Queen Margaret University and St. Edward's University Historic Tree Planting Ceremony
In April, a cherry tree was planted at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland, to mark a partnership between Queen Margaret and St. Edward’s University.
This partnership began in 2009 when 15 students from St. Edward’s participated in a pioneering global experience with Queen Margaret. The International Festival Experience Summer tour, or I-FESt, provided an opportunity for students to study theater and event planning during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh International Book Festival and The Gathering.
At the ceremony, Petra Wend, principal and vice-chancellor for Queen Margaret, welcomed St. Edward’s University President George E. Martin, Tom Evans, associate vice president of Professional Education and Global Initiatives at St. Edward’s, Cardinal O’Brian, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, and other guests.
During the ceremony, Martin touched on the shared history between the two universities — Father Edward Sorin, founder of St. Edward’s University, is the great uncle of Queen Margaret. Martin also presented Wend with an original watercolor donated by alumnus Nicolas Swift. It is a depiction of Main Building.
Also present was Joe Goldblatt, St. Edward’s University alumnus and executive director of the International Centre for the Study of Planned Events for the School of Business, Enterprise and Management at Queen Margaret. Goldblatt helped forge a connection between the two universities.
Sheila Gordon, assistant professor of Acting and Voice at St. Edward’s, and Goldblatt led the students in classroom and field learning last summer. For four weeks in July and August, the students immersed themselves in a program that included taking courses, attending and evaluating festivals, and producing three events of their own.
This experience sparked an understanding between St. Edward’s and Queen Margaret that will manifest in future exchange programs and collaborative research between faculty members. St. Edward’s and Queen Margaret both value international, industry-relevant and interdisciplinary education, and service to the community.
Learn more about the student’s I-FEST experience. (page 21 of the magazine)