financial risk. But losing those students from other regions of Canada also has the negative side effect of turning away students who are curious to experience a university setting outside of their comfort zone, and in turn, become ambassadors for Quebec throughout their lives. This starts to unwind the very fabric of the bond this creates to not only the diversity of the student body of the university, but also the thousands of people that each of these students share their experiences with, to build a better understanding of what makes Quebec so special and unique. 

Bishop’s changed my life and gave me the skills to thrive both personally and professionally. I am forever grateful for this experience and hope the government will reverse this non-sensical and political move to provide this same opportunity to the future students ahead. 

Best regards and will forever be raising a toast,” 

– Jen Vanderherberg ‘02

“I received my undergraduate and master’s degrees in education at Bishop’s and, following my doctoral studies at McGill University, ended my teaching career at Bishop’s by training future teachers. The high standard of education I received qualified me to help bring innovation in curriculum and instruction at the ministry of education.  

Thank you for organizing the event this morning with leaders in our local community, students, faculty, and citizens who expressed their commitment to support all efforts to prevent this initiative from permanently ending 180 years of excellent teaching at this beloved institution.” 

– Joanne Edwards Kingsley ‘70

“I am an Ontario resident and attended Bishop’s University from 1988-1992. Bishop’s was my first choice of the few universities I applied to. I chose Bishop’s because of its small class size, great degree offerings, amazing school spirit and strong community. I also wanted to experience life in Quebec and have the opportunity to learn more about Quebec culture and practice the French I learned in elementary and high school. Bishop’s created an exceptional learning environment that was rigorous and challenging in nature, as well as supportive and encouraging of each student’s personal degree interests. Following Bishop’s, I went on to develop a successful marketing career in the IT Industry. As an alumnus, I can say Bishop’s has one of the strongest and supportive alumnae networks in Canada.” 

– Holy Marasco ‘92

“I came to Bishop’s from an Ontario high school in 2008, looking for the opportunity to put my high school French immersion skills to the test and for the small, undergraduate-focused, residential environment that Bishop’s uniquely offers in the province. Bishop’s is the only University in the country that offers this unique combination. 

In a word – Bishop’s was transformative for me, as a student, as a person, and as a Canadian. By living in a small town, working at the BU golf course, and running my errands locally in French, I was able to transform my previously basic French skills to full professional fluency. I would use this skillset to later work for Quebec’s largest advertising agency (lg2), which often required bilingual ability. I would never have been able to develop this skill if it were not for the unique opportunity present at Bishop’s, where young anglophones have the opportunity to understand more about the language and culture of Quebec, and immerse themselves outside of the classroom in the French language. Bishop’s provides a gateway for the rest of the country to experience and understand the importance of French-Canadian culture and language.  

I also would not be the person I am today if it weren’t my experiences at Bishop’s. As a former varsity athlete and former President of the SRC, I had unique opportunities to develop soft skills like teamwork, responsibility and leadership, which would serve me in my career and in my life. I was able to study, to learn, and to grow as a human being thanks to the uniquely residential, undergraduate-focused experience that Bishop’s offered. As a 17-year old living away from home for the first time, the cocoon that Bishop’s provided allowed me to move from a teenager to a young adult with grace, with support, and with great care. Thanks to Bishop’s small population almost all students (arguably a higher proportion than at most large institutions) are engaged outside of the classroom in sports, clubs, societies, student government, and volunteer opportunities. Bishop’s provides a unique environment that safely fosters the growth and development of undergraduates. 

Bishop’s has been many things over the decades since its establishment. Talking to graduates from the 1950, 60,s and 70s over the years provides a testimony both to how much it has changed and evolved and also to how little has also changed when it comes to its unique culture. I know there is an opportunity to write the next chapter of Bishop’s in a way that does not destroy access for the next generation of young Canadians who would benefit from this experience in the way I did.” 

– Taylor Johnston ‘13

“Around the year 2007, during my last year of high school in New Brunswick, I began my search for a university to complete my undergraduate studies in education as I wanted to become an elementary school teacher. I decided to follow in the footsteps of my two older siblings, leave my province and go to Quebec. I felt like meeting new people and Quebec seemed like an appropriate choice after attending French school throughout my time in New Brunswick. My mother is French Acadian, and so, I very much identified as a francophone student despite not being from Quebec. Of course, like many people in New Brunswick, I can speak English too. I am a bilingual person and am very proud of my French heritage while also being able to speak English.  

I had my eye set on some of the bigger universities of Quebec such as McGill, Université de Montréal, and Université de Laval. Bishop’s University had not been on my radar. My mother had heard about Bishop’s University from one of her patients. Knowing me well, she encouraged me to check out this university. She thought that Bishop’s University would be a better fit for me since I am a small-town kind of girl. She felt that the other universities would be too big and too overwhelming for me. And so, we took a tour of Bishop’s during March break of 2008 and boy was my mother ever right. I immediately fell in love with this university. It felt like home. I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and apply to Bishop’s, and only Bishop’s. To my excitement, I was accepted into the school. I received a scholarship which covered half my tuition at the time (full tuition for an out of province student was $6,000 at the time). I paid $3000 for my first four years and then the full $6,000 for the final year. I remember being so grateful to not have to pay the full $6000 every year I was at Bishop’s. If I felt that $6000 was a lot, there is no way I would have attended Bishop’s University with the tuition increase they are suggesting for 2024.  

My years at Bishop’s were the best years of my life. I was so happy with the small class sizes and being able to talk with my professors. I made amazing friends, many of whom are still my closest friends. I met my husband, the love of my life, in the classroom walls of Bishop’s University. Both my husband and I loved the area so much that we never left. A few years ago, we made the ultimate commitment to buy a house in Sherbrooke. We are here to stay. This is now my eleventh-year teaching in the Eastern Townships, and I am so happy with my decision to stay and teach here. I have no doubts that my husband would say the same. In fact, I loved Bishop’s so much that I decided to return to complete my master’s degree in 2021! I intend to complete this degree in the summer of 2024.  

I learned so much and am still learning so much at Bishop’s University. It pains me to think that future out of province students, many of whom may in fact be francophones from New Brunswick like me or from elsewhere, may not be able to attend this marvellous school because of an unfair measure brought about by the government of Quebec. Both my husband and I have decided to stay in this province even though we are not from here. My husband, being an anglophone from Nova Scotia, has embraced the French culture and language and speaks French whenever he can. I know many others who have done the same. Does that not mean anything? I cannot help but wonder how many of us there truly are and whether we have been counted in the statistics stated by the government. Many out of province people do choose to stay in Quebec, my husband and I are proof, as well as many of the staff at my school. 

En 2007, lors de ma dernière année d’école secondaire au Nouveau-Brunswick, j’ai commencé ma recherche pour une université pour compléter mes études postsecondaires en éducation car je voulais devenir enseignante au primaire. J’ai décidé de suivre mon grand frère et ma grande soeur, de quitter ma province et d’aller au Québec. J’avais envie de rencontrer de nouvelles personnes et le Québec semblait être un choix approprié après avoir fréquenté l’école française tout au long de mon séjour au Nouveau- Brunswick. Ma mère est acadienne et je me suis donc identifiée comme une étudiante francophone même si je ne suis pas originaire du Québec. Bien sûr, comme beaucoup de gens au Nouveau-Brunswick, je peux aussi parler anglais. Je suis une personne bilingue et je suis très fière de mon héritage français tout en étant capable de parler anglais. 

J’avais mes yeux sur certaines des plus grandes universités du Québec comme McGill, l’Université de Montréal et l’Université de Laval. L’Université Bishop’s n’était pas sur mon radar. Ma mère avait entendu parler de l’Université Bishop’s par l’un de ses patients. Me connaissant bien, elle m’a encouragé à découvrir cette université. Elle pensait que l’Université Bishop’s me conviendrait mieux puisque je suis une fille du genre petite ville. Elle pensait que les autres universités seraient trop grandes pour moi. Nous avons donc visité Bishop’s pendant la relâche en mars 2008 et ma mère avait raison. Je suis immédiatement tombé en amour de cette université. Je me sentais chez nous. Après cette visite, j’ai décidé d’appliquer à Bishop’s, et seulement à Bishop’s. À ma grande joie, j’ai été accepté à l’école. J’ai reçu une bourse qui couvrait la moitié de mes frais de scolarité à l’époque (les frais de scolarité complets pour un étudiant de l’extérieur de la province étaient de 6 000 $ à l’époque). J’ai payé 3 000 $ pour mes quatre premières années, puis la totalité de 6 000 $ pour la dernière année. Je me souviens avoir été très reconnaissante de ne pas avoir à payer la totalité de 6 000 $ chaque année où j’étais à Bishop’s. Si j’avais estimé que 6 000 $, c’était beaucoup, je n’aurais jamais fréquenté l’Université Bishop’s avec l’augmentation des frais de scolarité que le gouvernement suggère pour 2024. 

Mes années à Bishop’s ont été les meilleures années de ma vie. J’étais tellement heureux de la petite taille des classes et de pouvoir parler avec mes professeurs. Je me suis fait des amis formidables, dont beaucoup sont encore mes amis les plus proches. J’ai rencontré mon mari, l’amour de ma vie, à l’Université Bishop’s. Mon mari et moi avons tellement aimé la région que nous ne sommes jamais partis. Il y a quelques années, nous avons pris la décision d’acheter une maison à Sherbrooke. Nous sommes ici pour rester. C’est maintenant ma onzième année d’enseignement dans les Cantons-de-l’Est et je suis très heureuse de ma décision de rester et d’enseigner ici. Je ne doute pas que mon mari dirait la même chose. En fait, j’ai tellement aimé Bishop’s que j’ai décidé d’y retourner pour terminer ma maîtrise en 2021 ! J’ai l’intention de terminer ce diplôme à l’été 2024. 

J’ai tellement appris et j’apprends encore tellement à l’Université Bishop’s. Cela me fait beaucoup de peine de penser que de futurs étudiants hors province, dont plusieurs sont peut-être en fait des francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick comme moi ou d’ailleurs, ne pourront peut-être pas fréquenter cette merveilleuse école à cause d’une mesure injuste apportée par le gouvernement du Québec. Mon mari et moi avons décidé de rester dans cette province même si nous ne venons pas d’ici. Mon mari, étant anglophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse, a adopté la culture et la langue française et parle français le plus possible. J’en connais beaucoup d’autres qui ont fait de même. Je ne peux m’empêcher de me demander combien de gens comme nous vivent au Québec et si nous avons été comptés dans les statistiques annoncées par le gouvernement. Beaucoup de gens de l’extérieur de la province choisissent de demeurer au Québec, mon mari et moi en sommes la preuve, ainsi que plusieurs membres du personnel de mon école.” 

– Mrs. Sophie Bass ‘12

“I attended Bishop’s University from 2001 – 2005. I am English-speaking from Nova Scotia and took French classes throughout my school years and even while at BU.   

I fell in love with Québec while studying there. My friends and I explored the southern part of the province quite a bit over our years there. I also lived in Montréal for a year after graduating.  

Montréal and Québec City are the best cities in Canada, in my opinion.  

In my lifetime, I have lived in and been welcomed into communities in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Québec and Alberta. The five years I lived in Québec were some of the best of my life. I met my closest friends at university and those experiences shaped the person I am today. 

When I run into people who are from Montréal or have lived there, it’s with great excitement that we swap stories, former addresses and fondly debate our favourite neighborhoods.  

I attend all BU alumni events and proudly tell stories of my time in Lennoxville.  

I’ve returned to Québec several times because of the connection I have with the province having lived there for five years. This October, I sent my 14-year-old son on a trip to Québec, in large part because of my own affection for the province and because I believe in the importance of learning about the culture. He is already planning his next trip back and working on his French. 

I do hope it’s financially possible for him to attend Bishop’s University when he graduates high school in a few years.” 

– Meghan Grant ‘06

“I lived in Quebec from 1999 to 2005, first attending Bishop’s University, then staying on to work and volunteer until loans and my parent’s health compelled me to move back to Nova Scotia. I loved my time in Quebec and have returned several times on vacation. I speak highly of the province’s people and have challenged anti-Quebecois bigotry on a disappointingly large number of occasions. The French I learned helped grow a deeper appreciation for my own province’s Acadian culture and the importance of its preservation.  

My life has been enriched by my connection to your province, and none of that would have been possible if tuition to Bishop’s had been 90% higher. The cross-cultural connections, understandings, and friendships the institution engenders are unique and invaluable. I urge the province of Quebec to reconsider this drastic increase.”  

– Adam Henebury ‘04

“My sincere apologies for the Quebec government. Their lack of communication and respect to a 180-year-old institution like Bishop’s is mind boggling.  

The fact that the government did not consult with the university community prior to announcing this policy affecting non-Quebec students and its total disregard for the economic value these students bring to the province while at school and for years after is disgustingly arrogant. The Quebec government’s policy is discriminating against non-Quebec based students. Unbelievable that a Canadian province can openly be this prejudice given the diversity that exists within the Province of Quebec.  

As a 1999 graduate of Bishop’s, I’ve been very proud of Bishop’s and my time at the institution. My experience was life changing and the relationships created during my time at the school are still strong to this day.    

It saddens me greatly that the Quebec government is doing such harm to the school. It’s going to cause potentially catastrophic change for the school. Just this week, my brother’s daughter whilst considering Bishop’s for her undergrad, had to make the tough decision that because of the anti-English laws of the Quebec government that she will not be considering Bishop’s for her post-secondary education.   

As both my wife (Lindsay Millar class of ’00) and I are Bishop’s alumni, please let us know how we can help the school overcome this difficult time.”  

 – Charlie Millar ’99

“When I was starting to think about applying to Universities, I didn’t totally know what I wanted to study or what I wanted to do afterwards, but I knew I wanted a small school with a strong and welcoming community that could be my home away from home for the next four years. When I visited Bishop’s for a tour, I loved the feeling of being on campus and got my first taste of that sense of community. During orientation week and my first few weeks of classes, I met many new friends and discovered that students at Bishop’s come from all over. On my residence floor in first year there were people from Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Australia, South Africa, France and China. I thought this diversity of place was so cool and loved being able to meet people not only from across Canada but also from around the world; this was a large part of what made Bishop’s feel so special.  

While I loved my classes, some of my fondest memories of Bishop’s come from the extracurricular activities that were available. I joined the Rock Climbing Club after my floor mate and I saw their booth at the club fair and we both loved it right from the start. I had so much fun going to the climbing gym in Sherbrook every Friday with the other club members, where we would sit and talk just as much as we would climb. I also remember getting to go to Carnival in Quebec City during first year, an event organized by the residence comity. I had never been to the winter festival and was so excited to be able to go, even though it ended up being the coldest day of the year.  

I know many international students choose to study in Canada to improve their English, but after completing the French Immersion program in Ontario, I was eager to come to Bishop’s where I could study in English but continue to practice and improve my French while living in Lennoxville. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to study at Bishop’s and have many fond memories of my time there. I hope that future students continue to be able to have a similar experience.” 

– Bridgette Jarvis ‘18

“I write to you today, not just as an alumnus but as someone deeply impacted by the sense of community and the rich cultural milieu Bishop’s University offers. The experience of being part of this institution goes beyond the classroom—it becomes a formative chapter in your life story, as it has been in mine. 

I chose Bishop’s University for its incredible community and its setting in Quebec. I grew up in Calgary, Alberta, but Bishop’s felt like a home away from home from day one. I’ve even had the privilege of meeting my wife there, who hails from Nova Scotia. We’ve built lasting relationships, and many of our closest friends today are Bishop’s alumni. The skills I had developed in French immersion during my elementary and junior high school years were essential when we would visit the greater Sherbrooke community, spend a weekend in Montreal or travel further to the Laurentians, Quebec City or even as far north as Jonquiere. The cultural learning was as vital as the academics, enriching my perspective and opening doors for future endeavors. 

Fast forward to today: I live in Canmore, Alberta, a region with a significant Francophone population. I worry that the rising out-of-province tuition fees for attending Bishop’s University will become a factor in these French speaking Albertan children to not attend Bishop’s. My children, who are learning French in school and express keen interest in Bishop’s and Quebec, represent the generation that could miss out on this invaluable experience. 

Since graduating from Bishop’s, twenty years ago, I have had the opportunity to visit other French speaking nations both personally and with the Canadian Forces. I credited my time in Quebec and childhood immersion with my incredible experiences in these places.  

There are friends of mine, from an Albertan childhood, who attended the three English universities in Quebec and chose to stay in Quebec post-graduation, have families, create businesses and give back to the community.  So, I urge you to consider this: the future leaders, innovators, and community builders are among these young minds who now may choose not to attend school in Quebec.” 

– Christopher Vincent ‘03

“My time at Bishop’s was not just impactful, but it was also one of the most cherished times of my life. I never imagined moving hours away from my hometown, nor did I imagine moving to the province of Quebec, but I am so endlessly grateful that I took the chance on a little school in the beautiful and vibrant town of Lennoxville. The Eastern Townships of Quebec will always have a piece (a big one at that) of my heart. 

Throughout my time at Bishop’s, I captained the women’s varsity soccer team, I helped coach the summer soccer camp, watched the junior gaiters soccer program excel in the community, volunteered for numerous town events and participated in countless school events. I had professors that made me love learning, coaches that pushed me to be my best self every day, peers that taught me so much about the world and who I wanted to be, teammates that made my time at Bishop’s the most incredible, unforgettable experience, and strangers the inspired me to care about the people and world around me. 

By going to Bishop’s University, I will forever be changed for the better. I forged friendships that will last a lifetime. I have gained not just knowledge but perspective. I was given the chance to evolve and improve myself. It would be an understatement to say that Bishop’s University “helped” me become the person I am today. Once you have experienced being part of the school, the community, you will always bleed purple. You will find any reason you can to go back to the campus and revisit the place that will forever be home to you. Once you’ve been part of the bubble, there’s no way to just leave it behind. It is part of us. 

Now, imagine if so many students are robbed of this opportunity. The chance to have some of the most incredible experiences, the chance to evolve, the chance to learn who you want to be and where you want to go in this world, the chance to become the person they are meant to be. I, for one, cannot imagine where I’d be today without Bishop’s University. I would not be the leader I am, the professional I am, the friend I am, the person I am, without the years I spent at Bishop’s. For many, increasing tuition so drastically will completely rob them of their chance to experience the life changing ways of Bishop’s; I know it would have taken away mine. Let the young minds of Canada and the world have a safe haven to grow and accomplish extraordinary things. Let them grow to love Quebec as much as so many of us out-of-province students did. 

Bishop’s University is not just a school. It’s a home. It’s a safe space to grow. It’s an incredibly close-knit community. It’s where so many of our lives began. It is crucial to our lives. Please let future out-of-province and international students experience it.” 

– Aidan McGillis ‘19

“My name’s Mike Hastings, a very proud Bishop’s ‘96 grad. The recent decision by Premier Legault and the Quebec Government is more than a little troubling, it’s beyond comprehension.  

I wanted to share a little about my Bishop’s experience and how it’s impacted my life – because all of the people I met and the lifelong friendships I made.  

I spent my first year like so many before & after – living in residence (Norton #202), walking to class, studying in the library (not as often as I should have), playing touch football in the Quad, eating at Dewhurst dining hall, spending nights at the Lion, the Georgian & the Pub. 

My subsequent years I lived on College St, above Jerry’s Pizza and in the Ritz.  We made trips to Vermont to go skiing, played terrible golf, and ate a lifetime’s worth of poutine.  

I majored in Economics and while I was never an honours student, I loved the small class sizes – they suited me perfectly. And I loved that I could walk everywhere on campus. 

As much as all of those experiences were great, it was the friends I made at Bishop’s that I continue to carry with me over 30 years later. I met people from all walks of life – Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Barbados, New Jersey, New York, Halifax, Moncton and St. John’s.  I can’t image what my life would be like if I had never gone to Bishop’s.  

Long after I graduated, people still marvel at how tight the Bishop’s community is. Other friends can’t understand how close we still are – it’s a community that no other university in Canada comes close to replicating. There’s something about Bishop’s, a small school in the Eastern Townships that has this magical ability to create binds that last a lifetime.  

The decision by Premier Legault and the Quebec government is wrong in every sense of the word.  

From a micro standpoint – it’ll prevent future generations of young adults from being able to benefit from what Bishop’s offers – an experience that has no price tag and that doesn’t exist anywhere else.  

And from a macro perspective – at a time when so many parts of the world are being pulled apart, the Quebec government is only adding to the divisiveness rather than trying to create inclusion, something that the idea of higher education is based on – progressive thinking.  

Here’s a picture of ‘The Excursion’, an annual canoe trip held in Temagami as an example of how tight the Bishop’s community is.  

Raise a toast…” 

– Mike Hastings

“In the spring of 1996, I drove from bilingual province of NB (yes, I can speak French too) to Quebec to visit Bishop’s University. One look at the campus and I fell in love. I spent the next 4.5 years there studying and playing basketball. Interacting with community members, children, and other students. Travelling throughout Quebec and learning more about the province and culture. On my basketball team, my teammates spoke English and French, and we worked together exchanging languages and developing lifelong friendships. We still plan visits back to BU to meet up and reminisce on all the great times. It was at Bishop’s in Quebec where I met my husband. He came to BU in 1995 from Ontario. He studied at Bishop’s and played football. We then graduated in 2001 and left to go back to NB.  

Over the years we would come back to visit Quebec, put money into the economy, visit friends, and visit the university we loved. In 2019, I packed up the car in NB and made the trip back again to Bishop’s University, but this time to drop off my son. It was his turn to have the best experience. He has been going to Bishop’s for the past 5 years and playing football and loving life. He has met wonderful people throughout his time in Quebec. We have returned for many visits over those five years, spending money, buying him groceries, investing in the communities, paying tuition (higher than Quebec students) and embracing what the province has to offer.  

In June 2024, our daughter will graduate from grade 12. Bishop’s University and going to Quebec was one of the options on her list and friends lists for post-secondary schooling. Unfortunately, with the threat and rise in tuition she will not be able to attend. She will not get the experience that the rest of her family has had. She is fully bilingual, has a grade point average in the 90s and would have loved to potentially be a Gaiter and would make a wonderful contribution to the community. The government is not only targeting English universities, but also discriminating against anglophone Canadians. This not only will be a loss to the university but to the whole Quebec economy. How can you say you are preserving history- Bishop’s is history in Quebec.” 

– Cynthia Burnett ‘00

“My name is Robin Forfellow Brown. I graduated from Bishop’s University in 1991. I am also a Quebecer, born in Montreal, as was my entire family. I started at Bishop’s in the fall of 1987 after spending a year at Champlain College. At that time, my family had moved away from Quebec due to my father’s job, but I was eager to have the opportunity to return to the place that in my heart I still considered home. After my first visit to the Bishop’s campus, that feeling of home was further reinforced. 

The university experience at Bishop’s is like no other. As a science student, studying Biology, I benefited tremendously from the small class sizes at Bishop’s and the caliber of the faculty in the science department. The campus experience and the opportunities to get involved in campus life, as well as the broader community of Sherbrooke and throughout the Eastern Townships, were plentiful and ones that I took full advantage of. While in high school, I was timid to join a lot of activities, but the inclusive and welcoming atmosphere at Bishop’s and the many opportunities available to students made it easy to join all sorts of diverse clubs and activities. I was a part of several on and off-campus clubs and as a result, I have made lifelong friends from across Quebec and Canada. 

In recent years, I have had the opportunity to return to campus several times with friends and with my own children to see the campus and to visit my nephew who is currently studying at Bishop’s. I have three children who are looking at their post-secondary options, two of whom are seriously considering Bishop’s. We currently live in British Columbia and if the Quebec government were to proceed with the proposed legislation to double the current tuition rates, it would make it very difficult to afford to send them. Additionally, I would be devastated if this legislation put the university’s financial sustainability in jeopardy and forced students from outside the province of Quebec to make other post-secondary choices based solely on affordability.  

I am proud to be an alumnus of Bishop’s University. The experience profoundly shaped the person I am today. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help communicate the importance of this institution to the Quebec government and how devasting this decision would be to the future of Bishop’s. This is a very special place and one that students from right across Canada deserve an opportunity to have available to them when considering their post-secondary options.” 

– Robin Forfellow Brown ’91

“I came from the province of Ontario to attend Bishop’s. 

I appreciated meeting students from all over Quebec, other parts of Canada, and from around the globe. 

I appreciated having varied professors from all faculties, backgrounds and personal life. I remain in contact with one to this very day. 

I felt proud of my accomplishments and contributions at Bishop’s over the years I attended, especially when I was given my Bachelor of Arts degree (Double Major, Geography and Political Science; minor in History). 

I was fortunate to be able to return to Bishop’s after one year of teaching, to complete my Diploma of Education. My experience with this program confirmed my desire to be a teacher for a career. The icing on the cake was receiving the Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers’ Award. 

I reflect fondly on my years in Quebec, and at Bishop’s University in particular. I would hope that thousands more young lifelong learners from other areas of Canada can embrace the same experience in the years to come.” 

– A. David H. Bennett ‘70

“I went to Bishop’s University in 2006 to study history. I wanted an adventure and a small university experience. I was the first in my immediate family to go to university and Bishop’s provided me with a learning environment that helped me overcome imposter feelings. I came to Bishop’s intending to return to beautiful British Columbia. I borrowed money to attend university and left with tens of thousands of dollars and over 6% interest payments, but every penny seemed worth it. Not only did Bishop’s give me my history degree, but I fell in love with my wife. My wife has brought happiness to my life because of my choice to attend Bishop’s. Since convocation in 2010, I have stayed in Lennoxville, Quebec. (feels a bit like I’ve embodied the verse and will never graduate.) Choosing Bishop’s University was a life-changing decision for me.  
I have struggled to learn French despite living in Quebec for this long. I took some French classes during Bishop’s, and I’ve taken a few free night courses with New Horizons, but I would have never gone to Bishop’s University if the tuition was raised to the outrageous amount that is being suggested. There are so many problems and issues in Quebec society that are destroying Bishop’s University and removing the economic contribution that McGill and Concordia students bring to Montreal is a poor decision. I have never felt embraced by Quebec, and I would never have chosen to live here if it wasn’t for meeting my wife at Bishop’s. Quebec would have been less another teacher along with the taxes and economic contribution both my wife and I have made living here for over a decade. The decision to raise tuition at these three universities makes very little economic sense and will harm the struggling historical anglophone community I have spent my career serving.” 

– Todd Smith ‘10

“I hope this message finds you well. I am writing to you today as a concerned student, alumnus, and dedicated member of our community. Recent news of the Quebec government’s decision to double tuition fees has struck a chord deep within me, prompting me to express my sincere plea to reconsider this decision. 

As someone who had the privilege of receiving an education at Bishop’s University, I can personally attest to the profound impact it had on my life. My journey as a student was not only academically enriching but also deeply rooted in personal growth. The experiences and lessons I gained during my time at Bishop’s University are invaluable, shaping the person I am today. 

Beyond academics, I had the unique opportunity to represent our university as an athlete for the Bishop’s Gaiters. This experience not only instilled discipline, teamwork, and dedication but also allowed me to proudly wear our university’s colors and carry its name with pride. The sense of unity and belonging I felt within the Gaiters community is a testament to the positive impact our university has on the lives of its students. 

Since my time as a student-athlete, I have returned to the area and our beloved university multiple times, both for reunions and to introduce my family to the place that played a pivotal role in my life. These visits have been filled with nostalgia and a deep sense of connection. We’ve seen how our beloved university continues to evolve, providing new generations with the same transformative experiences. 

Now, with children of my own, I dream of one day seeing them walk the same hallowed halls, don the Gaiters jersey, and create their own precious memories. It is my heartfelt wish that the doors to higher education remain open for all, just as they were for me, offering the same opportunities for our children and generations to come. It is worth mentioning that both of our children are currently enrolled in French immersion programs, which were made possible by my university years. They, too, are beneficiaries of the legacy of accessible education. 

I understand that financial considerations are complex, but I implore you to reconsider the decision to double tuition fees. Accessible education is not only a fundamental right but also the cornerstone of building a thriving and educated society. It has the power to transform lives and communities. 

I kindly request that you consider the long-term consequences of this decision and explore alternative means to ensure the sustainability of our institutions without burdening the students who seek knowledge and personal growth. Your decision will impact not only current students but also the future of our beloved community. 

Thank you for your time and for considering my heartfelt plea. I am confident that, by working together, we can preserve the legacy of accessible education at Bishop’s University and continue to enrich the lives of countless individuals. 

Ever loving the Eastern Townships,” 

Ryan Hamilton ’99

“To whom it may concern, I was, along with an abundance of students that attended Ridley College in St Catharines Ontario to be offered placement to Bishop’s University. 

I chose Bishop’s as I was looking for a university outside of Ontario that had a culture similar to what I had at Ridley for 8 years. It exceeded all of my expectations! 

Mr. Bruce Coulter, the Athletic Director came to the school and spoke to the student body, and it was then that I knew Bishop’s was the University for me to continue my education and interest to play Varsity Hockey and Soccer. I proudly represented Bishop’s for 3 years playing against Sherbrooke, Three Rivers, RMC, University of Toronto, Queens, Loyola McGill and Ottawa, University of Vermont and many more and also received my Diploma! 

The school life, fellow students, classes and campus were wholesome and provided many opportunities for me to succeed and enjoy my university years thoroughly.  

Moreover, the friends and teammates I met who were who were from all over Canada and the ones that I met from Quebec are to this day, my best friends! 

I know that if I had to pay more to go to Bishop’s than other schools in Canada my family could not have afforded that expense to send me. 

What a shame it would be for the Quebec government to impose such a devastating tuition policy for students outside of Quebec. 

It would be a sad day. 

I would hope that this is reconsidered and amended accordingly.” 

– Paul ‘75

“It’s quite remarkable how a town and a campus that I’d never visited nor knew much about quickly came to feel like home and still very much does, over 25 years later.  

I arrived in Lennoxville in the fall of 1996 as a 17-year-old chemistry major from rural Nova Scotia. My friends all went to Acadia, St. FX, Mt. A, and others in the Maritimes. I wanted something different, so I chose Bishop’s simply from the promotional materials that were sent by mail (this was 1996, after all). I remember feeling completely awestruck when I drove past stately McGreer Hall for the first time and eventually stepped into the Quad from my room in Pollack Hall. But that same day I remember feeling overwhelmed sitting in on sessions where messages were repeated in French or signs hung with French text. I couldn’t understand them – my high school French wasn’t enough. To my great embarrassment, my father had ordered “jus de pomme de terre” that morning at the King St. MacDonald’s, but my French wasn’t much better – how was I going to navigate this? Had I made the wrong choice?  

Well, things changed. Though my classes were in English, I was immersed in this new cultural and linguistic landscape between Lennoxville and Sherbrooke and my classmates who spoke in French around me. I learned to navigate the city and its institutions in a language that was not my native tongue – public transportation, medical clinics, transactions at the Provigo and Familiprix. I listened to CBC Radio and read local newspapers. I certainly didn’t gain this fluency in my high school French classes (or even the French I studied as electives as Bishop’s) nor did I previously have the context for it nor appropriate cadence. At the time, I took this immersive experience for granted because it was just part of being a resident of Lennoxville and engaging with the community, but I didn’t know how truly valuable that was until 15 years later when I found myself working in Tangier, Morocco, using French as the common language from everything from transactions in the Medina to discussing chemical inventories in the lab I was building. I certainly would not have had that experience had I stayed in the Maritimes.  

When I reflect on my years at Bishop’s, I like to think of the highlights: cheering the Gaiters on to victory in 1998 in Halifax with waves of purple; meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the very special Convocation; working closely with my peers on initiatives through the SRC, and countless nights with friends punctuated with The Gambler and Village Grec. But we also faced some tough times; in 1997, the first round of tuition increases for out of province students was implemented. The rationale was that out of province students were being subsidized by the Quebec government and that part did make some sense – tuition at the time was already much lower than comparable institutions in the country. But what I could not wrap my head around was why students studying French language, or those from French speaking countries were granted the in-province tuition rate. That seemed discriminatory and we are seeing elements of that again. Tensions were still high after the 1995 referendum, and I found myself in classes and in the residence hall with students that had opposing opinions and came from very different backgrounds than mine including regions of Quebec and from families with separatist ideals. We embraced these differences and learned about each other while in pursuit of the same goal: a sound and liberal education. 

Bishop’s has changed since my time there. I remember the phrase “2000 by 2000” and thinking that was far too many students to maintain the campus and community culture. But the institution has managed to do that and more, with innovative, new programs and initiatives focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Bishop’s’ leadership within the Maple League and its evolution into an institution that thrives on research and scholarship while maintaining a student-centered focus have helped to bring my alma mater to an enviable position. I could not have been prouder to see this year’s Maclean’s ranking and the number one position in student services. Bishop’s cares about its students and in turn students care about Bishop’s. 

As an adult, I frequently find myself returning to the Eastern Townships and not just to campus. Living as an expat in Southern Maine, L’Estrie has become my go-to place when I feel like I need to go “home” or reconnect to my roots. I delight in reliving old memories like a pint at the Lion or a show at Centennial Theatre or giving a research seminar to the Chemistry Department with my own professors in the room, but also exploring the many other features that the region has to offer and things that seemed out of reach as a student – like dining at the upstairs Pilsen! I’ve taken family and friends to explore and stay in the region and frequently recommend L’Estrie to colleagues who are looking for a special getaway. I’m proud to do so.  

I’m reminded of the song Lennoxvegas by Clay, a band formed by Bishop’s students around the time I was there, and in particular this line: there’s a place in my heart and mind called Lennoxvegas; it’s where we come to dream of where we want to be someday. 

Bishop’s and Lennoxville are where I came to dream of where I wanted to be someday. I’m now a Professor and Dean at my own university, but my foundation, my passion for lifelong learning, how I work with my own students, and my love for academia were forged 25 years ago. I’ve always said that Bishop’s was the best decision I ever made and there’s not a doubt in my mind that my four years at the institution and in the region played an instrumental role in shaping me into who I am and where I am today.  

Merci, BU. Merci, L’Estrie. Je vous adore.” 

– Amy Keirstead ‘00

“My name is Tim Saunders, a 1983 graduate of Bishop’s University, who arrived from Ontario. I chose Bishop’s for its outstanding liberal arts education in a diverse environment and immersive community. The value of an education is enhanced by living outside your comfort zone and experiencing more than the classroom. I had the opportunity to interact, grow and make many lifelong friends from across Quebec and bring an informed experience of Quebec to my future career as a CPA, CA and in business. Likewise, it was also beneficial for Quebec students to interact with other students from across Canada, learning from each other, understanding and appreciating each other. 

I’ve returned to campus many times to share my time and experiences with students while also spending money in the local economy. Since graduating, I’ve been a loyal and significant donor to the university’s operating and capital programs, financially giving back to the university and community that gave so much to me. I am just one of many to do so. 

While I returned to Ontario to launch my career, I returned to Quebec every year having had such a positive experience with the people and province. That was only due to being able to afford an education at such a wonderful institution, Bishop’s University, that has been part of the Eastern Townships region since 1843 and a significant contributor to the local economy – providing jobs, housing and supporting many businesses involved with the campus. 

I would never have had that life altering experience had tuition been so far out of reach as proposed by the current provincial government. Without the financial means, I would have gone elsewhere that was competitive while providing a quality education. This legislation can only be seen as discriminatory and punitive against a targeted ethnic background, and contrary to the Canadian constitution and the Canadian charter of human rights and freedoms. 

I strongly advocate for a reversal of the tuition proposal that could only have a catastrophic effect on the university.” 

– Tim Saunders ‘83

“My decision to go to Bishop’s was easily the best decision of my life. I continue to see, vacation with, and share life experiences with the friends I met there, including my wife, Ronna! In my retirement, Bishop’s continues to be an integral part of my life through the alumni run “Jump” mentorship and networking program which I chair. 

As a proud native Quebecer, I am conflicted. I love Quebec, its culture, the people and its “joie de vivre” unique in Canada. I moved to Toronto upon graduation in 1980 and spent endless hours explaining the Quebec uniqueness to Torontonians for the 3 years I lived there. I was fortunate to move to Ottawa in late 1983 and have lived here since, enjoying the benefits of being in a bilingual community providing both my children the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of French immersion. “Speaking both languages is an attribute”! 

I have always hated Quebec politics! The divisiveness and narrow-mindedness have been more than frustrating. In my travels through Quebec, the French language is not in danger. I travel to New Brunswick at least twice annually. I guarantee that in Levis, Riviere de Loupe, Rimouski, Mont Joli, French is not at risk. The concern that an internationally recognized and visited city like Montreal has become too “anglicized” is simply an irrational, narrow minded reaction to the reality of today’s integrated world. Populist governments unfortunately have found strength through instilling irrational fears in their supporters. Comparison to the 2024 U.S. GOP candidate’s approach to politics is less flattering to Quebec political leaders. 

I doubt this can be used in school’s efforts but it was certainly therapeutic! I will be at campus in January and certainly look forward to it. 

A proud BU graduate and native Quebecer!” 

Bob Egan ‘80

“I grew up 15 minutes from the Quebec border in the small town of Williamstown. In the later years of high school, I drifted like many males but, after one visit to Bishop’s University in 2003, I knew where I wanted to be and got my grades in order. I lived on campus my first two years, one as a resident and the other as a resident assistant. I played on the club soccer team, many intramural sports, and graduated with a concentration in finance and minor in economics. In my first year, the President of the Bishop’s told my orientation class, “90% of what you learn here will happen outside the classroom.” He couldn’t have been more right. The friends I made and the experience that only a small campus can provide helped shape my future. 

I was fortunate to eventually return home and used my education and collected life experiences to become the Treasurer of South Glengarry Township (2014-2022) and now the Mayor (2022-2026). I can assure you that without the growth that happened at Bishop’s this wouldn’t have been my outcome. I now have the privilege to visit schools and talk about local government and civic engagement. Just last Thursday, I spoke to a class and one girl said, “I would like to go to Bishop’s, but I don’t know if I can now.” The irony, it was a class that was taught in French. 

Over 750 students is not a lot to Concordia or McGill but for Bishop’s it would be catastrophic. For students like me and the girl in grade 10, please re-consider the tuition raise and allow small town Ontario to go to a wonderful, small undergraduate school that feels like home.” 

 – Lachlan McDonald ‘08 

“I wanted to take the time to share my testimonial with you regarding the recently proposed policy changes that will impact Bishop’s University. I attended Bishop’s from 2012-2017 in the Concurrent Elementary Education program. My brother, Luke Munro, currently attends and is enrolled in the Concurrent Secondary Education program, with a focus on Fine Arts and History.  

I came across Bishop’s University while living in Ontario. While I had visited and applied to many Ontario Universities in my Grade 11 year, I had yet to find a school where I felt I would fit in. I applied to Bishop’s without having seen the campus, based on a single review from my friend’s mom, saying “Katie, this school was made for you. I need you to promise me you will apply.” 

Attending University strictly on OSAP loans was always going to be my only option. I took out the max loan each year, and am still paying it back, nearly 10 years later. Luckily, the tuition was not far off from the Ontario schools that I considered and ended up not being a part of my decision process. For this, I am so grateful. Had tuition been the proposed $17,000, I would not have been able to attend Bishop’s University.  

I would not have met lifelong friends. I would not have had the opportunity to study in a concurrent program that granted me more practicum hours and experience than any competing University I had considered. I would not have floated down the Massawippi shore, been an Orientation Week Head Judge, or worked for the SRC, or Doolittes. I wouldn’t have walked across the bridge from Little Forks and waved at every single person I knew on the way to my History class. I wouldn’t have attended a dinner with my University principal, Micheal Goldbloom, or sat in the basement of the theater department sewing with Candace Warner, listening to opera music, and learning about her expertise in Costume Design. I wouldn’t have shared a pint with Professor Stonebanks, who I looked up to greatly, and who is responsible for much of the Teacher I am today. I wouldn’t have an enormous Bishop’s community all the way across the country in the place I now call home, Victoria.  

I would have been deprived of so many of the positive experiences that make up who I am. Sure, I could have been successful at another school in Ontario. But deep down, I know Bishop’s was special. It was and continues to be a safe space for so many students. It inspires so much in its young students and provides opportunities that no other school offers. It is small and makes space for you to be you.  

I am so deeply saddened to find out that this experience would not be available to so many future out-of-province students. As an English-speaking, out-of-province student, I never thought I would find myself in Quebec. But I am so happy I did. I found a beautiful little community, nestled in the Eastern Townships, and without it, I don’t know who I would be today.  

I want Bishop’s to have a lasting legacy. I want to share news as an Alumni of all the positive things they are doing for students and their community. I want to tell my kids one day that, should they wish, this is a school they could attend, like their Mom. It is gut-wrenching to think that Bishop’s may cease to exist. Not only as an option for Ontario students but with low enrollment, we could see a drastic impact on Bishop’s future altogether. A little piece of my purple heart is so scared of a future without Bishop’s.  

Bishop’s, I love you. I hope you will fight to exist for the many future faces who deserve the experience that shaped me.” 

– Katie Munro ‘16

“I transferred to Bishop’s in the fall of 1980 from Queen’s University in Kingston. I had spent 2 years at Queens. I was very unhappy there and seriously considered dropping out of post-secondary education. I felt alone, uninspired and overwhelmed. I transferred to Bishop’s, having heard about this wonderful, small university from a family friend.    

I enrolled in the Geography program and immediately felt that I belonged. I found a supportive, inspiring and academically rewarding community at Bishop’s. I went on to graduate in 1982 with a BA (Hons) Magna Cum Laude in Geography. I was the recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal as top graduating student, the Chancellor’s Prize, the University Prize in Geography, the Canadian Association of Geographers Prize, etc. The two years I spent at Bishop’s were the best years I could have ever imagined. My professors were incredible teachers, well-versed scholars and wonderful people. I am still in touch with Dr. Derek Booth. I still have great friendships with several of my fellow students. 

I was at Bishop’s when the first referendum was held by Rene Levesque in 1981. We wondered what it would mean for the future if the Eastern Townships and for Quebec. It meant many changes, of course, but Bishop’s survived and so did Quebec.  

The Province continues to represent the heart and soul of québécois language and culture in Canada. As Canadians, we are all stronger for it. I truly believe that Quebec will continue to remain strong and proud and to have a unique place within Canada. To deny so many students from within Canada and around the world the opportunity to experience all that Quebec had to offer is regrettable. It will also shortchange the people of Quebec the opportunity to share their community, culture and unique views and values with others. This can only be limiting for the Province in the end. That would be shortsighted and a real shame.  

Thanks to my time at Bishop’s, I went on to have a successful career in land use planning and development after graduating from University of Waterloo in 1984 with my MA in Regional Planning and Resource Development.  

After working in various positions in consulting, municipal government and research with Environment Canada, I established a small planning and development consultancy in Peterborough, Ontario. I grew the company from 3 to 15 people and represented many amazing clients over the years before selling the company to one of my protégés in 2021.  

Although I did not directly contribute to Quebec’s economic or cultural development, I have contributed to my own community, supporting its economic base and social development. In a very small way, it was a contribution to Canada, including Quebec.  

I loved my time at Bishop’s and very much appreciated spending two very special years in the Eastern Townships.  

I don’t know what would have happened to me if I had not been able to attend Bishop’s. Certainly, my life would have followed a very different path. I can’t say whether I would ever have discovered the passion I had for my studies, the friendships I made and the future opportunities it gave me.  

The future of Quebec can only be weakened if the government of La Belle Province acts in this manner. I urge the provincial politicians to look at the bigger picture and realize that we are stronger together.” 

– Heather Sadler ‘82

“My time at Bishop’s University, in Quebec was truly transformative. It’s not just a school; it’s an experience that has left an indelible mark on my life. The academic rigor at Bishop’s is unparalleled, and the dedicated professors foster a dynamic learning environment I was challenged to think critically, encouraged to explore my passions, and given the tools to excel in my chosen field. The small class sizes allowed for personalized attention, fostering a sense of community and collaboration that is second to none. 

But it’s not just about the classroom. Quebec’s vibrant and diverse culture adds another layer of enrichment to the experience. The province’s unique blend of French and English-speaking communities creates a truly immersive environment for language learning. Living in this bilingual setting was invaluable in broadening my horizons and enhancing my language skills. It’s an experience that shapes your worldview and prepares you for an interconnected world. 

For students who attend from outside of Quebec, the decision to study in Quebec is more than a choice of a university; it’s a chance to embrace a bilingual, multicultural experience that will equip you with skills and perspectives that will serve you well throughout your life. I wholeheartedly recommend Bishop’s University and studying in Quebec to any student seeking a transformative educational adventure.” 

– Tim Taylor ‘02 

“I am writing this testimonial as a proud alumnus of Bishop’s University, a place that holds a special significance in my heart. My time at Bishop’s was not just an educational journey but a transformative experience that shaped my life in countless ways.  

Bishop’s University offered a unique blend of experiences that set it apart from other institutions. Nestled in Quebec, it provided a distinctive fusion of the small Atlantic province charm I grew up with and the rich, diverse culture of the people and province of Quebec. It offered a safe space for me to grow, both academically and personally, while also imparting a deep appreciation for the cultural and historical significance of Quebec within our great nation.  

One of the most remarkable aspects of Bishop’s was the harmonious coexistence of French and English students. This rare unity fostered an environment where we could bond over our shared experiences and cultural diversity. The small student population only enhanced this sense of community, making Bishop’s a truly unique and supportive place to learn and grow. 

The influence of Bishop’s on my life is immeasurable. It instilled in me the confidence to explore the world after graduation, cultivating a passion for unique travels and broadening my horizons. This university provided the foundation for me to pursue a law degree abroad and eventually a master’s in law. Today, I am proud to work at one of the country’s leading law firms, a testament to the education and character-building that Bishop’s University imparts. 

However, I am deeply concerned about the recent legislation that the province of Quebec has implemented that threatens the future of Bishop’s University. The proposed tuition increases for out-of-province Canadian students will have a catastrophic impact on this cherished institution. Bishop’s University has always been a symbol of diversity and inclusivity, a place where students from across the country and around the world come together to learn and grow. 

The potential consequences of this legislation are dire. It risks making the university unaffordable for many, eliminating opportunities for students to have the same life-changing experiences I had. It jeopardizes the unique character of Bishop’s and endangers its future as a beacon of cross-cultural understanding and academic excellence. 

I urge all those who have had the privilege of experiencing the magic of Bishop’s University to support the efforts to reverse this detrimental policy. It is critical that the Province re-think this legislation that has the potential to tarnish the legacy of a university that has touched the lives of countless individuals and contributed to the betterment of our country for over 180 years. 

For the alumni within the province of Quebec, I implore you to send a powerful message to your local Member of the National Assembly. For those of you outside your province, I hope you share your testimonials about the positive impact Bishop’s had on your life. We must stand together to preserve the essence of this remarkable institution and ensure that future generations can benefit from the unique opportunities it provides. 

With gratitude and hope for a brighter future,” 

– John Graham ‘14

“I was very disheartened to hear about the Quebec Government’s decision to increase fees for non-Quebec residents in Quebec Universities. I truly hope that they come to their senses and recognize the positive impact that students from out of province can bring to their communities and economies. I would love to lend my voice in support of Bishop’s University. 

My time at Bishop’s University was some of the most memorable years of my life so far. I attended the University from 2004-2008 and it had a huge impact on who I am today. Not only did I receive an excellent education, but I made some lifelong friends and incredible memories. As an incoming student from Ontario, I had no idea what was in store for me when I arrived on campus for the first time. I immediately fell in love with the picturesque landscape of Lennoxville and its surrounding areas. Although I was a quiet and shy student, Bishop’s is where I found my voice. I started working in residence in my second year as a Residence Advisor and met so many students from across Canada and internationally. I continued in the role for the remainder of my time at Bishop’s and became involved with the Lennoxville community as a whole. I witnessed friendships being formed, communities being built and a true sense of Bishop’s pride. The student experience at Bishop’s, is in my opinion, second to none. In my last year, I was even awarded the Purple Letter Award, which is something that I hold incredibly dear to my heart. None of this would have been possible if I had not been able to attend from out of province. 

The small town of Lennoxville has a way of gathering people together who never would have met otherwise. I’ll always remember my time at the Lion Pub or at Dewie’s Dining hall, meeting a diverse and charismatic group of friends in my classes and lectures. Having worked on campus provided me with opportunities that I never would have experienced at another institution. 

I wouldn’t have traded my experience at Bishop’s for anything, and am eternally grateful to the campus, to the community, to the faculty and students who make it such a special place. I am looking forward to the days when I can come back with my family to visit the place that I called home for 4 years. The place that I owe a great deal of debt to for making me the confident person that I am today. Thank you, Bishop’s, for everything, and I truly hope that others are able to attend and have their own unique experiences, meeting a diverse and interesting group of people and friends from across Canada and beyond. 

Bleeding Purple forever,” 

– Rachel Duchesneau ‘08

“My name is Sarah, and I graduated from Bishop’s in 2016 with a BA in international relations. 

I chose Bishop’s because they had (and still have) an amazing international relations/politics program, with a practicum option for a week in New York with Model United Nations. I also wanted to get away from home, and it was cheaper for me to fly across the country and pay out of province fees than to go to my local universities like UBC and SFU. Living in Lennoxville and Sherbrooke allowed me to practice my French, and since I wanted to work in the UN this was perfect for me. There were a number of community connections and friends that I made while at Bishop’s, and these allowed me to fall in love with Lennoxville even more. 

Bishop’s holds a special place in my heart, as I’m sure it does with all of the alumni. We grow up quickly and learn a lot while in this small community and make friendships that last a lifetime.” 

– Sarah Byrne ‘16 

“It would be hard to overstate the impact that Bishop’s has had on the course of my life. It was not a well-worn path from a Toronto high school to a small liberal arts college in the foothills of the Eastern Townships and yet that was precisely what attracted me. 

It was the opportunity to immerse myself in a culture that was a microcosm of the diversity and complexity of Canada. While the curriculum was in English, it only required ten paces and an exit from campus to find yourself immersed in the historical heritage of Francophone Canada. It was an opportunity for Quebec to put its best foot forward to the youngest, brightest, minds with the hope that they would be enthralled enough in the history of Quebec to be motivated into contributing to its future. A great many have. And even those that left have found themselves maintaining close personal and professional ties to the province. 

Similarly, many Quebec students who attended Bishop’s leveraged their friendships and opportunities into careers that would have been unattainable had they remained solely within the Francophone bubble. As a result, they are now in positions to be some of the province’s strongest cultural ambassadors abroad. 

In my case, my four years at Bishop’s delivered not only a world class education but an exposure to a diversity of thought, culture and friendships. These friendships span language and geography and yet all remain closely tied to our time in Quebec. 

It is hard to quantify these benefits however, and ever harder to do so when a prospective student is staring down two offers with wildly differing costs of tuition at the age of 17. Most, if not all, will invariably elect to accept offers at other leading schools outside of Quebec as a result of the proposed tuition increase. 

This would be a tragic loss for Quebec and a deeply self-inflicted wound in the effort to promote the French language and support the rich and uniquely Canadian Francophone culture. More people need to see it, live it and love it, in order to support it. That can’t happen if they never come at all.” 

– Stuart Mercier ‘04


My life prior to Bishop’s University was set in a rural, agricultural town in the Ottawa Valley. Arriving in Lennoxville as a Sociology student, I was suddenly immersed in small classrooms with peers from across this beautiful country. Ideas, perspectives, opinions, questions, and solutions were all raised by voices of students with unique cultural upbringings, values, educational backgrounds, experiences, etc. My education was, in effect, a tapestry of the teachings of the professors, my research and readings, and the immense richness that my fellow peers brought to each classroom session.  

As a French Immersion student from elementary throughout secondary school, the Quebec culture and French language were also of great importance to me. I left university confident, bilingual, ready for my career, with the knowledge and friends to last a lifetime. Having served as the Ottawa Bishop’s Alumni chapter President, I also witnessed firsthand the career opportunities that arise as a result of the Bishop’s network, and equally, the privilege of having personal and professional contacts nation-wide.  

Quand je pense à mes études à l’Université Bishop’s, je ne pourrais pas être plus friand des souvenirs, aux amitiés et à la valeur de mon éducation. C’était vraiment inestimable. Cependant, je sais qu’avec cette nouvelle politique, cela me coûterait trop cher aujourd’hui, compte tenu du budget de ma famille et venant de l’extérieur du Québec. Je sais également que je ne serais pas là où je suis aujourd’hui en tant que chef d’équipe sans les connaissances fondamentales que j’ai acquises au cours de mon baccalauréat. La diversité, l’inclusivité et l’expérience culturellement riche que j’ai vécue en classe ont grandement influencé la façon dont je supervise le personnel. Je n’aurais pas non plus rencontré mon mari si je n’étais pas allée à Bishop’s et je n’aurais peut-être pas mes beaux enfants, auxquels j’aimerais leur donner la possibilité d’un jour postuler, mais qui seraient eux aussi originaires de l’extérieur de la province. De nombreux facteurs clés de ma vie remontent à cette petite université dynamique et animée, et c’est dommage de penser que cette opportunité sera privée pour certains étudiants qui souhaitent postuler l’année prochaine. 

Bishop’s University students and alumni are very loyal to their school, and I am confident that we will stand up for the institution, while maintaining the French language and culture, and will ensure that decisions which influence the future and integrity of Bishop’s are made collaboratively with the leaders of the school. “We’ll show esprit de corps as we watch the gaiters roar onto victory”.  


– Erin ‘08

“Hello et bonjour, 

I came to Bishop’s from Nova Scotia in September 2005. It may have been a financial burden for my family and my future self but my parents encouraged independence and lauded a liberal arts education in a small, residential setting. I spent 5 glorious years at BU during which time I went on exchange to Sweden, participated in the Model UN in New York City, interned with Townshipper’s Association and tutored at Alexander Galt High School. I also took courses in French and had many French-speaking friends who introduced me to Quebecois culture.  

En été 2009 j’ai participé au programme Explore chez Université Laval. Je suis tombée amoureuse de la langue française. L’automne suivant j’ai rencontré la personne qui est maintenant mon mari depuis 10 ans, un anglo-québécois de Huntingville. Après avoir obtenu ma maitrise, je suis retournée à Sherbrooke où j’ai travaillé auprès des groupes minoritaires pour un OBNL. J’étais la seule employée qui parlait anglais. Mon français s’est amélioré rapidement! J’ai habité, travaillé et payé des impôts au Québec pendant 4 ans avant de repartir à Nouvelle-Ecosse. Maintenant, comme consultante principale dans la recherche de cadres, je travaille avec des clients francophones de plusieurs provinces. Je prends des cours de français privé, payé par mon employeur. Leur investissement est bien mérité, parce que ma capacité en français nous ouvre des portes vers une nouvelle source de revenu. En plus, c’est super amusant pour moi!  

Mes 8 ans au Québec entre 2005 et 2015 étaient excellent et je retourne à toutes les années pour faire du ski et revoir mes amis.  

If tuition had been what the Quebec government is now proposing, there is no way I could have afforded to go to Bishop’s. I would have gone to Carleton or Trent or Mount Allison, my other options. As it is, I spent years carefully paying down my $52,000 of student debt. I love the French language, the Quebecois culture and the Quebecois people, but I am saddened that the very reasonable desire to promote and protect the richness of Quebecois culture must also mean direct harm to English speakers in la belle province.  

If I had not had such a wonderful experience with my Quebecois friends, colleagues and professors, I might instead be fluent in Mandarin now, like my brother who lives in Taiwan. But, because of my fantastic experience in Quebec, I am working in French and know that La Grande Seduction is the funniest movie ever made.” 

– Claire Holt ‘10

“Je suis née à Saint-Apollinaire où j’ai vécu jusqu’à 18 ans, et j’ai étudié au cégep de Lévis-Lauzon en Arts et Lettres, option langues. Après avoir travaillé pendant un an comme monitrice de langue française dans une école d’immersion française au Manitoba, j’ai choisi de poursuivre mes études à l’Université Bishop’s en langues modernes. Après mon baccalauréat en études hispaniques, allemandes et francophones, je suis devenue… professeure de français!  

Je voue une passion aux langues, au bilinguisme, aux rencontres interculturelles, au dialogue et à la tolérance. Mon parcours aurait été bien différent sans mon passage à Bishop’s. En réalité, cette institution à taille humaine est un lieu d’échange, de rencontres et de dialogue pour tous les Canadiens. Alors que 50% des étudiants de Bishop’s sont Québécois, 30% d’entre eux sont originaires d’autres provinces canadiennes. De nombreux Canadiens en provenance des autres provinces ont la chance de rencontrer des Québécois qu’ils n’auraient jamais eu l’opportunité de croiser s’ils n’étaient pas venus au Québec pour étudier.  

La nouvelle mesure du gouvernement met non seulement en péril l’existence de l’Université Bishop’s, mais menace aussi le précieux dialogue entre anglophones et francophones. Honnêtement, les 800 étudiants originaires des autres provinces canadiennes ne contribuent pas à l’anglicisation d’une ville de 170 000 habitants comme Sherbrooke. L’impact est plutôt dans le sens inverse, car ces Canadiens anglophones qui viennent à Bishop’s profitent de l’occasion pour pratiquer et étudier le français dans une ville où ils peuvent le pratiquer plus aisément que s’ils étaient restés dans leur province natale. J’ai moi-même été tutrice de français pour des étudiants ontariens lorsque j’étudiais à Bishop’s.  

L’Université Bishop’s est une institution exceptionnelle qui abrite une population canadienne unique. Avant de mettre en danger la survie de cette université et de risquer de fermer la porte au dialogue linguistique qui se déroule à Lennoxville, pourquoi ne pas envisager d’autres mesures visant à renforcer la préservation du français au Québec?  

Pour commencer, on pourrait s’assurer que tous les élèves fréquentant des écoles des commissions scolaires anglophones au Québec soient scolarisés dans un programme d’immersion française.” 

– Marie-Eve Therrien ‘07

“I went to Bishop’s from Ottawa on the recommendation of Evan Gill (class of ’51), an old family friend. It completely changed my life from the moment I went there, and I would support any effort to keep it alive. Bishop’s is unique in my opinion and makes a positive impression on our Canadian education system. 

Bishop’s also changed the life of my roommate Graham Jackson, who came to Canada from South America. He enrolled in Education and spent his whole career teaching in Quebec City. He met and married Suzanne Garneau also from Quebec City and a Bishop’s graduate. 

Following graduation in ’57 I enrolled in Commerce at McGill. On completion of a second degree, I joined DuPont Canada (Head Office Montreal) and spent the next 30 odd years travelling the world in Sales/Marketing. I remain in Quebec in the Eastern Townships and spent (2002-08) in the Bishop’s Corporation. 

I am pleased to report that my granddaughter Abigail Rochester is currently at the University following in her father’s footsteps Trevor Rochester ’93. 

Bishop’s has played a major role in my life and I strongly support all efforts to maintain its future.” 

– Daine (Toby) Rochester ’57

“I studied at Bishop’s University from 1989 to 1992 graduating with an Hounours BA in Political Economy. I was born in Montreal and graduated from secondary school in Ontario.   

I was thrilled to return to my home province to advance my education and reconnect with my roots. At Bishop’s I embraced life in the Estrie, engaging in political discussions, thinking about the future of Quebec and Canada and building my understanding of our nation – what we have in common and where we have differences.   

Today, I live in Ottawa and work in Gatineau continuing to straddle the border and engaging in discussions about our bilingual nation in both French and English.  

Bishop’s is a place that brings the diversity of Canada into one place with a student body small enough that all students engage with students from different backgrounds and from across Canada and the world. The diversity of views helps to build creativity, innovation and new ideas.  

Shutting down these discussions and interchanges risks limiting the development of ideas and creates greater divide between people.  

In a world where differences are driving conflict, bringing together diversity has never been more important.   

Bishop’s is a special place that has a lot to offer the world and Quebec. I am deeply concerned that decision to change the out of province fees, and to appropriate international fees. I cannot imagine how Bishop’s University could survive this kind of change in funding models, its demise would be a great loss for Quebec.” 

– Kristen Underwood ’92

“Je suis née à L’Ile Maurice, petite île à l’est de Madagascar. J’ai fait des études de français et littératures québécoises à Bishop’s de 1999 – 2001 comme étudiante étrangère. Depuis, je suis restée au Québec. Je suis enseignante au primaire depuis 20 ans. Présentement, je travaille pour la CSSDM. Je suis un bon exemple d’étudiante étrangère qui reste au Québec après les études. Je contribue pleinement à l’essor de la société québécoise. J’ai passé les plus belles années de ma vie à Bishop’s. J’ai passé les plus belles années de ma vie dans les Cantons de l’Est.” 

– Narvadha ‘99

“I am an Ontarian by birth with an English Quebec father. Travelling to the Eastern Townships during my childhood to visit with my English and French-speaking kin is one of the most cherished memories of my childhood.   

Pursuing my post-secondary studies in Lennoxville was a given for me. Despite exceptional marks and likely many possible options for schools, Bishop’s was the only university I applied to. I felt drawn to spend more time surrounded by my family’s roots, and by the rich cultural and linguistic setting of the Eastern Townships.  

Thanks to my time spent at Bishop’s, I met my partner and the father of my children soon after. He is francophone, from Sherbrooke. My French skills gained from my time at Bishop’s and living in the community of Lennoxville have served me well, personally as well as professionally. I believe these skills also serve our country’s unique ambition of bilingualism well.  

Thanks to my roots in the Eastern Township, and by extension, my time spent at Bishop’s, I am fluently bilingual in English and French. I work daily in French, serving my Franco-Ontarian community of Russell Township as Municipal Councillor. We are raising our children to read and express themselves in French, and we proudly celebrate French-Canadian heritage, culture and language at every opportunity. I firmly believe that my experiences at Bishop’s University were foundational to welcoming me, a descendant of an English-speaking Quebec resident back to the province.  

As a bilingual elected official, I believe that my example is a clear one of the disservice that will be affected if the Province of Quebec decides to dramatically increase tuition for out-of-province students. It will work against the aims to protect the French language. And on a personal note, I view the possibility of this as simply heartbreaking for our beautiful and diverse country.” 

– Lisa Deacon ‘07

“I am writing to voice my concerns surrounding these massive spikes in tuition and share my support for the Bishop’s community.  

As an out of province student that just graduated this past year, I can say that I consider myself more than lucky to have experienced Bishop’s University before all of this started. Everyone I know that has gone to Bishop’s has more than enjoyed and appreciated their experience. What Bishop’s offers its students and staff is unlike any other school in my opinion. I am currently doing my master’s at a larger university in Ontario, and I miss Bishop’s so badly. It took my experience at another school to gain an even bigger appreciation for the Bishop’s bubble and my experience living in the eastern townships. Bishop’s attracts a specific type of student, with their liberal education model, it is clear that students from out of Quebec come to Bishop’s excited and willing to learn and improve where they live. Quebec SHOULD want us!  

If I was not given the chance to attend BU due to financial reasons, (which absolutely would have been the case had these price increases happened during my time) I would NOT be the person I am today. Without a doubt. As someone that did French immersion all their lives, living in Quebec helped me continue to use the French language and stay connected to it. It helped me realize just how important it is to have the ability to speak this language.  

I cannot speak for larger universities such as Mcgill, but I believe that the experience I had at Bishop’s has truly led to my success post graduation.  

If I had not gotten the chance to attend BU due to financial costs:  

  • I might not have met some of my closest friends  
  • I might have lost/disconnected from the French language  
  • I would not have made numerous connections that helped me progress professionally and personally 
  • Myself and my family would never have discovered the Eastern Townships (which we now suggest as vacation spots for family and friends)  

By discriminating against non-Quebec students, Quebec will lose out financially, they will alienate themselves and more. It is difficult to wrap my head around the fact that they believe this will preserve the French language when most of the population of Montreal is English speakers that are born in Quebec!! What they should be doing is using funds to increase French education and language education in these more ‘English areas’  

Without Bishop’s university, many students will go on to experience a lesser-than university experience that I believe will not come close to what Bishop’s and the Eastern Townships can offer.  

I STRONGLY URGE the Quebec government to change their minds.” 

– Maia Kalil ‘23

“Thanks to this remarkable university, I was able to learn a second language and self-actualize many of my ambitions in life: A good education, a good job (pharmaceuticals), making many anglophone friends and travel around the world with a communicative advantage. 

I will forever appreciate the chance that Bishop’s provided me at a time when getting accepted within a university was difficult. 

My concern vis-à-vis the government’s intentions is authentic. I hope that the latter testimony can help appreciate the value of this great institution for all those who wish to attend and graduate from this university; no matter where they come from.” 

– Claude ‘85

“En 1997, je suis arrivé à Bishop’s University en tant que jeune anglophone d’une petite ville du Nouveau-Brunswick. Bishop’s m’a offert quatre années incroyables et aussi une porte d’entrée vers Montréal. 
Je suis maintenant un fier Montréalais et Québécois bilingue avec 3 enfants bilingues qui comprennent l’importance de la langue française dans notre grande ville. 
Pourquoi nos dirigeants politiques ne veulent-ils plus que de ce genre d’histoire se répète? 
Je m’inquiète pour la capacité de mon alma mater à exister. 
Je m’inquiète davantage d’avoir choisi le mauvais endroit pour élever mes enfants… maîtriser plusieurs langues, embrasser d’autres cultures, pourquoi ce choix n’était-il pas le bon ?” 

– David Burridge

“My name is Laura Gómez Jiménez, from Mexico City. For me, studying at Bishop’s University in 2003, was my first opportunity to study abroad, practice and improve my English, and meet people from different countries. I saw snow for the first time in my life, which for a Mexican was amazing. 

It was the perfect opportunity to show myself I can achieve what I set my mind to. It allowed me to know many Canadian cities and have contact with French language, which I learned some years later to be able to go to France to do a Master’s degree.” 

– Laura Gómez Jiménez 

“I attended Bishop’s from 1997-2001. I was a Drama Major and a French minor. My family came to Canada from Guyana. I was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. I am the first in my family to go to university and I picked Bishop’s because I wanted to learn French and have the opportunity to practice it in the community, but also have the comfort of being able to speak English with my peers. I visited the campus in the winter of 1996 prior to applying. When my mom and I arrived on the campus, there was about 3 feet of snow and the campus was so beautiful with the snow and the sunshine. I had a student tour me around and I knew it was where I wanted to go. Small classes were a huge appeal compared to my friends who had first year classes at U of T and York with 1500 of their closest friends. Bishop’s provided an unparalleled and intimate learning experience. Many of the friends I made continue to be my good friends 20+ years later. Bishop’s fostered a love of the outdoors. The Eastern Townships of Quebec are one of nature’s playgrounds. I continue to enjoy healthy activities that I started doing when I was at Bishop’s. I am an avid biker, skier and I still play recreational hockey (after being a Polar Bear my first year.) I was a big buddy and that fostered my desire to work with kids. I am now a vice principal at a high school that has the same population Bishop’s had when I attended there – about 1900 full-time students. I proudly display my BU gear in my office for my students to see. I would not have been able to attend Bishop’s if the tuition had cost double Ontario’s cost. The cost of living in Lennoxville factored into my decision to go to school there. It was a fraction of the cost of renting in a major city or bigger university towns. Bishop’s made my post-secondary education more affordable and reduced a lot of the barriers I would have faced in a larger city. I cannot imagine my life without having attended Bishop’s. “ 

– Michelle da Camara ‘01

“My story is the exact opposite of the portrait painted by Legault, Dery, and Roberge. I came to Bishop’s from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia in the fall of 2002, having been recruited to play for the Men’s Lacrosse team. I came that year along with 3 teammates from Team B.C. who had similarly been recruited. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Bishop’s, I took French courses, and I fell in love with the Townships. After graduation, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I decided to stay. We took teaching jobs here, I eventually joined the BU Lacrosse coaching staff and now run the program, we bought a house here, we raised our kids here, we pay our taxes here… and now we are giving a great deal of consideration to leaving as we no longer feel welcome in this province. We see what has happened, what is happening, and we worry a lot (for us and our children) about what will happen in the future unless these trends are reversed. As previously mentioned, I initially came to Bishop’s alongside 3 teammates from British Columbia. In truth, I am the only one who stayed after graduation, however, the other 3 have all been instrumental in at least one other student coming to Bishop’s and they all contributed to the community and the economy while here. This decision, regardless of the intention, is going to hurt Bishop’s, hurt Lennoxville, and hurt Quebec. “ 

– Drew Pollock ‘07

“I moved from my hometown in Hamilton, Ontario to Lennoxville to attend Bishop’s from 2012-2016. I studied Geography and International Politics, and took elective courses in the Psychology, Sociology, English, International Languages, and Business departments. As an out-of-province student, I was attracted to, and came to appreciate, the unique environment that Bishop’s provides. I am a native English speaker, but studied French long after it was required in the Ontario curriculum, so I was specifically looking for an undergraduate education that would allow me to continue to learn and practice my French language skills. I also specifically wanted a small, liberal arts environment that I could not find closer to home. I am a strong advocate for moving away from home for university. I believe it fosters independence, lifelong friendships, and networking experiences that are only possible when outside of the comfort of home. I strongly believe that the mix of students from Quebec, from other Canadian provinces, and from other parts of the world is integral to the fabric of the university. This is evident in our strong alumni networks in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Ottawa. Canadian students from across the country choose Bishop’s for so many reasons, and continue to remain tied to its network long after graduation.  

Every Bishop’s alumni knows how lucky we are to have experienced the unique Lennoxville lifestyle, and I’m confident it would not have been possible for myself or many others if the tuition was not comparable to that of studying in our home provinces. To say I am disappointed in this proposed policy is an understatement. I was a Bishop’s student in the years following the 2011 proposed tuition increase and the subsequent 2012 tuition freeze, and I remember the impact these changes had on the university and its inability to effectively budget. The hangover was felt for most of my four years. I am disappointed to hear the university may soon be in the same position 10 years later.” 

– Natalie Hickey ‘16

“From Albertan to Quebecer 

To Whom it May Concern,  

Growing up in Alberta, I was fortunate enough to first learn about Bishop’s University from a Gaiter Alum who happened to see me play football.  

He was a Quebecer seconded to work in Alberta for a short time and he “bled Purple”.  

I was lucky to have many postsecondary options, and as a surprise to everyone I knew, I went on a recruiting trip to BU. Everyone else I knew stayed locally.  

I fell in love with Bishop’s on that trip and would happily become a Gaiter. The course of my life would change and I’d forever be motivated to pay it forward.  

My time at BU could not have been better: Academically I graduated with a BBA in Finance and Marketing and took full advantage of the liberal education model and expanded more horizons to politics, sociology, literature, and economics. Athletically, I was fortunate enough to win nearly every major award at Bishop’s & Quebec – BU Athlete of the Year, Alouette Football Player of the Year, Townships Athlete of the Year, League MVP & All-star, set nearly every passing record in the Ontario-Quebec conference, etc. and I represented Quebec proudly for 2 major national awards: Hec Creighton (MVP Football) and the Howard Mackie (MVP – all sports). Beyond the football field, I was recognized for many leadership awards including being named the BU Graduate who contributed the most to campus life – the highest award given by the university to a student and the team that I captained, won “Citizens’ of the Year” in the community.  

Studying, playing football, and living side by side with people from all over Canada and the world was a great gift. Culture, language, referendums were a part of my university experience and I’m profoundly grateful that I experienced it. One of my favorite teammates was a staunch separatist – I became very close with him and his father and I would tell him all the time that “Alberta loves Quebec” –  I meant every word of it. I never would have imagined growing up in Alberta, loving my time with friends in Quebec City, Pike River, St Georges de Beauce, Sherbrooke, Thetford Mines, Trois Rivieres, Laval, etc.  

After my time at BU, I continue to be involved in various capacities – President of the Alumni Association, President of the Football Alumni Association, Council Member on the Principals steering committee, Alumni Chapter lead, recruiter, fundraiser, donor and overall cheerleader and promoter of BU and Quebec.  

In my career, all roads lead back to my time at Bishop’s. My career exceeded any dream that had which lead BU to recognize me as one of their Top 10 After 10 Awards for distinguished alumni. In that career, I have made it a priority to hire Gaiters and connect with Gaiters everywhere in my travels. I’m a great source of entertainment for my family whenever we are stopped because I’m wearing something from Bishop’s – It happens all the time, all over the world. In my career, I proudly worked as a senior executive for two amazing Quebec success stories – CAE and Camso. I was so proud that these companies were both wildly successful internationally, led by Canadian Francophones, and headquartered in Quebec.  

I have worked across the country and the globe. Having lived in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Oakville, Montreal and Magog – everyone knows that my heart has always been in Lennoxville. Heck…as I type this in my office I’m surrounded with BU reminders on the wall.  

When I went to Bishop’s I would have never guessed that I’d fall in love with the province of Quebec – a place that I called home for almost 15 years & a place that visited at least twice a year for another 15 years!  

My children’s first song was “Raise a Toast”. Each December we celebrate Bishop’s birthday with a cake! They were proudly raised in Montreal and are bilingual.  

I don’t share these details as a “flex” as the kids would say, but I share them because of the “win/win” that happens when people have the chance to explore and build bridges across cultures and geographies. I benefitted so much from Bishop’s and I’ve given so much back to Quebec and Bishop’s. Had the tuition difference been as outstanding as what is proposed now…I would have never visited Bishop’s and suspect that everyone would have been less enriched.  

My daughter has a few years to go still, but my son is less than 18 months away from attending University – his plan was attend BU with his friends from both Ontario & Quebec.  

In fact he’s going there this Friday for a recruiting trip.  

Doubling of tuition simply makes it impossible for us to consider it a real option any more.  

Our hearts are broken. “ 

 – Trevor Lovig ‘96

“It was really hard for me to hear of the Quebec government’s decision to punish students from other Canadian provinces and deter them from coming to school in Quebec.  

 I love Quebec.  I loved it from the first time I went when I was in grade 5 when I did an exchange trip with Brigitte from Sherbrooke.  When I had the opportunity to attend Bishop’s University from 1987-1991, I was thrilled.  When my son made the same decision this past year, I was excited for him to have his own great experience.  My time at Bishop’s was an incredible, hands-on learning experience. I had to opportunity to organize the Quebec Universities Drama Festival, where I met other theatre students from across the province and I had the chance to perform at the Centaur in Montreal, giving me my first professional theatre experience.  Over the years I have worked in Quebec, vacationed in Quebec, read Quebecois authors and I currently do business with companies/charitable organizations in Quebec. Hearing that the government thinks of the rest of Canada as “takers” has tarnished my long love affair with La Belle Provence. 

I agree that it is crucial for Quebec to protect French language, culture and customs.  I was glad to see that Bishop’s had become more French and that my son would have greater opportunity to study in French.  So far, he has made friends with a guy from France, a couple of guys from Alberta and a whole bunch from Quebec. But this new decision has come like a slap.  How long will Bishop’s be able to exist if it no longer has the funding to run properly?   It is so punitive.  It is punitive to my son and the other “rest of Canada” students but it is also punitive to the students from Quebec who are no longer likely to meet their peers from other provinces. There must be a better way to strengthen the Quebec University funding structure without having to ruin three successful universities.  I was very heartened to see the students in some of the French universities in Montreal march to support McGill and Concordia.  And I was happy to read the letters of support from some of the other French universities across the province – in particular, L’Universite de Sherbrooke.  

I think Premier Legault was misguided when he said “When I look at the number of English-speaking students in Quebec, well, it threatens the survival of French.”  I think having young people from out of province live and learn in Quebec strengthens the survival of French across Canada.  I hope this decision will be reversed and we can look to how to increase French language and culture at Quebec universities in ways that help build bilingualism in Canada.   

– Shannon Quesnelle ‘91

“Good evening,  

I have found this situation really disturbing. I am class of 1980 – a lot of time has passed; as a kid from Montreal and with many family connections in the Townships, the only place I ever wanted to go to University, was Bishop’s.  

Many of my friends from Bishop’s, who I am still in contact with today, are from the States and Overseas. Given the circumstances presenting today I know many would have been unable to attend today. I am the better person for those connections and friendships – and the Quebec Community is the better for it as well.  

I posted the following on FB today, I hope it helps even a little.

“I watched with great interest the protests of University students in Montreal today. They are showing their displeasure at the Government of Quebec’s decision to nearly double tuition for new students coming to University from outside Quebec.  

We have watched for years, the dismantling of the English “fact” in Quebec – it is so sad. Even after so many years away I am still proud to call myself a Montrealer (en Francais or in English).  

My parents had the foresight to make sure my sister and I learned French. Interestingly, it was in my years at Bishop’s University that I became fluent in French. Having 2 languages has always served me well – personally and in business. Kate is bilingual.  

Our daughter started Immersion in Kindergarten and her French is better than mine; our son started Immersion in grade 5 and has a good understanding of French. 

These Quebec laws are sadly so short sighted!! 

Frankly the government and educators should be spreading the word about the benefits of learning a new language (sadly, “Quebec” may never understand this). Make the tuition competitive, play up the uniqueness of the Quebec experience, get students to come and “spread the good word”! 

I hope there is some kind of settlement – that Quebec comes to its senses. Our Grandson started Immersion in Kindergarten this year. Our Granddaughter will do the same in a couple of years. Thanks to our kids for their foresight! 

I think it would be so cool if our Grandkids were able to go to Bishop’s, or Concordia (Kate’s Alma Mater), or McGill – and have the amazing experience that I had all those years ago! 

Thanks for listening – please share, comment, add to the dialog. Maybe call a politician. Check in with your alumni office.  

Good luck to us all. 

Many thanks to all for your efforts! “ 

– Peter H. Millar ‘80

“As a person born in Montreal and who moved with my family when my father obtained a new position in Toronto, I did most of my junior and senior school out of province. I started my University academia in Ontario and halfway through, I felt I wanted to return to Quebec to experience a smaller school and obtain my business degree. Bishop’s was the answer. Unquestionably it was by far the most positive experience I received in my undergraduate years. At different times I have returned to work in Montreal feeling very comfortable in a bilingual environment. 

My decision to attend Bishop’s would have been very different if I had been forced to pay the much higher tuition fees. 

Some 30 + years later, my daughter was evaluating the different post-secondary schools across Canada. I encouraged her to review Bishop’s. 5 years and 2 degrees later from Bishop’s, she has been a successful environmental entrepreneur advocating (like myself) the importance of experiencing an education at a smaller school in a bilingual environment. Bishop’s is the answer. 

Please do not allow tuition fees to be a negative influence on out of province students willing to explore the francophone Quebecois experience.”  

 – George Molyneux ‘72

“Hi. My name is Abby Fredericks and I graduated from Bishop’s in 2019 with a BSc in Biology. I am originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick and am currently living in Prince Edward Island.  

To be honest, Bishop’s was the only university I applied to…and the first time I saw the campus was actually when I moved into my Kuehner residence room. I was so confident that Bishop’s was the right choice that I couldn’t imagine myself going anywhere else.   

The thing that initially attracted me to BU was the opportunity to play soccer in the RSEQ, a league that I had admired and followed throughout high school. However, soccer was certainly not the only thing that brought me to Quebec.  

As an anglophone New Brunswicker, I did most of my school courses in French. While I was not proficient enough to study university full-time in French – I was intrigued at the thought of attending a small school in Quebec as an opportunity to continue to develop competency in the French language. I had also heard great recommendations from peers who went to university in Quebec, many of which stayed and worked following graduation.  

My experience attending Bishop’s and living in Quebec was very positive. Through playing on the soccer team, I was able to travel regularly to different parts of the province. I was always in awe of the beautiful landscapes and the strong cultures which existed throughout each city and town. 

On the academic side, I really appreciated being able to complete a Bachelor of Science with a graduating class of only about 50 people. I was able to form close relationships with my classmates and really got to know my professors. This was invaluable as these relationships helped me identify my strengths, grow as an individual, and determine how I wanted to contribute to society following graduation – all important components of post-secondary education.  

On the language-side, I found that BU has a diverse community with a mixture of anglophones, francophones, bilingual folks, and people who speak many other languages. While Bishop’s is an English university, there were always many opportunities to speak and develop French.  

Following graduation, I moved to Ontario to pursue further graduate studies (a program which was not available in Quebec). During early days of the pandemic I then moved back to the Maritimes to be closer to family and that is where I ended up staying. However, my move out of Quebec and subsequent failure to return was not because I didn’t want to stay or because I wasn’t prepared to contribute in French – it was purely circumstantial.  

I respect and support protecting and promoting the French language in Quebec. My time living in the province as an anglophone helped me better understand and appreciate why this is so important. However, I am incredibly saddened at what this proposed tuition policy likely means – a future without Bishop’s University, a rare gem that provides students like me the opportunity to engage in academia and university life in a very accessible, community-oriented, and close-knit community.” 

– Abby Fredericks ‘19

“I graduated from Bishop’s in 1993, my (now) husband graduated in 1992.  We attended high school in Ottawa, and we were both accepted to Ontario universities but we chose to attend Bishop’s. 

Attending university in Quebec was attractive to me so that I could further my bilingualism, having been an immersion student in high school.  

We own and operate Newfoundland’s original craft brewery. Our love of craft beer was born at the Golden Lion Pub – Quebec’s first Microbrewery.  

We both loved our experience at Bishop’s and we have since carried a love for the Eastern townships and for Quebec.   

Attending Bishop’s from Ontario has truly shaped our lives.   

It would be such a shame for other outside-of-Quebec-Canadians to be unable to have the option to attend Bishop’s if tuition is not comparable to other Canadian universities. “ 

 – Kristi (Lambert) McBride ’93 and Michael McBride ‘92

“My husband and I are both Bishop’s University graduates (2001), having met and fallen in love during our final year on campus. We both chose Bishop’s based on the beauty of the campus, the size of the student population, and, for Bram, to play rugby. We met some of our closest friends in Lennoxville and share with nearly everyone we meet about our amazing experiences at Bishop’s. We were both from Ontario and are so grateful to have had the opportunity to study in Quebec, experience the culture of the province, and meet friends from across the country. We would love for our own kids to choose Bishop’s one day! 

– Bram ‘01 and Justine Cotton ‘01 

“Eighteen years ago (2005), I came to Canada as an international exchange student to continue my studies at Bishop’s Williams School of Business. I decided to come to Bishop’s precisely because I wanted to be immersed in a bilingual (English-French) environment and learn about the richness of the Quebec culture. I knew this was the place that would allow me to have this unique learning opportunity. The BU “bubble” became a ‘dream come true’. Later on, I graduated from Bishop’s with a BBA degree and decided to establish in Quebec permanently. For the last 18 years, I have actively and positively contributed to my community, my “new home”. And needles to say, I love French (my 3rd language) and speak it with my family, my colleagues and friends every day!  

Our university in Lennoxville attracts talented youth not only from Quebec, but also from other Canadian provinces and the world. Their presence on campus contributes to the cultural richness and vibrancy of our university community, as well as of our greater community.   

I am therefore fully committed to support our beloved university in any way that I can, and even more during these turbulent times.” 

– Berenice G. Rodriguez ‘10

“Freud once said, ‘Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.’ It was at Bishop’s University, nestled in the hearth of Lennoxville, that I found the crucible for this transformation. As an English speaker in a predominantly French-speaking province, the initial apprehension I felt soon gave way to a sense of belonging, thanks to the welcoming environment of the university and the broader community. 

While Quebec is rich in Francophone culture, Bishop’s University stands as a testament to the harmonious co-existence of English and French traditions. Here, language is not a barrier but a bridge, uniting people of diverse backgrounds in the pursuit of academic excellence and personal growth. It offered me an arena to explore my vulnerabilities—be it the apprehension about cultural differences or the challenges of academia—in a safe and nurturing environment. 

Sherbrooke itself is a hub of culture and warmth, embodying the quintessential Quebecois charm that makes anyone feel at home. The community is tight-knit but incredibly welcoming, offering a host of activities, eateries, and events that enrich the student life experience beyond the campus. 

I had the privilege to complete my Honours BA in Psychology at Bishop’s in 2020, an educational journey that left an indelible impact on my personal and professional life. After graduating, I worked for three years at a non-profit organization right here in Quebec, where I was able to give back to the community that had given me so much. Today, I have come full circle and am employed as a Career and Employment Advisor at Bishop’s University. It is an immensely fulfilling role that allows me to assist students in carving out their own successful paths, much like I was able to do with the guidance I received during my time here. It pains me when the Quebec government suggests that students come here merely to gain an education and then leave, as my own journey stands as a living contradiction to that narrative. 

I have no plans to leave Sherbrooke; this community has become my home. My girlfriend is Québécoise. Her and I are invested in shaping our future here, with aspirations of eventually becoming homeowners in the area. Bishop’s University and Sherbrooke transcend mere institutional and geographical labels for me; they serve as springboards for individual and collective evolution. 

The strength and richness of Quebec lie not in the homogeneity of its linguistic landscape, but in the harmonious coexistence of its Anglophone and Francophone communities. By enriching each other’s lives through shared experiences and collaborative endeavors, we defy divisive narratives and pave the way for a more unified, culturally diverse society. It is my earnest belief that our combined linguistic and cultural assets make us stronger, more resilient, and more innovative as a province. We are not isolated brushstrokes on a canvas; we are complementary colours, each amplifying the other’s potential in a way that elevates Quebec as a whole.” 

– Nick White ‘20

“My name is Chris Jones. I’m a 1996 graduate of Bishop’s University. 

I’m writing to express my distress at the proposed changes to out-of-province student fees. I understand the principle behind it, but if you think of each student as a kind of cultural investment, I believe you’ll see that out-of-province students are a good one. 

One of the principal reasons I went to Bishop’s was to learn French, which was otherwise impossible in my small Ontario town. 

I took intensive French courses in my first year from a fantastic professor named Mario Parent whom I still remember fondly all these years later, and frequently went to Sherbrooke to practice my French. I went from zero French capability to being able to speak and read it well enough to pass the federal government’s bilingualism exam. 

I would have not attended Bishop’s if the fees were as high as those proposed. If we’re talking about bottom lines, that would have meant one fewer French speaker in Canada.  

I also came to understand and love Quebecois culture better than I might have and have returned to Quebec many times over the years since my graduation. 

Every out-of-province student is a potential ambassador for Quebec to the rest of Canada and the world. That’s how they—that’s how we—should be perceived by the Quebec government, and I can’t imagine any culture flourishing because it has fewer people on its side. 

– Chris ‘96

“Being at Homecoming this past September 15th, 2023 weekend I was blown away by what seems like a renewed atmosphere in Sherbrooke, Lennoxville and Eastern Townships since I was there a year or so before. Felt very good to be back at Bishop’s & truly felt like home.   

Québec means so much to me. My mother was born in Montreal. My parents met at MacDonald College and McGill. Even though I am from Nassau, Bahamas, we had a charming place in Vermont. I look back on my decision to go to Bishop’s; it was because of my Québec roots & I wanted to speak more French. Met my husband at Bishop’s, instead of moving to Nassau we moved to Ontario. We always visit Québec annually, whether for a ski holiday, visiting friends in Montreal or Bishop’s.   

Lastly, will hope & pray testimonials come flooding in, not only from Bishop’s graduates, but from the Québec community.” 

– Kimberley Taylor ’93

“In 1997 when I began my post-secondary journey, in Quebec, I was part of the first two-tiered system where post-secondary education cost out-of-province students more than students whose home province was Quebec. This change occurred shortly after the 1995 Referendum. This two-tiered system in some cases forced some first- and second-year students to make the difficult decision to pivot to other institutions outside the province at this time too due to the tuition segregation based on a student’s address.  

The energy of the current proposed legislation has a similar energy to that of the 1990’s where attempts to distinguish Quebec pride divide those who live and study in the province and the remainder of Canada who wish to live and study (and possibly remain in the province to work and contribute to the province afterwards). This action is concerning as Canada is a nation of many and people who are extended an offer to study in Quebec actually become ambassadors for the province, its people, the language and the economy. This ripple effect and symbiotic relationship that has historically occurred between out-of-province students and the communities they live in will result in negative long-term impacts for the province, for businesses, and for the opportunity for out-of-province students to be exposed to and be immersed in French language and culture if such legislation to double tuition is implemented. Such an action will further divide rather than unite. 

As I was preparing to graduate high school and transition to post-secondary studies, I was looking for a small university where I would be known to my professors rather than an invisible person who sat in a lecture hall or a student number on an essay. Bishop’s was one of the first Canadian University’s to promote a liberal arts education where they encouraged people to have exposure to courses within many different departments (inc. languages).  

My undergraduate degrees were in History and Education. The benefit of studying history was that there was a significant portion of the courses that explored the history of Quebec – more so than what was ever covered in Ontario. I learned about the history of the province and the long- and short-term impacts of various historical influencers. Many of those lessons have remained with me over the past 25+ years and have been woven into my own lesson with students.  

While living in Quebec, I made friends with people who were bilingual, and they would introduce me to their French speaking friends and children. In many ways, because I studied in Quebec, I was surrounded by French language and could listen to some French radio and television and have a working knowledge of what was being communicated more so than if I stayed and studied in Ontario. Upon graduating, my experience in Quebec translated to supply teaching and being able to speak some French in a French-Immersion classroom on multiple occasions.   

Since my arrival to Lennoxville/Sherbrooke, in the late 1990’s, I have always felt a connection to the Eastern Townships and at one point was looking for a cabin in the area. I have visited the area a number of times since graduating and have spent time and money in a variety of communities and have brought other people to experience the joy and tranquility that the province offers. These long-term tourism opportunities are made possible by word of mouth and past positive experiences of studying in Quebec. Similar experiences in the future would decrease by making experiences and opportunities in Quebec for non-residents less relevant and would omit any economic benefits that such current experiences encourage. 

Needless to say, my experience at Bishop’s proved to be the perfect place to grow and learn. Bishop’s motto “Sound Learning Strengthens the Spirit” is the foundation of my experience. The university provided a safe environment for people of various backgrounds, languages, thinking skills and opportunities to come together to allow collaboration, to allow critical thinking skills and to allow students to become lifelong learning while celebrate “joie de vivre”. Not too many people can say that when they graduate university, they receive three (3) documents: one in Latin (traditionally the language of higher education), one in French (the official document) and one in English (the copy). My time in Quebec was a very pivotal time in my formative years and without such an experience I wouldn’t have the solid foundation I stand on today.   

It is hoped that politicians realize the long-term negative impacts for current and future institutions and for future students if such drastic changes and hurdles to accessing higher education in the province are made. Shrinking the province’s pool of academic knowledge based on financial penalization – missing opportunities for bright minds that ignite ideas, actions and influences in post-secondary Quebec institutions will dilute the opportunity for the province to shine in both a national and international stage over the long term. 

I can only hope that future out-of-province students will be given the same opportunities to experience the language, the culture and the Quebec experience that will allow for a continued symbolic relationships where Quebec benefits from welcoming students from the remaining 12 provinces and territories without drastic financial penalization based on a Canadian’s address.” 

– Michelle Preston ‘00

“As a 17-year-old high school student in Ontario back in 2010 I was blessed with the opportunity of choice when it came to deciding where I wanted to study. The strongest lure to Bishop’s for me was the opportunity to revive a piece of my family’s ties to Quebec, the French language, and culture.  

Having moved to Ontario at the age of 3, the chance to live and study in Quebec was a chance to experience the province of QC as an adult – it felt like a true Canadian opportunity. To work and live in a place where I could feel at the same time like my experience was shared and unique was the icing on the cake of an undergraduate journey.  

While on campus I enjoyed the chance to study in English yet be surrounded by students from all around Canada and the world. It was inspiring to see how many students took full advantage of the opportunity to immerse themselves in what was new to them; English, French, and or Canada.  

To think that diverse spaces like this are at risk of looking more homogeneous based on any shared quality is to rob young people of the opportunity to choose to be comfortably uncomfortable at a time when they are forming their worldviews and deciding the impact that they want to have on the world.  

Quebec and Bishop’s will always hold a special place in my heart. Now, living in the United States, I proudly wear both my Canadian and bilingual badges. My hope is that many others will have the same chance to experience living, learning, and working in QC.  

Merci, thank you.” 

– Allison Verville ‘14

“I had the privilege of attending Bishop’s from 1991 to 1995.    

Having grown up in Toronto, a huge part of the reason for choosing to study in Quebec was my interest in politics and my desire to observe life in Quebec up close.  I obtained my degree in Political Studies just a few months before the Referendum.    

My years at Bishop’s shaped me into the person that I am, on every level.  That time spent in Lennoxville, during years of intense political debate about the role of Quebec in Canada completely changed my view of these issues and still do. The Bishop’s values of academic freedom and independent thought remain integral to my career as a lawyer.   

I am, and ever remain, a proud BU Alumna and it breaks my heart  

to think of the students who might miss out on the opportunity to join our community as a result of the proposed tuition increases.   The chance for students from across the country to study and learn from, and about, each other is a benefit for *all* of Canada and a treasure worth far more than the monetary value of greater fees. “ 

– Nicole (Papadopoulos) Dowling ‘95

“Growing up in southwestern Ontario, while I studied it all through school, it was only on a trip to Quebec as a teenager that I first heard the French language spoken outside of a classroom. It was one of the reasons I chose to move away and attend Bishop’s University— a chance to study in my mother tongue, while also absorbing Quebec’s unique culture and the French language. Today, I work in French on a daily basis, with Quebecers and members of Francophone communities across Canada.  My two children are enrolled in the French elementary school system.  The Province of Quebec is a frequent destination for family vacations, visiting lifelong friends, and maintaining a lasting connection with the beautiful Eastern Townships. These are all realities that would have been a lot harder to imagine, if this Anglophone kid from Ontario had not had the opportunity to learn and grow at a Quebec university.  I hope other kids like me continue to have that chance.” 

– Drew ‘98  

“I’m a proud Bishop’s University grad. While there: I learned French and English, made lifelong friends and met my husband. Together we have created companies in and outside of Quebec, lived and traveled around the world, and ‘made it’ by most standards. All this would have not been possible if I have not had the chance to attend Bishop’s. Let’s keep the doors open to internationals. We can make a difference!” 

– Diana Espinosa ‘04 

“My name is Samantha Conn and I graduated from Bishop’s in 2015. I was born and raised in BC, but I knew I wanted to study somewhere that would provide an enriching perspective different than my own, so I started to look in other provinces. I found out about Bishop’s when I was 14 and immediately fell in love – no other university could compare. Its lush environment, its engaging student life, and its dedication to provide students with the best, most well-rounded education were what definitely made it the only university I applied to. I worked hard to receive a scholarship to be able to attend Bishop’s University and was overjoyed when the letter arrived back in 2011. As an out of province student, I knew that this was going to be an enormous leap of faith for an eighteen-year-old as I knew no one at the university, let alone east of Alberta, but the moment I stepped foot on campus, I felt supported and welcomed. This feeling continued for the next four years while I loved studying English Literature, History, and Fine Arts. I came away with not only a degree from Bishop’s, but also an appreciation of the culture, beauty, and inclusion felt during my time there. I am now an educator in a public secondary school here in BC and every time I teach seniors who are looking into post-secondary options, Bishop’s is always the first institute I speak of. It would be an absolute travesty if I could no long encourage students to have the same positive experiences that I had at Bishop’s due to these new exclusive policies.” 

– Samantha Conn, née Maliszewski ‘15

“My name is Thomas Geniole (94), and I am writing this testimonial in support of Bishop’s University remaining one of the premier schools to attend within the province of Quebec as well as the beautiful country of Canada for out of Province students.  

I was one of those out of Province students having come to Bishop’s from my hometown of Aurora, Ontario. One of the big attractions for me in choosing Bishop’s from other schools was its location in the Townships of Quebec, the size of the school, the reputation of the school, and its superior rankings amongst other universities. 

I cannot possibly put into this testimonial what my experience at Bishop’s was and how it affected the rest of my life. Once on campus I eagerly enjoyed being a member of the Bishop’s community by being a member of a varsity team, a resident assistant for 2 years, director of the student patrol, and conference assistant during the summer months. I made Bishop’s my home year-round following my initial year at the school in 1990. 

After graduation I would go on to work at Bishop’s College School across the street and enjoyed contributing to life being a resident in the Eastern Townships having fallen in love with the area from my times at Bishop’s.  

I believe the policy of wanting to double tuition for out of Province students would have a negative effect not only on Bishop’s ability to recruit students,  but also would have a lasting negative effect on the Province of Quebec by limiting the ability to attract new people who may consider, like I, to make the Belle de Province….Home.” 

– Thomas Geniole ‘94

“I’m writing this in response to the policy measures recently announced by the Government of Quebec that will result in the doubling of annual tuition fees for studies from outside of the province. I believe that these measures will have detrimental effects on the province, the universities and in particular Bishop’s because of its size and the proportion of out of province students. 

I graduated from Bishop’s in 1999 as an out of province student. One of the reasons I chose the university was to take advantage of its small size, to get to know my professors and classmates and to improve my French. Up until that point, I had lived in Ontario and in the Maritimes and I wanted to experience the Quebec culture to round things out. Attending a small anglophone university seemed like the perfect option for me at the time. 

During my time at Bishop’s, my friends and I immersed ourselves in Quebec culture with regular trips to Sherbrooke and Montreal and excursions across the province for skiing, winter carnival and many others. Although I struggled because I was not fluently bilingual, I was able to find entry-level jobs and to extend my stay in Quebec for a few summers. At the end of my time at Bishop’s, I was fortunate enough to be able to go to Trois-Rivieres for a 5-week French-immersion program. Because of this, I developed a solid base in French which I have been able to apply for most of my adult life. 

My Bishop’s years were formative and gave me a deep appreciation of the French language and culture. Although I moved back to the Maritimes to pursue a graduate degree and then to Ontario for my career, I have always been an ambassador for Quebec to family and friends who were less familiar with the province. Up until this day, we regularly vacation, shop and attend sporting events there. 

I have friends whose children are currently attending BU and McGill and my 15-year-old son had been considering Quebec schools as well. Although my friends’ children are “grandfathered” in, my son and his cohort will almost certainly not have the choice to attend university in Quebec as a result of this policy. 

I understand that there are financial considerations for the province’s position but the message that it sends is that non-Quebecers are not welcome in the province. This is frankly divisive. My hope and ask is that this position be re-evaluated.” 

– Melissa Black ‘96

“After graduating from high school in Ontario, I knew I wanted to go out of province for university. It had been a dream of mine to live in Quebec since I was a child. When I first walked onto Bishop’s campus, it felt like walking home. 

The community created within its learning environment is the best part of Bishop’s University. My connections there were not limited to people in my program, year, or residence. Friends were made getting crepes at the dining hall or asking for directions in the quad. I met people from Quebec, the Maritime provinces, the United States, and around the world. 

Over time, as I grew more confident exploring Sherbrooke and practicing my French, I saw my language skills improve without even taking a formal class. Beyond the language, I used my time at Bishop’s to explore Quebec. I went dogsledding in La Tuque, ate sugar on snow in Quebec City, and visited pubs in Old Montreal. I hold these moments very close to my heart. 

I had the privilege to have this life changing experience because I could afford the tuition. Had the tuition increase happened when I was researching schools, it would have been enough of a barrier to prevent me from even applying. Now, working in education, I recommend to my current students to take the opportunity to live and study somewhere new – especially at a small school like Bishop’s. I hope that they, and all other out of province students, will not miss out on living and studying in a place they will quickly call home.” 

– Rebecca Buxton ‘19

“My name is Aaron Ries and I want to share why I think this Tuition plan is not only an attack on Bishop’s, but a threat to the business interests of Québec companies.  

I graduated from the Faculty of Business with a specialization in Marketing in 2012. Now, I work leading Advertising partnerships in Toronto for a national media brand with English and French outlets.  

I’m originally from London, Ontario, which is about as English a city as you can find in Canada. Growing up, I was always drawn to Québécois culture. I have vivid memories of a grade school trip to Québec City, where we learned about the coureurs de bois, exploring the wilds of Québec, and the dramatic legend of the chasse-galerie, whose haunted canoe crossed the night sky. I learned French in school with immersion programs, and came to Bishop’s for small class sizes, but also due to my fascination with Québec and an opportunity to live among its culture. 

Maintenant, je travaille la moitié de mes jours en français, avec mes collègues à Montréal, Québec, Gatineau et même Sherbrooke. La majorité de mes clients sont des entreprises Québécois (et fièrement Français), qui veulent grandir leurs activités dans le Canada anglo, et moi, je l’ aide, avec mes capacités avec la langue, et la compréhension de la culture.  

On travaille ensemble, les gens de Toronto et Montréal, pour trouver des nouveaux revenus pour des entreprises Québécois, pour agrandir leur succès en termes de clients chez nous mais leur impact en forme de revenus chez vous.  

Je travaille bien avec mes collègues parce qu’on peut communiquer et nous comprendre. Pour moi, je m’attribue ça à mes temps à Bishop’s. Quand ils demandent comment je peux parler français, même si j’ai pris la langue originalement dans l’école en Ontario, c’est mon temps à Sherbrooke que je remercie pour mon immersion dans la culture de Québec. 

This appreciation for Québec and for a bilingual business environment was instilled in me at Bishop’s. It’s the fact that the school is surrounded by French and poses no threat to French culture in Sherbrooke whatsoever – an overwhelmingly French city – that students can learn and also immerse themselves in the culture, and then take that home to the rest of Canada.  

C’est ça que cette loi manque. Bishop’s produit pas des gens qui veulent grandir le langue Anglaise au Quebec… mais précisément l’inverse. Ça produit les étudiants qui quittent avec un appréciation, et compréhension du culture et environnement d’affaires de Québec, puis retourne chez eux pour aider à agrandir son impact.  

The alumni of Bishop’s are ambassadors of the Québec project to the rest of Canada and the world, even if they are not perfectly Québecois. And it’s not English in Canada that will suffer from this decision. It’s Québec businesses, society and the small (but mighty) number of students of Bishop’s who have proudly called Québec their home during their studies.” 

– Aaron Ries ‘12 

“Although a proud Alumni of Bishop’s, I rarely would become involved in a personal submission- especially if Politically based. Not this time. 

It is nothing other than frustrating and concerning that this is happening. My ability to attend Bishop’s provided me with significant experiences and building blocks that contributed to my success- personal and professional.  

I attended Bishop’s from 1990-1993 inclusive, BA Major History. I came from Ottawa and there were several factors that lead to my decision to attend BU despite being accepted elsewhere. 

Firstly, the size of the school provided with the obvious sense of family- we got to know many others there and fostered relationships that you may not have in a larger setting. I also competed in Track at the national level and since Bishop’s did not have a track team at the time, trained with the University of Sherbrooke while competing under the BU flag. I didn’t speak French and had not real exposure to French culture. My time with U of S allowed me to learn more about the French culture and learn some of the language. This experience was augmented by the unique geographical location of Bishop’s- right in the middle of Quebec where you are somewhat forced to learn more about Quebec and the people who live there- to the great advantage of a BU student. Because of this, I took more of an interest in French Canadian History under the lectures of Dr. Harvey. If I didn’t attend BU, I never would have been exposed to the French-Canadian experience at all. I can’t help but think this direction of the Quebec Govt. may have a tint of anti-English or maybe pro French protection.  It should be considered that allowing out of Province students to attend BU, provides for a more culturally diverse experience. In this vein, I feel the Quebec Govt would be remiss in doing exactly the opposite of deterring out of Province attendees and should instead promote non-French-Canadian residents to attend! 

Second, BU offers opportunities beyond scholastic. This because, again, of the small-town nature. I was a member of the Student Patrol and then Director of Student Patrol and ultimately VP Internal Affairs with the SRC. Unequivocally, a combined experience that offered tremendous leadership opportunity and personal development that is critical to educational and student success. This again, is not something you would necessarily achieve at a larger institution.   

The question may be “why not look for a similar University in Ontario that offers the same experience”? The answer is because there is none. BU offers a very unique experience shared by all students that cannot be obtained elsewhere.  

When I speak to young people (including my 17-year-old daughter) about post-secondary, I still promote BU. BU can do all the marketing it wants, but having Alumni promote BU is invaluable. With the proposed increase, I would have to say I could no longer do this. This is a gut punch really.  

One of my co-workers and Friend had his son attend BU last year. Although he decided to take a year off this year, as already decided not to re-attend BU solely because of this hike in fees. This is but one example of people not going to BU now because of this.  

Attending BU from out of Province was one of the best decisions of my life. I didn’t realize how valuable and unique it was until I left- both educationally, culturally and personally.  Making this cost prohibitive to future generations will undoubtedly have a profound negative impact, not only for students, but the Quebec community and society as well.” 

– Mike Adlard ‘93

“My name is Natalie Lambert. I attended Bishop’s University from 2013-2018. My experience in post-secondary school in comparison to that of my peers who attended other universities was extremely unique. I would consider Bishop’s to be a tight-knit community, a big purple family if you will. Classes are small and so students become more than just a number, teachers and professors know you by name and you form real connections with them. The small nature of the school allows you to feel comfortable Being yoU without a lot of the pressures that may be present at larger universities. Additionally, even though it is a smaller school, there are a wide variety of classes, sports and clubs offered – and you best believe we have the greatest spirit! And these are just sentiments that are felt by students and alum at large.  

My own personal experience goes far beyond the advantages written above. I am an individual who thrives in “bubbles”. At Bishop’s I met my people. I met friends who have become lifelong friends, in fact I met my current husband at Bishop’s. I had professors who taught me to be the teacher I am today. I formed connections and made memories that I will remember for the rest of my life. There is one thing I have come to know without fail, if I meet someone who has gone to Bishop’s, we become instant friends. The strong sense of purple love never leaves you even when you’ve long graduated.  

To top it off, my younger sister visited me at Bishop’s for one weekend and knew instantly that was the university she would attend. Which she did from 2018-2022.  

I am saddened to hear the effects this new policy may have on OUR university; knowing the experience I had, may not be able to be had by others. Bishop’s university is so unique and special and should be protected at all costs.  

Purple forever.” 

– Natalie Lambert ‘17

“I was born in Ontario but from the moment I heard about Bishop’s, I was convinced that this small, unique and charismatic institution was right for me.  

A great appeal of Bishop’s was that the higher tuition fees for out-of-province students were not so exorbitant that I couldn’t justify going. I forecast my expenses, comparing Bishop’s to the Ontario schools into which I had been accepted, and made the business case to go to Bishop’s— the school that best suited my passions and ambitions.  

My Bishop’s experience was life changing. It led to many of my most cherished memories and deeply impactful, formative educational, artistic, and social experiences. During my time at Bishop’s, I contributed to the local economy and also worked as a summer student at a local non-profit. Not only did I meet many friends, employers, and mentors, it was there that I met my spouse, who was born and raised in Quebec.  

Out-of-province students are enriched by the privilege of studying in Quebec and meeting Quebecers. Crucially, out-of-province students also enrich the Quebec community not only while they are there, but also after they have left, if they do leave. Our relationship with Quebec does not end when we graduate. 

The province of Quebec should seek to encourage this two-way enrichment rather than erect barriers to discourage students for the “fault” of not being born in Quebec. To punish out-of-province students disproportionately is financially discriminatory.  

The legislation imposing this exorbitant increase on out-of-province student fees certainly would have killed my Bishop’s dreams, if it had been enacted when I applied. I am beyond grateful for my Bishop’s experience and the years I lived in the Eastern Townships. I do not wish to see these formative experiences made inaccessible to students who are no less deserving of the opportunity because they come from out-of-province.” 

– Elyse Gagne ‘12

“I came to Bishop’s from a small town in Eastern Ontario. The small-town charm and small class sizes are what drew me to Bishop’s, the sense of family kept me there. I felt at home all 5 of my years in Lennoxville. I was always welcomed by the “locals” and treated as family. Being of French-Canadian descent living in Ontario, I was excited to put my French to the test. It helped me to renew my love for the language and revel in a piece of my heritage. It pains me to know that future Gaiters from Ontario and the rest of the provinces may not get the same chance I did.” 

– Jessica MacDonald ‘14 

“In 1967-68, I attended Bishop’s University as an exchange student from the University of Alberta. I was in my second undergraduate year. Having grown up in Alberta, I knew very little about Quebec.  

Amongst other courses, I took a French course. A requirement in the course was to translate an article from French to English every week. As a Political Science student, I subscribed to Le Devoir and used it to do my translations. Within three months I had mastered “political science ” French, which helped me enormously in my future career as a political scientist. I was able to read articles by Quebec scholars and refer to them in my research. As well, because half of the students at Bishop’s were francophone, and the Quebec Anglophone students all spoke French fluently, conversations on campus were nearly always a mixture of English and French. As a result, my ability to speak and understand French improved enormously — again benefiting my future career.  

Another course I took was a Canadian History course taught by a francophone professor. I learned Canadian history from a Quebec perspective — quite different from what I had learned in Alberta. That was an eye-opening experience. 

I eventually became a professor at York University, where I wrote a number of books on human rights, ethics, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. My analysis of leading constitutional cases involving the French language and other Quebec issues was deeply influenced by my experience at Bishop’s University. Without that year, I could not have written about the francophone perspective toward such issues. 

It is clear to me that the Quebec government’s policy on raising tuition fees for the “anglophone” universities which will restrict enrollment for students from outside Quebec is a prime example of the Quebec government shooting itself in the foot. (“Anglophone” is in quotation marks because in my experience, there is as much French spoken at these universities as English.) My experience demonstrates how the attendance of anglophone students from outside Quebec at these universities eventually strengthens the French language factor outside of Quebec. As well, it results in the creation of advocates for the future of Quebec who eventually live in the anglophone provinces. Cutting off this source of advocacy will only reduce Quebec’s chances of maintaining its distinct culture. It is narrow nationalism at its worst. 

I also learned while living in Quebec that Quebec politicians sometimes adopt extreme policies, like this one, but given time will realize their mistake and make amends. I’m therefore hopeful that the foolhardy anglophone university tuition fee policy will be abandoned when cooler heads prevail.” 

– Ian Greene ‘68 

“My name is Vivianne White, and I was a Bishop’s Student from 2010-2014. I came from Ontario and chose Bishop’s because of the school size, and programs offered, but ultimately to be immersed in Quebec and French-speaking culture. My mother is from Quebec, and I went to a French-speaking elementary school, so I wanted the opportunity to continue practicing and building my fluency. After graduating, I ended up getting a job in Quebec City where I worked for 2 years, prior to moving back to Ontario for a bilingual position.  

I made so many lifelong friendships at Bishop’s and am truly saddened to hear this news about tuition!” 

– Vivianne White ‘14 

“My name is Justin Conn, I was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I am 35 years old, currently living in Calgary, and have been for the last 12 years. I am a proud Bishop’s graduate, I attended Bishop’s from 2006 to 2011. I am a graduate of the prestigious Williams School of Business.  

In my youth I played a lot of sports. As I got older my primary athletic focus turned to my passion, which was football. At the end of my high school football career, I was recruited by all the Maritime University schools that had a football program (St. FX, Mount Allison, Saint Mary’s, and Acadia) however I wanted to leave the Maritime bubble and attend school in Quebec and play for the Gaiters. In 2010, I was drafted to play football for the Montreal Allouettes which began my 4-year professional football career. 

I often think back of my time at Bishop’s University. When I first set foot on the campus, I was 17 and I had never lived away from home or from my family. Therefore, the years that followed were some of the most formidable years of my life. The lasting friendships that I made and the many life lessons that I learned are very valuable to me today. When I was deciding where I wanted to go for University, I had a good feeling about Bishop’s, the beauty of the campus, the competitive football program. I can say to this point in my life, attending Bishop’s is one of the greatest decisions I have made. It has helped shape who I am today. It scares me that recent provincial changes may take these same experiences away from many others. 

The Quebec provincial government’s recent increase of tuition costs for out of province students as well as the other qualifying criteria to attend post-secondary education in Quebec is concerning. If I take my situation and apply it to the new costs of tuition today, Bishop’s would simply not be an option for me due to the increase in cost. I would have opted to stay in the Maritimes and attend school there.  

As an alumnus, I worry what the effect this will have on the diverse reach of the Bishop’s student base. Many of my classmates, teammates, and friends were from Ontario, the Maritimes, Western Canada, America, Europe, and of course from Quebec. Having such a diverse collection of students from all over the world helps create that unique BU experience. I fear that these recent changes will take that diversity away. 

As a Gaiter, I worry what effect this will have on recruiting for every athletic program at Bishop’s. Recruiting talent from outside of Quebec will undoubtedly only become harder due to the financial considerations that the out of province student athlete will need to consider before deciding to attend Bishop’s. 

Thank you for hearing my brief testimonial. I wanted to reach out and express my concern regarding the tuition changes. I cherish Bishop’s, I appreciate Quebec, I am grateful and thankful for all that it has provided me in my life. I hope you can use my message as an example of what other future undergraduates might be missing due to their understandable financial considerations when selecting where they receive their post-secondary education.” 

– Justin Conn ‘11

“When I was thinking about going to University, I knew I wanted to be a high school teacher. I grew up outside Ottawa, Ontario and had the opportunity to apply at universities all over Ontario. I knew I wanted to be far enough away from home that my parents couldn’t drop in for dinner but be close enough to get home on a weekend if I wanted to. 

My cousin was going to Bishop’s University and Bishop’s was far enough away and close enough the same time. I also knew Bishop’s had a great opportunity for me to get my education degree while also getting a Bachelor of Arts which was slightly different than doing a concurrent education degree in Ontario. 

I remember when my acceptance letter came from Bishop’s and the degree I was offered in my letter was different than what I wanted, and I remember being so excited I got in and when I read the fine print being devastated at the thought Bishop’s might not work out. But boy did it work out – Bishop’s changed my life. 

In third year university, I decided I didn’t want to be a teacher. As a result of a class I took at Bishop’s, I knew I wanted to be an Urban Planner. I was able to still get my degree with a minor in Education, but I was able to adjust and get an Honours in Geography and apply for Graduate studies in Planning. 

I moved back to Ottawa after my master’s and got a great planning job at the City of Ottawa. I then looked into moving to Alberta. I moved to Fort McMurray, and I got to help shape the city not once, but twice. I lived in Fort McMurray when the 2016 wildfire happened, and I was responsible to figure out how to get 100,000 back home after the fire and how to rebuild a community. None of that would have been possible without my education, experiences and critical thinking skills, I gained at Bishop’s University. 

I did my master’s after Bishop’s at a University in Ontario. I now regularly go and present to students at universities in Alberta looking to enter into careers and the experience is not the same. They do not get to live in Lennoxville and experience the charm and the joy of going to school in a truly college town. For most of them it doesn’t even occur to them to live in residence and meet people. And it definitely doesn’t occur to them that they will meet their forever friends. 

Friends might seem like a weird thing to include in a testimonial about why the policy to change the tuition rates at Bishop’s is a mistake. The fact is, people that didn’t go to Bishop’s will never understand why this is the exact thing that should be included in a testimonial. I met 7 women at Bishop’s, and we form a group of 8 people that we refer to as the Dino’s. The Dino’s would never be if the policy around out of province tuition existed when we went to university. We are 8 people that cover coast to coast of Canada. We still cover coast to coast, and we make a point to see each other at least once a year. It was these ladies that I celebrated with, cried with, and learned who I was as a human being when I was at Bishop’s. Over 20 years later, these are the ladies that were there for me when I evacuated my home when it was on fire in Fort McMurray, they are the ladies that were there when my Mom died and they are also the same people that nominated me to be a Bishop’s Top 10 after 10. Something that I will never think I deserve and something I am so proud of. 

My life would not be the same without the Dino’s. My life certainly would not be what it is without Bishop’s. Bishop’s changed my life and we need to make sure that out of province students continue to get the life changing experience I did at Bishop’s University.” 

– Erin O’Neill ‘05

“My name is Emily Bird and I attended Bishop’s University from 2008-2013 as an out of province student. The five years studying there truly shaped who I am today. When you think about going to school you typically think about what you learn in the classroom but BU and Lennoxville are so much more than that.  

Prior to my time at BU, I went to QC on an annual basis as a high-performance sprint canoer. But those trips in and out of Montreal or Lac-Beauport didn’t allow me to truly experience the French culture. Living in Lennoxville, QC as an out of province student taught me so much about QC that you could never learn without living there. I gathered an understanding for the Quebec culture and why that province is so unique.  

Being on the student council we also included trips into Quebec for students to experience more than just Lennoxville. This included trips to Montreal and Quebec City for Carnavale de Quebec. We talk about being in the BU bubble, but always jumped at the opportunity to experience those unique aspects of Quebec. 

While studying there I learned more about the Eastern Townships, their history and even took a French class. You won’t believe it, but I even taught a dance class to local elementary school students at the sports plex in French. Something that I would never do in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Bishop’s University is such a unique place and embodies its history being in Lennoxville, Quebec.” 

– Emily Bird ’13

“I am proud to say that I am a graduate of Bishop’s University, and I believe it is one of the most valuable institutions in Quebec, shaping not only my life but also contributing to the betterment of the province. My time at Bishop’s University was an extraordinary and transformative experience, and I am more than happy to share why it has had such a profound impact on my life and on Quebec. 

Bishop’s University stands out as a beacon of excellence in the Quebec educational landscape. Its commitment to providing a high-quality, comprehensive education is evident in its outstanding faculty, diverse academic programs, and a strong sense of community. Attending Bishop’s gave me the opportunity to interact with professors who were not only experts in their fields but also passionate about nurturing their students’ growth. This personalized and supportive approach to education is a testament to Bishop’s dedication to fostering academic and personal development. 

The significance of attending a university in Quebec cannot be overstated. Quebec is a province known for its rich culture, history, and bilingualism. Bishop’s University plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the province’s unique cultural heritage. By offering English-language education in a predominantly French-speaking province, Bishop’s contributes to the linguistic and cultural diversity that makes Quebec such a vibrant and special place. 

I graduated from Bishop’s University in 1995. I come from a small rural town in Ontario and my experience at Bishop’s profoundly influenced my life in several ways. Firstly, it broadened my horizons by exposing me to a diverse community of students and ideas. This exposure helped me develop a deep appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism. The friendships I made with people from different backgrounds have enriched my life and taught me the value of open-mindedness and tolerance. To this day, these friendships continue to be the closest friendships and have endured over time regardless of our locations. It is Bishop’s that brought us together and it is Bishop’s that continues to bring us together, to call us back to campus, and to remain connected to the Townships.  

Secondly, Bishop’s University instilled in me a sense of responsibility and a commitment to giving back to my community. The university places a strong emphasis on community engagement, and the volunteer and service-learning opportunities provided me with the chance to make a meaningful impact on the local community and beyond. Over the course of the last three decades, I have always found way to help the Bishop’s community. I have been a proud member of the “JUMP Mentorship Program” to mentor students and recent graduates, and sharing my professional experiences through events in Quebec such as “Beyond the Bubble”. I was inducted into the “Top Ten After 10” which recognizes the success and achievements of Bishop’s graduates. In 2023 I was honoured at Convocation as “Alumna of the Year”. I continued to give back to the university as a volunteer for the “Leading the Way” capital campaign, and I just recently stepped down from the University Board of Governors after nine years of service. I now sit on the Foundation of Bishop’s and continue to be a strong and committed advocate for the University. As you can see, all of these experiences have instilled in me a strong sense of social responsibility that continues to guide my actions and decisions today. 

Lastly, my time at Bishop’s University gave me the academic and practical skills necessary to excel in my career. The rigorous academic programs, access to state-of-the-art facilities, and the mentorship of knowledgeable professors have all played a pivotal role in my professional success. My Bishop’s degree is more than just a collection of academic achievements. It is an embodiment of the values that lie at the heart of a well-rounded education: empathy, inclusivity, and a deep understanding of the human experience. It compels us to explore diverse cultures, histories, and world views cultivating compassion and tolerance. These qualities are not only essential for personal growth but also for building bridges of understanding in an increasingly interconnected and diverse world. 

In conclusion, Bishop’s University is, without a doubt, one of the best things that ever happened to me and to Quebec. It is a place where academic excellence, cultural preservation, personal growth, and community engagement come together to create a unique and impactful educational experience. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities and experiences Bishop’s has provided me, and I believe that its contribution to Quebec’s educational and cultural landscape is immeasurable. Bishop’s University is a testament to the power of education to shape individuals and society, and I will forever cherish the role it has played in my life and in the vibrant tapestry of Quebec.” 

– Jane Brydges ‘95

“I received my BA (Honours Philosphy, Minor Religion) from Bishop’s in 1996. I was looking for a high quality and affordable education at a small, liberal arts university. One of the major attractions of Bishop’s was the opportunity to study in Quebec. My education in Mississauga, Ontario was in English, but I had taken French courses throughout secondary school and had always been interested in French language and culture. I was looking to strengthen my French language skills and deepen my connection to Quebec, and Bishop’s did not disappoint. I signed up to stay in the “Pavillion Quebecois” – a hallway of the MacKinnon residence building where students undertook to speak French to one another. I took French electives during the first two years of my studies. Most memorably, I enjoyed a true immersion experience during my time as a ski instructor at Mt. Orford – the only anglophone in the French ski school. More than 30 years later, as a lawyer with the federal Department of Justice, I still benefit from the linguistic base that I developed during my time at Bishop’s. As a resident of Ottawa, I spend much of my vacation time in La Belle Province – cross-country skiing and mountain biking in Gatineau Park, alpine skiing in the Eastern Townships and at Le Massif, and canoeing on Quebec Rivers like the Mistassibi, Coulonge and Dumoine. There is no doubt in my mind that my time at Bishop’s played a major role in the connection that I have with the province of Quebec, including its language, culture and geography. There is also no doubt in my mind that I would not have chosen Bishop’s if tuition had cost substantially more than at other comparable universities. I am grateful on many levels for my time at Bishop’s and saddened to think that the Bishop’s experience will be out of reach for so many students – students who may be eager to forge connections with and in Quebec – as a result of the expected tuition increases.” 

– Jeanette Ettel ‘96

“As the son of a Canadian diplomat, my immediate travels prior to university included three years at the Hall, a UK prep school, four years at Oakham, a UK public school, and one year at the English School of Paris. 

My qualifications were dismal, only three “O-levels”. Entrance to a UK university required two “A-levels”, so I expected that my applications to universities in Canada would include a requirement to get a Canadian high school grade 12 diploma. 

I was surprised that Bishop’s accepted me. So there I was at Bishop’s in September 1966. At a session in the theatre, Principal Ogden Glass asked us to look to our left and to our right.  He said only one of the three students would make it out of first year. That was a sobering observation. I managed to pass five courses in 66/67, but only passed four in 67/68. 

I switched from business to political science, and managed to pass six courses in 68/69, and again in 69/70.  My improved performance was enough to be accepted into an MA program at McMaster University, and after that I never looked back. 

From being an unimpressive performer in 67/68 to being awarded a PhD from Carleton University in 1978, propelled me into a five year career as a poli-sci prof at three Canadian universities, three years with a national Inuit NGO, and 18 years with the Federal government, including leading Canada’s participation in various sub-committees of major fora such as APEC and the OECD. 

None of this would have happened without Bishop’s academic generosity and the participative Bishop’s environment which encouraged everyone to join student activities. Among other things I was the equipment manager of the soccer team for two years; writing for the Campus; playing a very minor role in a play; and being elected to the SEC in 68/69. 

I shall always especially remember the kindness of two poli-sci profs at the time who encouraged me – Ewart Prince and Ivan Myhul. 

Bishop’s is too important to let die because of deplorable and short-sighted decisions taken in Quebec City. Alumni must dig deep into their own pockets to provide financial support and assist our new Principal lead us to safer shores.” 

– Simon McInnes ‘70

“I am writing this testimonial in response to the Government of Québec’s new policy measures. I graduated from Bishop’s in 2014 with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Major in Classical Studies with distinction. I went on to Queen’s University and obtained my Master of Arts in Religion in 2015, and then obtained my Juris Doctor from Dalhousie University in 2018. I am currently a Union Side Labour, Employment, Human Rights, and Professional Regulation lawyer in Toronto, Ontario. I am horrified at the Government’s new policies and the implications that will be felt by the Bishop’s community, the Province, and Canada as a whole. 

Bishop’s University was not a name I was familiar with when I applied in 2010. My heart was set on McGill or UBC, but my parents were not keen on dropping their 18-year-old son off in downtown Montreal and driving away. I had a long conversation with my mother who told me that much of her side of the family was from the “Eastern Townships.” I knew my grandpa grew up in Montreal, but I had no idea where the Eastern Townships were, so she hauled out a photo album and sure enough, there I was two years old, at a family reunion in Magog. My mom went on to tell me that my grandma grew up in the Townships and her first job was in Sherbrooke. Every year, my mom, her sister, and parents would make the trip from Mississauga, ON to Melbourne, QC for the holidays. 

I decided to attend Bishop’s to further explore this family connection with Québec, and because I knew Bishop’s was going to be able to offer me both significant financial assistance in the form of scholarships and bursaries, but also academic support in the small class sizes and direct relationships with the faculty. It was the perfect choice. I was able to explore a new province and culture, my parents felt I was safe in Lennoxville, and I was supported by an institution that truly cares for its students. 

During my studies, I thrived. I took courses in Religion, Classics, English, and French. I was able to join clubs, make friends, learn, and grow. I met my grandma’s brother, Ronald Husk, who coincidentally lived up the road from Bishop’s with his wife Amy. Ron and Amy took me around Sherbrooke, taught me the history of the place. We visited Bury where Amy came from, and Drummondville where some of Uncle Ron’s kids still live today. Unfortunately, Amy passed away just a few days prior to my writing this testimonial. 

During my time at Bishop’s, I was awarded BEST project funding, and got to travel to Jerusalem and study there for a month. I got to engage with another culture, again, and broaden my horizons. I was provided funding from the McConnell Student Opportunity Fund to revive the Codex: Bishop’s Journal of Philosophy, Classics, Religion, and Liberal Arts, for which I served as editor-in-chief. I got to speak at convocation because I nominated my mentor and (now) life-long friend Dr. Michele Murray for the William and Nancy Turner teaching award. I think back to my time at Bishop’s almost daily. Everyone has regrets and things they may want to change about their past, but I can say unequivocally, that choosing to attend Bishop’s was one of the best decisions I have ever made. 

I took French from grade 4 to grade 12 in Ontario and learned a lot about Québec. It was always a dream of mine to attend Carnaval, which I was able to do during my first year at Bishop’s. In many of my classes we took field trips all over the province, and I really got to explore the places my ancestors called home. I was able to enhance my grasp of the French language far more during my time in Québec than I had been able to in Ontario. 

None of this would have been possible if tuition had been raised to the proposed levels. I would not have been able to come to Bishop’s. Consequently, I never would have engaged in my family history in the same way, I certainly would not have the same grasp of the French language, or Québec culture, I would not be taking yearly trips to Québec to visit friends and past professors. My life may have taken a completely different path! The liberal arts education I received at Bishop’s is second to none. The support from faculty, the alumni network, the lifelong friends, and memories all make Bishop’s an extremely special place. I have attended other post-secondary institutions in my academic career, and none of them come close to Bishop’s or the Bishop’s experience. It is my sincere hope that many more out of province students are able to avail themselves of the amazing opportunities at Bishop’s, and the wonders of Québec. 

I have since been invited back to campus to take part in the inaugural Humanities Week in October 2022. It was amazing to return to campus and see that not much had changed since I graduated. Faculty was still supportive, students keen to learn, and the Bishop’s spirit was alive and well. I hope it stays that way.” 

– Austin Metcalfe ‘14

“Je m’appelle Duncan Crabtree et je suis venu à l’Université Bishop’s dans l’automne de 2016. Je suis Torontois. J’ai appris le français à travers l’immersion française dans le Conseil scolaire du district de Toronto. 

Le grand avantage de Bishop’s est une immersion dans la langue française qui a bien marché pour moi. Je pouvais étudier dans ma langue maternelle. Toutefois, j’avais l’occasion de découvrir la culture Québécoise, et sa langue. 

Par exemple, mes deux meilleurs amis de Bishop’s sont Francophones. J’ai beaucoup pratiqué mon français avec eux. Et quand je visite leurs familles j’apprends davantage sur la culture Québécoise, à travers ses générations, toute en parlant seulement le français. J’apprécie ces conversations car elles m’apprennent d’une culture fière et joyeuse. Ces conversations m’exigent à augmenter mon niveau de français aussi. 

De plus, après que j’ai fini mon bac à Bishop’s en 2020, je suis retourné à Sherbrooke dans le printemps de 2021 pour y travailler pour plusieurs mois. J’étais reconnaissant de mon opportunité d’étudier a Bishop’s car, autrement, je n’aurais pas eu la confiance de vivre et travailler dans un milieu francophone comme Sherbrooke. J’ai beaucoup aimé l’expérience de vivre au Québec et de contribuer à son économie après que j’y ai terminé mes études. 

Globalement, j’ai aucun doute que si j’aurais étudié au Canada anglais, j’aurais perdu ma motivation d’améliorer mon français après l’école secondaire. J’ai aussi aucun doute que j’aurais étudié hors du Québec si j’avais été obligé de payer les frais scolaires maintenant proposer pour les étudiants Canadiens non-Québécois à Bishop’s. 

A l’âge de 18ans, il faut souvent qu’on voie de ses propres yeux des raisons de s’intégrer dans une autre culture, à travers une langue qui n’est pas sa langue maternelle. Bishop’s m’a révélé ces raisons à travers mes amis et mon intégration dans l’Estrie. Sans Bishop’s je m’en doute que je serais quasiment unilingue. Mais à cause de la facilité d’assister à Bishop’s comme Ontarien, je suis désormais bilingue et je maintien des liens forts au Québec.” 

– Duncan Crabtree

“In the 180 years that Bishop’s University has been educating students, it has never posed a threat to French in Quebec. On the contrary, Bishop’s promotes Quebec society and nurtures peace and understanding. It also gives young people from all over Canada and the world a sense of community and belonging that is rare yet needed now more than ever. Bishop’s is a special place for many people in Canada and across the world, and a treasured part of my own story. 

From my first memory of learning French in grade 3, I loved it with my heart and soul. I graduated high school with a French Immersion Certificate and, without a clue what I wanted to do as a career, I followed my heart to the Études françaises et québécoises program at Bishop’s. In 1995, I graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in French and received the Ambassador of Switzerland Academic Award for French. 

I went on to become an elementary teacher with a specialization in Teaching French as a Second Language and, after several years sharing my love of French language and culture with students, I joined the federal public service. For the past 22 years I have served people across Canada and all over the world in both of our country’s official languages.  

I—an anglophone from a unilingual family—am currently a bilingual senior editor, and I credit much of my success to Bishop’s.  

My time in Lennoxville was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My professors, notably the late Dr. Jean Levasseur, nurtured my love of language and culture and inspired me to challenge myself. I had the privilege of living and travelling in this beautiful province, studying its important literature, and learning about its rich and distinctive culture. During those few precious years, I felt for the first time that I found my community and was exactly where I was meant to be. I am so grateful that I had access to this unique and cherished school.   

Somewhere in Canada there is a young person who dreams of the same transformative university experience I had studying French at Bishop’s. They, however, will no longer be able to afford it. I cry purple tears for that student and for my beloved alma mater.  

At a time when our society is hateful and divisive, it is sad to see leaders proposing policies that divide us instead of advancing peace and harmony, the bedrocks of our amazing country. This is a shame for Quebec and Canada, and a lost opportunity that will be felt in the hearts and souls of generations.” 

– Karen Mayer (Benitez) ’95

“I had the best time of my life as a freshman and sophomore student. Bishop’s University open my eyes into the Canadian world and Quebec community in the Eastern Townships. A university that guarantees great leadership experiences and solid foundation on business courses. 

There is no place like Bishop’s that offers a variety of courses and electives. 

A wonderful and noteworthy experience is its international student and professors that offer a small summary of the global arena. 

Lennoxville, a small town, offers the safety and solitude to enhance a student’s ability to critically think and discover their own path of leadership. 

This small university is unique in the sense that it brings all cultures around the province and globe together to create a small fabric of Canada in Lennoxville. 

I am grateful and appreciate the school’s intentions to shape our education to become more than just students but changers in a global world.” 

– Sebastian Taylor Ebanks 

“I write to express my anger and dismay concerning Premier Legault’s decision to effectively double the tuition fees of the 3 “English” universities in Quebec. I wish to add my name to the chorus of individuals and institutions, both Anglophone and Francophone, opposed to this declaration. In doing so I lend my voice in support of Principal and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sylvain Lebel-Grenier’s stated objective which is to: 

“… ensure that government officials and the public are fully aware of the far-reaching impacts of this policy and the threat it poses to the English-speaking institutions of higher learning in Quebec, and to Bishop’s in particular.” 

While I have not seen the text of the government’s declared “policy”, I accept this summary provided by Principal Lebel-Grenier as being true: 

“ …on October 13th the Government of Quebec announced new policy measures that will have a profound effect on our university….  

If implemented as planned, beginning in fall 2024 the annual tuition at Quebec universities for undergraduate Canadian students from outside the province will effectively be doubled, from approximately $9,000 to $17,000 per year. While tuition for our international students would not increase, the Quebec Government now plans to appropriate a very significant portion of these fees resulting in a major financial loss to Bishop’s. The government did not consult with the university community prior to announcing this policy and it was not a policy change that we were expecting… 

To put it bluntly, this policy would be catastrophic for Bishop’s University. The proposed changes to tuition for Canadian students from outside Quebec will disproportionately affect Quebec’s three English-language universities, and Bishop’s most of all. Last year, roughly 55% of our students were from Quebec, 30% from elsewhere in Canada, and 15% from other countries.” [emphasis in original]  

At best, the Premier’s announcement can be described as an ill-advised and incredibly foolish decision; at worst it appears to be a deliberate and blatantly discriminatory action targeting Anglophones within and outside Quebec.  

My position can best be explained by outlining my family’s relationship with Bishop’s University. It is where I obtained my undergraduate degree, as a member of the Class of ‘70; the place where I met my wife and she received her degree; and where our 3 children later attended and were awarded their own degrees. All 5 of us are graduates of Bishop’s – incredibly proud of the education we received, and the lifelong friendships we forged – at this small campus in Lennoxville, Quebec. The superb training we received at Bishop’s equipped each of us with the necessary skills to later obtain various graduate degrees and achieve considerable satisfaction & success in our chosen careers. It made us not only strong supporters of our alma mater; but vocal ambassadors for Quebec and everything la belle province offered to those who came to study there. 

At Bishop’s we were the beneficiaries of an exceptional education. Yet one that was affordable and did not leave students with decades of debt after graduating. The faculty-to-student ratio was superb. Over the course of my 4 years at Bishop’s, the majority of my professors were under 40, held Ph.Ds, and were recognized as leaders in their fields of expertise. Most of my classes had fewer than 20 students. We were encouraged to explore as many subjects as possible. Where else could one freely combine courses in biology, psychology, music, Greek civilization, business, political science, theatre, physics, French, Spanish, German, economics, biochemistry, humanities, international law, and comparative religion? Where else could one edit a newspaper, sing in the choir, host a college radio station, run a campus bar, engage in student government, be named a Don of residence, make the varsity football team, or rehearse for a major role in the productions at the Centennial theatre? We did all of these things. We were given the chance to explore, develop, mature, take risks, succeed, fail, excel, join, and lead. We forged lasting friendships with other students who came from Quebec, other provinces, the United States, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Through these shared experiences and training, those of us who attended Bishop’s in the ‘60s, and all the other graduates in the decades since, became critical thinkers, open-minded, worldly, compassionate, hard-working, highly motivated, visionary, respectful, demanding, and generous – exactly the sort of qualities that industry, commerce, academia, medicine, government, and public service were looking for in “new hires”. Such is the tradition for excellence that Bishop’s has always exemplified. 

Like our parents before us, my wife and I contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the Quebec treasury over the course of the overlapping 9 year period when our 3 children all attended Bishop’s – their tuition; accommodations; moving costs; trips home; motels; and the expense of driving from Nova Scotia to happily celebrate each of their graduations at separate convocations. We did so gladly. We all learned French. Two of our children live and work in Montreal. They use French every day in their professions. They own property there. They pay taxes.  For many years we hosted annual alumni events in Bedford and were successful in persuading a large number of high school graduates, now in their 30s and 40s, to attend. They did, and as a result, they, like us, have become champions of the university and what it gave them. Sadly, we now wonder if all that time, all that effort, all that energy, and all that money was misplaced.  

Speaking personally, had such a policy as Premier Legault’s directive been in place at the time we and our children applied, none of this would have been possible for our family, because we simply could not have afforded to pay the inflated tuition to attend. 

I have lived and studied in 5 provinces and lectured in all the others. Over the course of my professional career: 20 years as a lawyer and 30 years as a trial and appellate judge I have visited and taught at many university campuses across Canada. So, I consider myself suitably qualified to speak to the unique place Bishop’s holds in the upper echelon of Canadian universities. 

Bishop’s was founded in 1843. As such it is only 51 years “younger” than Quebec’s National Assembly which first sat in 1792. Since its establishment in 1843 and its development & expansion in the 180 years since, Bishop’s University has always “punched way above its weight”. It has retained its foundational core as a leading liberal arts institution, and broadened its curriculum to offer a wide spectrum of higher education in a variety of “new” fields which include currently listed courses in : Agriculture and Food Systems, Astronomy, Astro-physics, Brewing Science, Criminology, Entrepreneurship; Environmental Studies, Cinema, Fine Arts, Gerontology, Indigenous Studies, Mandarin, Media & Technology, Neuro-Science, and Sports Medicine. Many of its faculty hold prestigious fellowships for excellence in teaching & innovation; are lauded internationally for their research & publications in leading peer-reviewed academic journals; and the university itself is regularly given top rankings for scholastic achievement and satisfaction in national surveys.  

All of this reflects Bishop’s commitment to providing an exceptional education that is challenging, experiential, current, relevant, vital and leading edge – taught by some of the finest and highly regarded faculty found anywhere. And throughout its perennial ability to keep its eye trained on the future, while surmounting the many financial and political challenges sometimes thrown its way, our alma mater has managed to retain the best of its rich heritage – its beauty, its strength and its importance as a cultural icon and institutional treasure in the history of Quebec, especially the Eastern Townships. Bishop’s is, and is seen to be, a steadfast bridge linking and enhancing the enduring friendship between our Anglophone and Francophone communities. 

It is home to some of Quebec’s most historic buildings including St. Mark’s Chapel declared to be an esteemed cultural property in 1989 by Quebec’s then Minister of Cultural Affairs. Our University libraries and facilities hold many important collections of Canadian and Quebec art; sculpture; and hundreds of thousands of archival items including books, maps, periodicals, photographs, postcards and genealogical material relating to the early history of Quebec, and the Eastern Townships.  

Now, sadly, these extraordinary treasures that Bishop’s University has originated and shared with so many, are in grave peril. The government’s actions – if carried through – will undoubtedly prove catastrophic. We know firsthand of instances where the long-held hopes of high school students who planned to enroll have been dashed by the Premier’s announcement. Their early acceptances to attend in the Fall of 2024 have been abandoned, together with their plans to study, graduate and stay in Quebec as working, tax-paying professionals. Instead, they will apply to other Canadian universities, in provinces where they are welcomed and can afford to study. 

And all of this is so pointless. And so unnecessary. The former Premier of Quebec, and longtime Liberal MNA for the Sherbrooke region that includes Bishop’s, the Honourable Jean Charest, brilliantly captured the thoughts of so many of us when in a recent interview to that city’s French language newspaper, he said:

“Does anyone honestly think the future of the French language is threatened on the streets of Sherbrooke by the presence of Bishop’s University students?” he asked rhetorically, alluding to Legault’s remarks earlier this week that “when I see the number of anglophone students in Quebec, it threatens the survival of French.” 

In conclusion I say Premier Legault’s actions have created conflict and hostility when there wasn’t any. Hopefully he can be persuaded to immediately and permanently rescind this policy before the significant damage it has already caused becomes so extreme as to be inestimable and generational. Otherwise, if the Premier’s objective is to hear only French spoken on the campuses of Quebec’s universities, he may get his wish, but it might only be the sound of echoes coming from the hollow of empty buildings. 


– The Hon. Jamie W. S, Saunders ’70

“I find it very difficult to accept the recent proposal by the Quebec government to double tuition fees for students coming from out of province. Whether it be from other provinces or from elsewhere in the world, I am proud that my university has evolved in the past 50 years to be a well-recognized educational institution for many local, regional, Canadian, and international students.   

I was born a Québecoise – de souche. Je suis née dans la ville de Québec de parents Canadiens français de Cap-Rouge et Québec. Pamphile Lemay est mon arrière-grand-père. Mon père (ancien de l’université Laval) nous a déménagé à Ottawa pour son travail en 1949. J’avais 2 ans. Son travail nous amenait à plusieurs pays au cours de mon enfance.  

Nearly all my schooling was in English in the United States, Ottawa and Great Britain. When I was 18, we moved to Paris, France. Une belle année d’immersion! Comme tous les étudiants de l’extérieur de France, j’ai suivi des cours de Civilisations françaises à la Sorbonne avant de commencer des cours réguliers. Unfortunately, I could not combine psychology (science) and education (arts) so I chose to apply to three Canadian Universities in July of 1966.  ishop’s accepted me as a foreign student. I had heard of Bishop’s through a friend I met in Montreal. It was the best choice of my life. The small quality classes, the friendships and the community atmosphere all contributed to my growth to adulthood.   

By 1971 I had two degrees (B.A. and B.Ed) and was married in the Bishop’s chapel to a man I met at Bishop’s. We chose to live and work in the Lennoxville and Sherbrooke region. I celebrated my 50th reunion at Bishop’s this year. My son works at Bishop’s and my husband was involved with the football program for many years. We bleed purple.    

In my career with the Eastern Township’s school board, I had many opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in the French school boards et avec le Ministère de l’éducation. Mon français, un peu perdu dans mon enfance, c’est amélioré au cours des années tant au niveau professionnel que personnel.   

J’ai maintenu mon lien avec l’université Bishop’s comme enseignante contractuelle dans le programme d’éducation et en observant nos stagiaires dans les écoles anglophones et francophones de la région. Je crois fermement au bilinguisme. Le français est essentiel dans nos écoles anglophones et il est très bien incorporé dès la maternelle.   

I also believe that it is important that anglophones feel welcome and at ease in their communities. The Eastern Townships anglophone population has evolved during my past 50 years in the region. There is more recognition and respect for the French language in nearly all community activities. Pour les anglophones, il est essentiel de pouvoir fonctionner en français. Pour les francophones, c’est une bonne occasion d’améliorer leur anglais comme langue seconde. Être bilingue est un atout que l’université Bishop’s, située dans une région majoritairement française, offre à ses étudiants. I know many Bishop’s graduates who came from afar and have chosen to stay to live and work in Quebec.  Il ne faut pas perdre le potentiel d’accepter tous les étudiants qui pourront contribuer leurs talents durant leurs années à Bishop’s ou au Québec pendant 50 ans ou plus.”  

– Josée Martineau Rourke ‘70 

“I came to Bishop’s in 2015 from South Surrey, BC. I had never visited the school prior but quickly fell in love. I chose BU for its Sports Studies Program, small classes, and for a completely different experience and culture. Choosing a university is the one time in your life you can relocate almost anywhere and it’s the first big choice you make in your adult life-I am so happy mine was BU.  

While at BU, I interned with Gaiter Athletics, spending four years working in the Sports Info department in a variety of rolls. This experience, and to be able to start so early gaining it, was a privileged opportunity that comes with a smaller school. Not only was it beneficial to help me navigate my career, it also supported me in creating connections that helped when it came time to apply to jobs or grad school.  

Bishop’s gave me four years of unforgettable education and life experiences. I met my best friends, spending time in the Eastern Townships exploring the region. Bishop’s location is part of its charm-nestled in Lennoxville it really felt like as the students we had our own universe. Most of us lived on the same street, always hopping house to house. The close proximity was so unique, you were able to constantly see your friends and socialize, all within walking distance. You don’t get that at a big university.  

In my first year, I met my now husband, Samuel Marceau, ’19. As Sam’s first language is French, and the majority of his family unable to speak in English, this became motivation for me to learn French. In my second year, I took a French class at BU, hoping to improve my conversation skills. After graduating, I enrolled in Explore Canada French Immersion, which led to then doing Odyssey as an English Language Assistant in Levis, Quebec. We ended up living in Saint-Henri-de-Levis for two years, where Sam is from and is a Francophone community. This only furthered my French. Although I am not perfectly bilingual, my French skills have greatly improved, and I am able to fully converse. We are now settled in BC and will raise bilingual children who will go to French immersion school. The chain of events of me improving my French would have never happened if I didn’t go to BU as an Anglophone.  

Bishop’s influenced my life in more positive ways than I could have imagined and will always remain in my heart. It saddens me that with the new fees, students will be denied this experience.” 

– Alexandra ‘19 

“There are some places, and some times in your life that make you feel so deeply connected both in a primal and visceral way, that words in any language will fail to convey that feeling.  

With the proposed changes to the tuitions of the English language universities in Quebec, the call came out from my Alma mater for anyone and everyone to write a testimonial in support of the university maintaining fees at the current national level and therefore securing its future.  

As one small voice, I will try to put into a language something that has been almost impossible for me to voice since I graduated in 1992.  

I am a proud Quebecer by birth. Born at the Jewish General in 1970, my direct family has roots in the TMR, Beaconsfield and Cote St. Luc. My parents went to Loyola University (now part of Concordia). 

My family can be traced through the province’s historical records back to the 1600s when they settled just outside Quebec City in Sainte Anne-de-Beaupré.  

Je me souviens de mon héritage – toujours.  

I grew up the child of a diplomat, experiencing the world in a way most could not. I watched countries educate their citizens to be worldly, to travel, to experience, to learn, to be multilingual and accumulate the best of what they saw and be better humans in service of their communities and homelands.  

I also saw countries prohibit their citizens from all of the above and become flat, one dimensional, apathetic and often zealots to one sided thinking.  

When we came back to Canada, I then had an opportunity to choose my path. Where would I go to learn, become part of a community and build a foundation for my own future. There was an entire 10-foot wall dedicated to university brochures in the guidance office of my High School. I only ever saw one…it was one of the strangest moments of my life. I plucked the purple brochure out of the slot and saw 2 things – the 19th century styled Quad and the words Lennoxville, Quebec.  

Have you ever laid your eyes on something for the first time and known…just known it was meant to be? Karma? Some otherworldly shove? This was mine.  

I was going home.  

The 3 years I spent at Bishop’s were non-stop. I excelled academically, finishing a 4-year History honours degree in three years, and found my mentor there. I worked – in the pub, giving guided tours and in the quiet bar. I participated – playing hockey for the polar bears, wrote for the History Review and volunteered at The Campus newspaper, becoming the editor in my last year. I became part of the community, that fabric of a small, personalized university making lifelong friends. And I had fun…with a very large capital F. As one of the only students with a car, and being bilingual, I was often a guide to both the Carrefour AND the entire geographic area between Vermont and Montreal. There was nothing better than taking my fellow students to experience a Cabane à Sucre for the first time, or a ski day at Orford or Bromont, or sharing their first spruce beer, tourtière or poutine – or just get lost in the beauty of the province. I was proud to be an ambassador for my birth province. To share its secret beauty with people who came to love it for even just a little while.  

The small and intimate nature of this place allowed a person to discover who they were, what they could do, and what was important in life, truly. The culture was one of inclusion, of celebrating both successes and failures. For it is always the failures that lead to more learning, more attempts, more change and bigger successes. As a young adult, Bishop’s University was both welcoming and challenging. And at its heart is a desire to see all of its students succeed in its academic and social environment, move on and then turn back to offer a hand to lift the next generation. It strives to create well rounded, intellectually curious and compassionate global citizens. It certainly helped me become a better human.  

Small intimate universities rely heavily on its alumni to supplement its coffers to survive and attract new students. To financially punish students who wish to attend, knowing it pulls a large percentage from out of province is short sighted. The province should be doing its best to invite as many Canadians as possible to experience education in Quebec. Instead of closing the gates, throw them open and allow Quebec culture to be absorbed and re-plant itself elsewhere.  

I know I carry it with me wherever I go and my experiences at Bishop’s only deepened my love for Quebec.  

This is but a small portrayal of what this institution means to me, and to many of my fellow alumni. I would encourage any policy maker to see not only the academic benefits of supporting small universities but the social and economic benefits that begin with all its attendees. 

Il y a certains endroits et certains moments de votre vie qui vous font sentir si profondément connecté, à la fois primal et viscéral, que les mots, quelle que soit la langue, ne parviendront pas à transmettre ce sentiment. 

Avec les changements proposés aux frais des universités anglophones au Québec, l’appel est venu de mon « alma mater » que tout le monde écrive un témoignage en faveur de maintenir les frais au niveau national actuel et assurer ainsi son avenir. 

Dans ma petite voix, j’essaierai de mettre dans une langue quelque chose qu’il m’a été presque impossible d’exprimer depuis que j’ai obtenu mon diplôme en 1992. 

Je suis un Québécois très fier. Autant que j’étais né à l’hôpital Général Juif en 1970, ma famille a des racines à VMR, Beaconsfield et Côte St-Luc. Mes parents sont allés à l’Université Loyola (qui fait maintenant partie de Concordia). 

Les archives historiques de la province permettent de retracer ma famille jusqu’aux années 1600, lorsqu’ils se sont installés juste à l’extérieur de la ville de Québec, à Sainte Anne-de-Beaupré. 

Je me souviens de mon héritage – toujours. 

J’ai grandi comme un enfant de diplomate et j’ai découvert le monde d’une manière que la plupart des gens ne pourraient pas. J’ai vu des pays éduquer leurs citoyens à être mondains, à voyager, à expérimenter, à apprendre, à être multilingues et à accumuler le meilleur de ce qu’ils ont vu et à devenir les meilleurs humains au service de leurs communautés et de leur patrie. 

J’ai également vu des pays interdire à leurs citoyens tout ce qui précède et devenir plats, unidimensionnels, apathiques et souvent fanatiques d’une pensée unilatérale. 

À notre retour au Canada, j’ai eu l’occasion de choisir ma voie. Où irais-je pour apprendre, faire partie d’une communauté et jeter les bases de mon propre avenir ? Il y avait un mur de 10 pieds dédié aux brochures universitaires dans le bureau d’orientation de mon école secondaire. Je n’ai vu qu’un seul… c’était l’un des moments les plus étranges de ma vie. J’ai sorti la brochure violette de la fente et j’ai vu 2 choses : le « Quad » de style 19e siècle et les mots Lennoxville, Québec. 

Avez-vous déjà posé les yeux sur quelque chose pour la première fois et su… juste su que c’était censé se produire ? Karma? Une poussée d’un autre monde ? C’était mon expérience. 

Je rentrais et sentir chez-moi. 

Les 3 années que j’ai passées à Bishop’s ont été très vite. J’ai excellé sur le plan académique, terminant un diplôme spécialisé en histoire de 4 ans en trois ans, et j’ai trouvé mon mentor. J’ai travaillé – au pub, en donnant des visites guidées et dans le « Quiet Bar ». J’ai participé – j’ai joué au hockey pour les « Polar Bears », j’ai écrit pour la publication historique et j’ai fait du bénévolat au journal The Campus, devenant rédacteur en chef au cours de ma dernière année. Je suis devenu membre de la communauté, tissé dans la tissu d’une petite université personnalisée qui se fait des amis pour la vie. Et je me suis amusé… avec un très grand A majuscule. Étant j’étais une des seules étudiantes à posséder une voiture et étant bilingue, j’étais souvent guide à la fois au Carrefour ET dans toute la zone géographique entre Vermont et Montréal. Il n’y avait rien de mieux que d’emmener mes amis faire l’expérience d’une Cabane à Sucre pour la première fois, ou d’une journée de ski à Orford ou Bromont, ou de partager leur première bière d’épinette, tourtière ou poutine – ou tout simplement de se perdre dans la beauté de la province. J’étais fier d’être ambassadeur de ma province natale. Partager sa beauté secrète avec ceux qui l’ont aimé même pour un petit moment. 

La nature petite et intime de cet endroit permettait à une personne de découvrir qui elle était, ce qu’elle pouvait faire et ce qui était vraiment important dans la vie. La culture était celle d’inclusion, célébrant à la fois les succès et les échecs. Car ce sont toujours les échecs qui conduisent à plus d’apprentissage, à plus de tentatives, à plus de changements et à des plus grands succès. Comme jeune adulte, l’Université Bishop’s était à la fois accueillante et stimulante. Et à son cœur se trouve le désir de voir tous ses étudiants réussir dans son environnement académique et social, avancer puis revenir en arrière pour tendre la main à la prochaine génération. Il s’efforce de créer des citoyens du monde équilibrés, intellectuellement curieux et compatissants. Cela m’a certainement aidé à devenir un meilleur humain. 

Les petites universités intimes dépendent largement de leurs anciens élèves pour compléter leurs caisses, survivre et attirer de nouveaux étudiants. Punir financièrement les étudiants qui souhaitent fréquenter l’école, sachant qu’un grand pourcentage d’entre eux viennent de l’extérieur de la province, relève d’une vision à courte vue. La province devrait inviter le plus grand nombre de Canadiens possible à faire l’expérience de l’éducation au Québec. Au lieu de fermer les portes, ouvrez-les et permettez à la culture québécoise de s’absorber et de se replanter ailleurs. 

Je sais que j’emporte toute ça avec moi partout et mes expériences chez Bishop’s n’ont fait qu’approfondir mon amour pour le Québec. 

Ceci n’est qu’un petit aperçu que cette institution signifie pour moi et pour beaucoup des anciens élèves. J’encouragerais tout décideur politique à voir non seulement les avantages académiques aux petites universités, mais aussi les avantages sociaux et économiques qui commencent avec tous ses participants.” 

– Laurie Gagnier ‘92