In recognition of the contribution made by former Master, Professor David Runia and Gonni Runia to Queen’s College, the graduate building will now carry both their names.

At a very special event on December 7, the building which was built during Professor Runia’s mastership and opened in May 2012, became the first at College to have two names, recognition of the impact of both the Runia’s.

Attending the event were the former Presidents of Council, John Castles AM who was President when the project was initiated and Professor Ross Williams AM, President at the opening. Fellows, Wyverns, staff – past and present, and family and friends of Professor and Gonni Runia, gathered to hear President of Council Dr Ian Marshman’s AM comments.

“The opportunity to name a building at Queen’s is a truly special event. It is wonderful to be able to acknowledge the contributions of David the seventh Master and his wife Gonni, both of whom continue to be active and highly respected members of the College community,” said Dr Marshman.

“David and Gonni showed commitment to diversity and inclusion. They championed the view that residency at Queen’s is a privilege, but not exclusively for the privileged, fostering of a deep sense of community across the whole of the College community, including Wyverns, Fellows, parents and students.”

The Runia’s were delighted by the acknowledgment.

“The naming of the building in honour of my wife and myself is a wonderful gesture. For both of us it was an utter surprise. I would like to think that in honouring us, the College celebrates a challenging but successful time in its recent history. The project demanded the best from all those who participated in it—architects and builders, council, staff, residents and not to forget, generous Wyverns and other friends. It is now part of the fabric of the College. My wish is that it continues to be a centre of study, exploration, discussion, and all the good fun and camaraderie that go with being members of the Queen’s community,” said Professor Runia.

Gonni Runia was similarly pleased.

“It was quite a surprise to learn that I would be included in the naming of the building. My time at Queen’s was busy and eventful, and it was a privilege to watch the students grow and mature during their time at College.”


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