Quote Originally Posted by ottawafan View Post
I have been around for a while and have not heard that nickname. It must have long ago died. I like learning the history of just about everything. Perhaps someone can tell us the history of how that nickname was came to be?
Way back when (pre-WWII, but probably extending after the war as well), the two universities for the upper class and the wealthy were McGill and UofT. Queen's, located in Kingston which was quickly eclipsed as an urban centre by Toronto and Montreal, was different - it was known as the "poor man's university", where people could be admitted based on their academics/intellect, and the cost was low enough to keep a quality university education within reach of the common person. This is reflected in some of the ways that Queen's (was/is) different from other universities - a focus on teaching and a de-emphasis on research, the banning of fraternities, small size, historic political home of the Liberal party, etc. Queen's has benefitted from several graduates who could not attend UofT or McGill, and went on to great business success, and remembered which university was willing to give them an opportunity - Alfred Bader being perhaps the most prominent.

A Toronto Star article in the 1920's about the Gaels football team reads: "[Also] determination is a mighty big factor in sport. Dr. Taylor spoke of Queen's as a poor man's university [where] a man without means could enter to the full in the life of the university, and get an education with the minimum of means ... This factor intensified the team spirit in the university."