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Monday, June 11, 2018


A new look for Convocation as Waterloo welcomes its 200,000th graduate

The old Convocation stage design contrasted with the new Convocation stage design in the Physical Activities Complex.

The University of Waterloo is preparing to celebrate its one hundred and sixteenth Convocation ceremony from June 12 to 16, and the proceedings will have a new look and feel as more than 6,528 graduands prepare to cross the stage this week. Somewhere along the way, the University's 200,000th graduate will receive his or her diploma and join the global Waterloo alumni family.

The University's Convocation ceremonies have gone through many changes over the years since the first event was held on on June 18, 1960 in the gymnasium at Seagram Stadium (now University Stadium, home to Wilfrid Laurier University's Golden Hawks). Ceremonies are now held in Waterloo's Physical Activities Complex.

The number of students graduating has increased from those early days. A whopping eight students received their diplomas at Waterloo's first ceremony in 1960, with Waterloo's very first granted degree, a master of arts in mathematics, handed to Ron Mullin. This week, the 200,000th graduating student will cross the stage.

The number of Convocation ceremonies is also increasing. There are a record twelve ceremonies taking place from Tuesday, June 12 to Saturday, June 16, and for the first time there will be evening ceremonies, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Wednesday's Arts and Saturday's Engineering convocations.

This spring's Convocation also represents a changing of the guard, as the organization of the event now resides in the hands of Community Relations and Events, transitioning from the Registrar's Office, who long handled the logistics and execution of the affair.

This week on and around campus, the Convocation experience will be communicated through new branding that began with the mailed invitations. The new Convocation design theme balances the historical elements of the University's mace and the seal with its lions and chevrons against the institution's modern brand. The image of the mace is profiled on programs, digital assets during the ceremonies, and on the requisite building banners.

Signage and wayfinding has been updated to provide consistent branding and a focus on the Convocation guest experience.

If previous years' ceremonies were a little on the gold-flecked side, with the classic curtains and chairs borrowed from the old Board and Senate room in Needles Hall (which has been renovated to serve as the home of the Vice-President, Academic & Provost's office), the pendulum has swung toward the other colour in the University's official livery - black.

Elements of the re-imagined Convocation ceremony include new chairs, new carpet, and new staging. The staging, set up in the Physical Activities Complex, will feature prominent institutional branding as well as enhanced black curtains and stage lightning.

This week's ceremonies will also be the final ones presided over by Waterloo's current Chancellor, Tom Jenkins. His successor, once announced, is expected to be installed formally at the fall Convocation in October 2018.

These are the issues as we build a Bridge to 2020

A man sits next to a skateboard while reading a laptop.

The Bridge to 2020: A Look Back, A Look Ahead event is scheduled to take place on Monday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. in Federation Hall.

Beginning in 2020, the new Strategic Plan will determine Waterloo’s strategic directions for the next five years. The Bridge to 2020: A Look Back, A Look Ahead serves as a link between the evidence-gathering and consultation phases of the strategic planning process. 

University leadership, including the president, provost and deans, identified issues of strategic importance to the University that required evidence, and input from the University community and selected advisory groups made up of representatives from Faculties, relevant academic support units, and student representatives to develop seven issue papers. The groups began meeting in December 2017 and January 2018, and concluded their work in May 2018.

Representatives from the advisory groups will be on hand to deliver short presentations about their theme areas and answer questions from community members at a series of breakout stations set up at Federation Hall.

Getting informed about the themes covered in the issue papers is the first step toward making a meaningful contribution during the consultation phase of the strategic planning exercise. The executive summaries of the issue papers are available as follows:

Keep checking the website for updates to the issue papers and use the feedback boxes to share your thoughts.

At the event, President Feridun Hamdullahpur will give an overview presentation of the progress made on the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan goes and offer his vision for what is coming next for the University.

Attendees will have an opportunity to celebrate the University community's progress on the current plan’s goals and review and provide feedback on the seven issues papers that highlight strategic issues facing the University beyond 2018.

The event takes place at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 18.

The presentation portion of the event will be livestreamed, but to get the most of it you should really be there in person and engage with your colleagues in a dialogue about the University's future.

Register today!

Employees invited to compensation information sessions

On June 5, 2018, the Board of Governors approved the recommendation from the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation (PACSC) for the Staff salary agreement covering the May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2021 3-year period. View the agreement on the Human Resources website.

HR will be hosting a Compensation Information Session on June 25 and 27 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in EC5-1111. Employees are invited to learn more about the details of the agreement and ask any related questions.

Please visit the HR events page to register for an information session.

Room relocations continue

As the cleanup from last week's fires continue, classes are being relocated.

Please consult the list on the Registrar's Office website for the latest updates.

Instructors and departments are being asked to notify their students, and signs will be added to the STC classrooms directing students to the temporary location.

Link of the day

20 years ago: The Truman Show

When and where 

Bike Month, Friday, June 1 to Saturday, June 30, across campus.

Coping Skills Seminar - Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, June 11, 5:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Spring 2018 Convocation, Tuesday, June 12 to Saturday, June 16, Physical Activities Complex.

University Club Spring Convocation Luncheon, Tuesday, June 12 to Saturday, June 16, 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., University Club.

Grammar studio series: Workshop 3, Tuesday, June 12, 10:00 a.m.

Challenge Yourself: International Co-op, Tuesday, June 12, 12:30 p.m., TC 1208.

Exploring Your Personality Type, Tuesday, June 12, 1:30 p.m., TC 1112.

Deep homogeneous mixture models: Representation, separation, and approximation, featuring Priyank Jaini, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Tuesday, June 12, 3:00 p.m., DC 2306C.

Discover Your Career Values (for employees only), Wednesday, June 13, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., TC2218. 

Faculty of Science Convocation Awards luncheon, Wednesday, June 13, 12:00 p.m., University Club.

WaterTalk Lecture Series - "Decoding the Secrets of Carbon Preservation in Peatlands along a Boreal to Tropical Gradient from Minnesota to Peru", Wednesday, June 13, 2:00 p.m., QNC 0101.

Coping Skills Seminar - Strengthening Motivation, Wednesday, June 13, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302.

Nukes and the Nobel: A Conversation with Setsuko ThurlowWednesday, June 13, 7:30 p.m., reception at 6:45 p.m. in Atrium, Conrad Grebel University College Great Hall.

Velocity Start: Do People Want Your Sh*t?, “Learn about topics related to market validation,” Wednesday, June 13, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

Grammar studio series: Workshop 4, Thursday, June 14, 10:00 a.m.

ROM Daytime: Transforming Space: Can Architecture Come Alive?, Speaker: Philip Beesley, School of Architecture, Thursday, June 14, 11:00 a.m., Royal Ontario Museum.

Design and deliver I: Presentation Essentials, Thursday, June 14, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

How to be an Exceptional Employee, Thursday, June 14, 1:30 p.m., TC 1208. 

The Quantum Valley Investments® Problem Pitch Competition, Thursday, June 14, 7:00 p.m., AL 105.

Matthews Golf Classic, Monday, June 18, Grand Valley Golf Course, Cambridge.

Bridge to 2020: A Look Back, A Look Ahead, Monday, June 18, 10:00 a.m., Federation Hall. Register today!

WaterTalk Lecture Series - "Modelling River Basins as Coupled Human and Natural Systems”, June 18, 4:00 p.m., DC 1302.

University Senate meeting, Monday, June 18, 3:30 p.m., NH 3407.

Hallman Lecture featuring CBC broadcaster Scott Russell, “Building a Stronger Canada through Values-based Sport,” Tuesday, June 19, 7:00 p.m., AHS 1689.

Velocity Fund $5K and $25K applications close, “Today’s Velocity Fund winners, tomorrow’s innovative companies,” Tuesday, June 19, 11:59 p.m.

Velocity Start: How To Find Your Customers Online, “Conduct online market research,” Wednesday, June 20, 7:30 p.m., Velocity Start, SCH 2nd Floor.

LGBTQ+ Making Spaces workshop, Wednesday, June 20, 9:00 a.m., STC 2002

Inaugural Wes Graham Research Symposium & Computer Science Awards, A celebration of Wes Graham’s legacy through the establishment of fellowships, Thursday, June 21, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Free three-day programming workshop for beginners, Friday, June 22, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 24 at 5:00 p.m. Applications close June 3, 2018.

Toronto Pride Parade, Sunday, June 24, 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

NEW - Compensation information session, Monday, June 25, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EC5 1111.

WISE Public Lecture: Health Impacts of Climate Change and Climate Policy, Tuesday, June 26, 10:30 a.m., DC 1304.

NEW – Compensation information session, Wednesday, June 27, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., EC5 1111.