January 2016

From public lectures to signature celebrations such as Canada Day, we're honoured to invite our community to the University of Waterloo.

Students make seniors smile on Random Act of Kindness Day

Students with senior residents

On November 4, 2016 over 30 University of Waterloo student and staff volunteers spent the morning at Schlegel Villages, University Gates engaging with senior residents in a range of fun activities in celebration of this year’s Random Act of Kindness Day (RAK Day) campaign. Partnering with The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation for the fourth year in a row, RAK Day seeks to create a more caring and empathic community, inviting everyone to come together to pay it forward.

Fighting hunger in our community on Halloween night

Trick or Eaters

When Waterloo residents heard knocks on their doors this past Halloween, they discovered that one group of trick-or-treaters wasn’t asking for candy. A total of 82 participants from the University of Waterloo joined the Trick-or-Eat initiative organized by the Federation of Students.

UWaterloo campuses come together to pay it forward on Random Act of Kindness Day

Students sharing flowers with elderly

Friday, November 4, 2016 marked the fourth consecutive year the University of Waterloo has partnered with The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation to spread kindness on our campuses and in the community, along with over 250 communities across Canada. This year, we were proud to give back to our community in a number of ways.

Waterloo Warriors face off against Golden Hawks in the Battle of Waterloo

Battle of Waterloo

Join the University of Waterloo Warriors on Wednesday, November 2 at the Kitchener Aud at 7:15 p.m. as they battle the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

Six women from UWaterloo recognized at Oktoberfest Women of the Year

Women from UWaterloo

On Thursday, October 6, 2016, six incredible women from the University of Waterloo were recognized for their efforts in leadership, arts and culture, health and wellness, academic achievement, and professional excellence at the annual K-W Oktoberfest Women of the Year event. Each of their immense contributions to our campus and our community help make the region a better place to live.

UWaterloo marches with the community to end gendered violence

UWaterloo at Take Back the Night

Last Thursday, the University of Waterloo marched alongside our community in Waterloo Region’s annual Take Back the Night (TBTN) march.

March with UWaterloo at Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night

Join the University of Waterloo on Thursday, September 22, 2016 for Waterloo Region’s annual Take Back the Night (TBTN) march. Part of an international event targeting sexual and domestic violence, TBTN brings survivors and their allies together to walk in solidarity to draw public attention to the struggles women, children, and trans*people continue to face in our society.

University of Waterloo builds community at Maker Expo

#MakerExpo in balloons

The University of Waterloo’s maker and entrepreneurial spirit shined bright at Maker Expo on Saturday, September 10. Hosted at Kitchener City Hall, the event brought together a diverse, family-friendly showcase of artists, makers, and hands-on activities featuring select UWaterloo groups and companies, as well as an array of community partners.

Campers connect their passions to building peace

Peace builders with Bardish Chagger

Throughout the week of August 8, 31 youth across the Waterloo Region ages 11-14 gathered at Conrad Grebel University College for Peace Camp. The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement’s fifth annual day camp was once again packed with exciting activities with a peace and social justice spin to encourage youth to inspire lives, strengthen ties, and make peace happen in Waterloo Region.

Fun, science, and community collide at Discovery Square

Kids learning at Discovery Square

School may be out, but for the curious minded, learning never stops. During the month of July, Waterloo’s Science Outreach team took part in Discovery Square, a STEAM event celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math hosted by the City of Kitchener at Civic Square in front of City Hall.

Bringing peace and conflict education into local classrooms

Peace Camp in action inside a classroom

Peace Camp is a day camp and peace educational program housed in the MSCU Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College that brings youth ages 11-14 in the Waterloo region community together to share stories and learn from peace leaders of various cultural backgrounds, faiths, and orientations.

Waterloo sponsors Nature Unleashed exhibit at THEMUSEUM

Nature Unleashed exhibit

Usually, you count yourself lucky to have avoided natural disasters first-hand. But Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters, the newest exhibit at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener, intentionally immerses visitors in the natural disaster experience via interactive displays.

Feds GLOW centre celebrates diversity at annual Pride Parade

Students holding pride flag

Every year, the City of Toronto hosts an annual Pride Festival. A highlight of the celebration is the colourful Pride Parade, where groups from across Canada march through the bustling streets of downtown Toronto to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Exploring communities across Canada

Students in front of the mist

On Saturday, June 4, University of Waterloo students stood in front of Niagara Falls to enjoy one of the most breathtaking views in Canada. As the water tumbled and roared, the group gathered near the mist for an engaging, community-driven trip with International and Canadian Student Network (ICSN), a Federation of Students’ service. Run entirely by undergraduate volunteers, the service organizes outings for local, international, and exchange students to help them connect and explore the communities around them.

Watering the young minds of the future

Kids looking at water

For 21 years now, the Waterloo Wellington Children’s Groundwater Festival (WWCGF) has been delivering water-related education to students through a variety of hands-on, interactive activities.

Bringing together industry, government, community groups and educators, including the University of Waterloo, the week-long event focused on the significance of water conservation, protection and science.

Join us for a good time at this year’s Canada Day Celebration

The biggest celebration in Waterloo, Canada Day at UWaterloo

The University is excited to announce that popular children’s musical duo, Splash’N Boots will light up the afternoon with engaging performances on the TVOKids Stage hosted by the beloved Kara. Outstanding Canadian talent will headline our evening concert on the OpenText Stage, featuring 19 year old breakout artist, Francesco Yates, and classic rock icons, Trooper. Joining our national acts will be regional favourites, KW Glee, and Country 106.7 morning show hosts, Mike Farwell and Jennifer Campbell, will return for a second year to MC the event.

Fostering a sense of belonging with The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson

Adrienne Clarkson

On Wednesday, May 25, the University of Waterloo in partnership with House of Friendship and The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, brought The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson to campus to talk about the importance of belonging. Expanding on her highly successful 2014 CBC Massey Lectures Tour and her recent book, Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship, Mme. Clarkson captivated close to 500 community members about the need for diversity, community capacity, and contribution in today’s society.

Science Outreach event shows how Kitchener rocks

People on tour

From vibrant serpentine outside Crabby Joe’s to the crinoid fossils on the outer walls of Immigration Canada, Kitchener is home to a rich geological history. Ancient rocks and fossils can be found in the buildings and surrounding landscapes throughout the city.

Integrating girls into the world of engineering at UWaterloo

Girls doing experiments at the Catalyst Conference

From April 29 to May 1, 2016, 48 grade eleven students from across Canada came to the University of Waterloo to participate in the Catalyst Grade 11 Girls Conference hosted by Engineering Outreach.

#PowerShiftWR ignites discussion on energy access in Waterloo Region

From April 17 - 23, 2016, Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) partnered with an outstanding group of community partners to host #PowerShiftWR: a weeklong series of events that sparked discussions about the Waterloo Region’s relationship with energy.

Thank you to all our volunteers!

Thank you to all volunteers who help make our community a better place to live! THANK YOU

By celebrating National Volunteer Week, the University of Waterloo recognizes the importance of volunteerism and the efforts of individuals who give back both within and beyond campus.

Volunteers are the heart of our United Way campaign

Volunteers decked out in red and white for United Way

At first glance some of the things United Way volunteers do, for example, baking a cake for a bake sale, may seem small. But when that cake is sold at a bake sale in support of the United Way, the value of that cake grows. The funds raised could provide a meal for a family in need, support individuals getting back on their feet after a troubling time, or assist a family that can’t afford after-school sports. Talk about making a difference!  

Alumni volunteers share University of Waterloo pride around the globe

Volunteer at alumni event

There are hundreds of UWaterloo alumni who engage and foster a myriad of connections every day. In fact, around the world, Alumni Relations has over six hundred alumni volunteers supporting the University of Waterloo!

Championing our outstanding student volunteers

Volunteer centre grand opening ribbon cutting

Helping a ten year old Syrian refugee boy in Kitchener learn English, cleaning up Ezra Street in Waterloo after St. Patrick’s Day, teaching a senior citizen in Cambridge how to use an iPad so that he can Skype with his granddaughter – the impact of University of Waterloo students’ volunteerism in our community is one that is ought to be celebrated.

Keystone campaign volunteers: giving to inspire giving

The Keystone Campaign offers the UWaterloo community an opportunity to engage in philanthropy right here on campus. Each year, 150 remarkable volunteers made up of faculty, staff and retirees share their time, ideas and enthusiasm to support Keystone. Their dedication helps to enhance the student experience and celebrate the incredible community that make up our UWaterloo family.

Creating a world-class move-in experience through volunteerism

volunteers moving boxes on move-in day

Each Labour Day weekend, Housing and Residences at the University of Waterloo organizes Family Welcome: a volunteer-driven program designed to welcome incoming undergraduate students to their new home and celebrate the start of their post-secondary career with their families.

Celebrating National Volunteer Week with #UWCommunity

National volunteer week

The University of Waterloo community has good reason to celebrate during National Volunteer Week. Throughout the year, Waterloo’s 5,497 full and part-time employees volunteer their time, contribute to the success of organized volunteer initiatives, and reinforce the positive impact that volunteerism makes in our community.

Bringing Waterloo pride to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

Students flipping pancakes

Despite the cold weather, a group of University of Waterloo students travelled to Elmira in search of a delicious Canadian treat this past weekend at the annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on April 2, 2016.

Waterloo gets creative for a good cause

UWaterloo CanBuild, featuring a collage of different canned structures

Beginning in 2014 in partnership with the Federation of Students Food Bank and the Food Bank of Waterloo Region, the University of Waterloo CanBuild competition helps create awareness of these issues by engaging the campus community to develop teams, collaborate, and put their design skills to work by building unique structures from the food donations they collect.

Students get green and global during Earth Hour

Sustainable Campus Initiative team

Students at the University of Waterloo realized this on Saturday, March 19 when they gathered inside the V1 Great Hall on campus to participate in the global Earth Hour campaign. Hosted by the Federation of Students’ service, Sustainable Campus Initiative, Earth Hour was held from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. after a variety of eco-friendly workshops.

Glowing for 45 years

rainbow cupcakes

On March 8, 2016, the Glow Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity celebrated 45 years of transforming lives at the University of Waterloo. A Federation of Students service, the Glow Centre is the oldest queer organization of its kind in Canada.

Public lecture illuminates research on light and the brain

Campbell delivering lecture

More than 65 members of the local community came to hear Professor Melanie Campbell present her public lecture, “The eye, a window on the brain,” at THEMUSEUM in downtown Kitchener on Wednesday, February 24.

Celebrating International Women's Day at Waterloo

Man holding up sign that reads: "this is what a feminist looks like"

Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. Tuesday, March 8 marks this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD), where people across the globe come together to celebrate, reflect, advocate, and take action on women’s issues.

Giving back on the coldest night of the year

Coldest Night of the Year walkers in downtown Kitchener



On Saturday, February 20, the
School of Pharmacy was proud to work with the Ray of Hope Community Centre to provide a comfortable rest stop for the annual Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY) 5km or 10km walk. Providing over 650 participating community members with shelter, warm drinks, and snacks at the halfway point, University of Waterloo Pharmacy student ambassadors connected with our community, offering words of encouragement, and answering questions about student life at the University’s downtown Kitchener campus.

Canning hunger to create social change in our community

Homelessness and food insecurity affect countless communities and groups of people, including many in the Waterloo Region. Locally, more than 3000 people used the shelter system in 2015 and 1 in 20 households rely on food banks.

Leading to issues surrounding mental health and well-being, individuals and families plagued with these concerns face hardships that lead to a poor quality of life. The University of Waterloo and fellow community partner organizations recognize these as significant problems that need addressing. On February 1, 2016, the first ever regional Design Jam was hosted by St. Paul’s GreenHouse and Communitech’s Accelerating Social Cause Entrepreneurs (ASCEnt), as an innovative way to engage students and youth aged 18 to 29 in a curated open discussion about improving food and housing security in Waterloo Region.

UWaterloo brings COP21 climate change discussion to our local community

Professor Ian Rowlands talks as part of the COP21 panel

In December of 2015, 12 students, faculty and staff from UWaterloo travelled to Paris, France as delegates to the “COP21” United Nations Climate Summit.  The University of Waterloo had a delegation  of 7 people under its own name, while 5 of our students participated as party delegates in support of the Republic of Kiribati and the Seychelles.

After witnessing the events that culminated in 195 countries coming to an international agreement to act on climate change, the delegates were left with a great desire to advocate for stronger political action and to facilitate positive dialogue about steps we can take in our local communities.

Empowering sustainability leaders of the future

Tania Del Motto, Mat Thijssen, Tova Davison, and Elle Crevits

On Thursday, January 21, 2016, Sustainable Youth Canada (SYC) partnered with the Waterloo Region Environment Network (WREN) to host a one of the largest local sustainability-themed networking events for youth in our community. What can YOUth do? A Conference by Youth for Youth engaged hundreds of university and high school students throughout Waterloo Region who have a passion for environmental issues and creating sustainable change.

Tutoring Beyond Borders inspires the next generation of students

Tutoring Beyond Borders

Providing free one-on-one tutoring services to students in Grades 7 through 12, Tutoring Beyond Borders (TBB) helps bridge the gap between high school and university students in our community. Launched in 2010 by a University of Waterloo undergraduate student, TBB acknowledges the financial burden of paying for private tutoring services, offering regional high-schoolers opportunities to seek extra help with their studies and connect directly with current university students who can offer insight on their undergraduate experiences.

Educating our community about Alzheimer’s disease

Murray Alzheimer's Research and Education Program

Across Canada, January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. This important nation-wide initiative seeks to educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, reduce stigma, and raise funds for research and programming to benefit the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who live with or are affected by dementia.

Engaging our community through innovative public lectures

Three researchers on stage at the KPL



The University of Waterloo engages our community through public lectures that aim to challenge, inspire, and enrich not only our faculty, staff and students, but all members of our Waterloo region community. Touching on a range of timely topics like life-changing research and controversial subject matter, our researchers and established faculty members relish opportunities to share their expertise and help our community learn more about the world around them.

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