When Peter Sims (LLD '99) received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Waterloo in 1999, it was a tribute not only to him, but to a family legacy of generosity that stretched back to the founding of the university.
"Being useful and helping the university grow in every respect was a most exciting and satisfying time in my life," says Sims. "I was surprised how pleased and moved I was when I received an honorary degree."
Sims is a prominent philanthropist and for many years practised law in Waterloo Region. He recently retired from Miller Thomson LLP. He was also the successful owner of Chicopee Manufacturing for 30 years, until selling it to Magellan Aerospace Corporation in 1998. His father, the late James Kenneth Sims, was also a prominent lawyer and a founding member of University of Waterloo's Board of Governors, serving from 1955 until 1970. Sims followed his father's example, serving as a member and chair of the Board of Governors between 1985 and 1997.
He continues to volunteer his time with Campaign Waterloo and the Library campaign volunteer team. His generous gift of $500,000 was directed to the renovation of the Dana Porter Library's third floor, and the creation of the Peter and Betty Sims Reading Room. Sims was chair of the Friends of the Library Board in 1989.
Sims has provided support to other University of Waterloo projects, including the Jim Kalbleisch Scholarship, the Renison Building Fund, the Sims Family Library Endowment Fund, and the Walter Bean Scholarship. The Sims Student Study Galleria in the Davis Centre Library was named in his honour.
He says, "I am always proud to tell anyone who will listen about the University of Waterloo and my connection to it."