Scholarship being created for beloved former Queen’s Professor

English professor made lasting impact on students 

Peter Reimer and Gwynn Dujardin pictured together. 
Peter Reimer

A group of Queen’s alumni are working to start a scholarship fund in the name of a professor who they say made a lasting mark on them. The alumni believe starting a fund at Queen’s will make a difference.

When Peter Reimer, ArtSci ’14, moved back to Kingston in 2018, he reconnected with a professor who made a large impact on him. He soon realized she was no longer teaching. 

Reimer told The Journal former Queen’s English Professor Gwynn Dujardin resigned from teaching because she was experiencing symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a condition which can cause chronic fatigue and other symptoms. 

Dujardin had to return to the United States because her work visa expired at the end of her working term. 

“When I was at [Dujardin’s] house, she mentioned she was going to miss Queen’s a lot. And there was no avenue for her as a former professor, to stay connected with Queen’s,” Reimer said in an interview with The Journal. 

“There’s no Alumni Association for professors. She was really lamenting the fact she was going to miss Queen's and lose [the] link to what was an important part of her life,” he said. 

After Dujardin moved away, Reimer wanted to create a meaningful way to remember Dujardin and ensure her legacy continued.

“I thought, if I can fundraise enough money to start a scholarship in her name, I think that’d be a really fitting thing to do,” Reimer said. “She was such an adamant supporter and cheerleader for the quality of undergraduate students at Queen’s English.” 

Dujardin was always impressed  by the quality of students who were coming through the English Department, Reimer said.

“I think a lot of the students were always impressed with the quality of professor she was. That’s demonstrated since she won a couple of awards while she was at Queen’s—awards which are nominated by students,” he said. 

The biggest takeaway Reimer and many others had from Dujardin was how she facilitated education and treated her students. 

“If you were passionate about something, then you could do that. You could incorporate your passion into the classroom and into your grade,” Reimer said. 

According to Reimer, Dujardin opened the doors for undergraduate students by creating and finding opportunities for them. He said Dujardin’s commitment to education made her students better scholars. 

“She was willing to do things that were completely outside the box. We did an Early Modern English class in the Special Collections Library, and we were able to use a lot of contemporary works in regular lessons—that’s unheard of at the undergraduate level,” Reimer said. 

Reimer believes founding a scholarship in Dujardin’s name will allow English students to continue to have a connection with a person who was instrumental in the education and lives of students. 

“Professor Dujardin was always someone who not only found the best and the brightest and helped them continue to be that—the way she taught and the way she facilitated her classroom, really enabled anyone to do phenomenally well,” Reimer said. 

Currently, the fund is sitting at around $12,000. For a scholarship to be endowed, Reimer and the other alumnus must raise $50,000 by the end of 2023. Donations can be made online through the advancement office’s dedicated link

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