Fill the table logoA central feature of the Grebel experience is communal dining around tables at meals, community supper, snack nights and end of term banquet. Part of Grebel’s culture is to ‘Fill the Table,’ where everyone is  encouraged to welcome anyone at their table.

Having room at the table is key for building community. Apart from a smaller renovation in 1991, the kitchen and dining room has not been updated since the College was first built in 1964. As Grebel’s academic and residence programs continue to grow, it was crucial that we expand and enhance our kitchen and dining room facilities. 


See the plans

Moriyama & Teshima Architects (MTA) was selected as the feasibility study proponent, with Grebel alumni Brian Rudy (BES‘89, BARCH’93) as the project lead. MTA has also been selected to do the final design work and tendering.

To keep up with our progress, read our weekly construction news.


Donor Open House

fill the table logo on a wall

donors talking in a group

staff explaining

cookies on a table


Group photo

kitchenette in the background

Virtual Ribbon Cutting

invitation to the virtual ribbon cutting

After two years of construction, a global pandemic, and a decade of dreaming and planning, Grebel's new kitchen and renovated dining room are complete! More than 1000 generous donors and alumni contributed to making this project a success, generously giving more than $4.2m to the Fill the Table capital campaign.
We invited you to virtually celebrate this milestone with us on Tuesday, June 29, at 4:30pm. This Virtual Ribbon Cutting included greetings, a blessing, and a video tour that features all our new spaces.

Nunsense: The Musical 

A group of actresses dressed as nuns sing on stage with props like viking horns, a model airplane, and traveling gear.

Between February 21-24, the Great Hall was transformed into "Mt. St. Helens school auditorium" and played host to the lil' Sisters of Hoboken for five shows of sing-song comedy and fundraising! Nunsense: The Musical was presented by Aha Productions and Grebel as a special staff-initiated fundraising event for Fill the Table. The sold out shows raised over $8500 in funds towards the campaign, which will help with the purchase of updated equipment for the kitchen and pantry spaces.  We are pleased by the support from students, alumni, parents, and friends of Grebel in making this event a success! "Nunsense" was presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company. 

The cast of Nunsense

A nun sings on stage with a musician in the foreground

The cast of Nunsense holds flowers and are thanked by president Marcus Shantz


Ground Breaking

News Release provides more details on the project. We broke ground for this exciting project on April 23. The video has highlights from this event. 

It was so exciting to share our plans with you!
Read through our campaign launch booklet. (PDF)

Make a gift

Help us to exceed our minimum goal of $4 milllion.

You can join this campaign by making an online gift by using your credit card and clicking 'donate now' below; simply select 'Fill the Table Campaign' as the designation. Your receipt for online donations will come from the University of Waterloo.  

Cheque donations should be made payable to:
Conrad Grebel University College,
140 Westmount Road North,
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G6

Campaign Advisory Group

Track our progress

“We are thrilled by the generous response from alumni, parents, and other supporters,” said Roger Kehl, who serves as Grebel’s Board representative on the Fill the Table Fundraising Advisory committee. 

As April 30, 2020, we eclipsed our minimum goal of $4m with over $4.2m in gifts and pledges!

A temporary display in the Atrium will list all donors to date, including “Table Donors” who in some cases have included groups of alumni or families. “It has been wonderful to see people come together in support of this project that is at the heart of the College community,” said Ruth Ann Shantz, a Grebel parent who has chaired the Fundraising Advisory.

More than 1100 donors have contributed so far. This includes 62 current parents and 137 former parents. Alumni have also been very supportive, with 385 households contributing. The donor count is swelled by 436 students who have contributed to the campaign as part of their ancillary residence fees.

“Apart from a small grant to put a green roof on the kitchen, we have not received government funding for this project. So it is critical to have the broader Grebel community come together to support this project,” noted President Marcus Shantz.

Further support will reduce our borrowing and help us include deferred items such as a fireplace, patio furnishings and equipment for the student 'Pantry'. 

If you are wondering what to give, we have several suggested gift levels to consider.  A "Tray Level" gift of $1,000 is a great way to participate in this 3 year campaign.  On the pledge page you can use your credit card to set up monthly donations ($28) or annual gifts of $334.  

You may also want to join together with friends or family to name a "Table". Donor FamilyFor example groups of alumni from all eras are banding together to fill tables! Esther Etchells ('67) has helped coordinate the “60’s Grebel Girls Gabfest” table with friends who have met annually since their time at Grebel. Similarly, Kate Taylor ('01) initiated the “Stuck in the 90s” table, Jason Booy ('08) and his husband David Engle started the “Queer Alumni” table, and Fred W. Martin ('87) brought together alumni from the infamous associate household at “Shaky Acres.”

The Winter Family from Leamington has had many members come to Grebel from different generations. They have collectively pledged over $6,000 for the “Winter/Lepp Family Table” and each contributor to this table will be recognized as part of this Table.

While we will not add plaques on various items, we plan to recognize our donors on a feature wall in the renovated space.

The campaign is over 3 years and pledges can be arranged to fit your needs.

Thank you to the many generous donors who have contributed to Fill the Table so far!

Check out the construction progress and see how donations are being put to work!  

pillar$15,00019 Pillars are named

The “pillar” level is symbolic of the 17 pillars that will be located along the window side of the dining room.

table$6,00058 Tables are named!

The “table” level is symbolic of the new capacity for 50 tables, seating up to 300 people in the dining room.

tray$1,000152 Trays have been 'picked up'

The “tray” level is symbolic of the 200 trays currently in circulation (when students aren't using them from 'traybogganing').

Donor Wall

Making Room for Building Community and Creating Hospitality

Grebel is planning to expand and enhance our kitchen and dining room! I enjoyed the opportunity to share the plans for this project with families at Taste of Grebel.

This project will significantly benefit the student experience here at Grebel by eliminating our community supper waitlist for off-campus associates and allowing our kitchen to accommodate a variety of dietary needs and restrictions. It will also include a “Pantry” for students to access for late night snack prep and will be a place for off-campus associates to store and make their lunches.

An element of the project that particularly excites me is the addition of an elevator to improve accessibility to the chapel.

One of many reasons our son Jon chose to live at Grebel was for its home cooked, all-you-can-eat meal plan and its profound culture around communal dining. To “fill the table” at Grebel is to welcome anyone at your table until it is full – meaning students of all faculties and backgrounds share three meals together daily. It only seems fitting that our fundraising campaign for this project is named after this unique Grebel tradition.

Making room at the table is key for building community and creating hospitality. As Grebel’s academic and residence programs continue to grow, it’s crucial that we expand and enhance our kitchen and dining room facilities. Plans for the project are well underway and we need your help in order to break ground in 2019.

I invite you to join me and my husband Rick, and make a gift to this important community-building project.

Ruth-Ann Shantz, Fundraising Advisory Chair and Grebel Parent

We Need Your Help to Expand and Enhance our Dining Room and Kitchen Facilities

Warm hospitality around the table has been close to the heart of the Grebel experience since the College opened in 1964. As a student here in the 1990’s, I grew to love Grebel’s “Fill the Table” custom. The idea was that we fill the empty seats in a table before starting a new one—ensuring that everyone gets to know each other, and that no one eats alone. When I recently returned as president, I was delighted to see that this practice had continued among students, staff, and faculty, continuing a culture of inclusivity and welcome. 

It’s crucial that we expand and improve our kitchen and dining room to make space for our growing community. Apart from a small renovation in 1991, these spaces have not been updated since the College was first built. In the meantime, the rest of the College has expanded. Grebel now has many more staff, students, faculty and guests than we did in 1964. 

The demand for more space is particularly evident at Community Supper and end-of-term banquets, when we often have waiting lists and cannot accommodate everyone in the College community who would like to attend. I like to think of Community Supper as Grebel’s “Sunday Morning”—a time when the entire community gathers to hear speakers, share announcements, have good conversation, and enjoy a delicious meal. It’s important to have room at the table for everyone for this experience. 

We are excited to have moved our designs for this building project to the point that we are planning to break ground this spring! As a privately owned university college, Grebel does not receive provincial or federal funding for capital projects. Revenues need to come from our own sources. Fundraising has gone well but we need your support to reach beyond our goal of $4 million. At this point we have gifts and pledges of $3.5 million but we need your help to raise the remaining $500,000 to reach our goal. 

We invite your help now to complete our campaign. Please consider a gift or a pledge over 3 years, and help us make space for community at Grebel.

Marcus Shantz, President

Mason's experience      Sneha's experience

Alumni Support

Contact us

Ruth Ann Shantz
Ruth-Ann Shantz
Fundraising Advisory Chair and Grebel Parent
Fred W. Martin
Fred W. Martin
Director of Advancement

Conrad Grebel logo