As long-time members of Co-operative and Experiential Education (CEE), Scott (BES ’84, MA ’88) and Linda (BA ’81) Davis both know the importance of work-integrated learning at the University of Waterloo.

Scott (BES ‘84, MA ‘88) and Linda (BA ‘81) Davis

As a testament to that importance, the Davises have committed $5,000 to the Co-op for Community program through the Co-operative and Experiential Education fund.

The Co-op for Community program is completely donor-funded and creates meaningful co-op jobs for Waterloo students from all disciplines.

Donations to the program supports Waterloo co-op students who spend their co-op work term at a local non-profit affiliated with the United Way.

As Giving Tuesday champions, Scott (he/him) and Linda (she/her) are encouraging colleagues and friends to donate to the fund to recognize Scott’s retirement and to match their pledge.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement to encourage giving monetarily or otherwise on Tuesday, November 28, 2023.

To acknowledge my retirement, I’d like to see our entire staff contribute to the Co-op for Community fund. I think it's an opportunity for us to put our money where our mouth is.

Scott Davis, faculty relations manager, special projects in
Co-operative and Experiential Education

Scott believes contributing to this Co-op for Community fund is a way for staff to collectively make a meaningful impact. Every donation to the fund, regardless of size, goes directly to providing opportunities for co-op students from all disciplines while also helping the community.

“It’s in the DNA of our institution, we wouldn't be Waterloo if it wasn't for co-op,” says Scott.

Connections to Waterloo and co-op that run deep

Co-op for Community is a donor-funded program created in partnership with United Way Waterloo Region Communities. The fund provides Waterloo co-op students with work terms at local not-for-profits. Helping Waterloo students find meaningful co-op jobs is important to Linda and Scott in their personal and professional lives.

Linda started her journey at Waterloo as a student in the Fine Arts department and worked as a career advisor in the Centre for Career Action before retiring in 2020.

Scott graduated from the Geography co-op program in 1984 and completed his Master of Arts in Regional Planning and Resource Development. He’s held several roles at the University over his 35-year career and witnessed the evolution of co-operative education at Waterloo.

“There were probably 5,000 students in co-op at the time we started and now it’s 25,000 plus,” says Scott.

Together, they’ve had a combined 70+ years with the university and decided that a donation to this fund should be a part of their legacy. Their hope is that their contribution will help to positively impact co-op students and the local community for years to come.

“I want any student who wants to work at a non-profit to have the opportunity to do so,” says Scott. “It's not about academic merit. It's about the need for employment and the need to support both students and employers.”

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A commitment to philanthropy

Their backgrounds in philanthropy helped to motivate the Davises to donate throughout their careers.

“Philanthropic interests have always been a part of my upbringing and what we wanted to instill in our daughter,” says Scott.

The Co-op for Community fund is just one of Scott and Linda’s contributions to non-profits. They are both active participants in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society where they participate in fundraising events such as Bike MS.

“We have a really close connection to the MS Society because Linda was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005,” says Scott. He currently volunteers as the fundraising lead on the Central Canada Council for the MS Society.

“We've been paid for the work that we've done, we've enjoyed what we were doing and enjoyed working with students, employers and with our own staff,” Linda adds. “We're fortunate to be in a situation where we can give back.”

On top of the retirement donation, the Davises included a bequest in their will to the Co-op for Community fund. They both want to ensure that that their legacy will be carried on long after they’re gone.

“The Co-op for Community fund is an opportunity for us to think about how we can continue to support the non-profit community,” says Scott.

Interested in donating?

Support the Co-op for Community program through the Co-operative and Experiential Education fund on Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2023 to make the most of your contribution.