Greetings from Grebel
This year, we’re marking Grebel’s 60th anniversary! We’ve already enjoyed celebrating with you, our enthusiastic community of supporters, and we look forward to more events on the horizon.
At these occasions, I’ve enjoyed hearing stories that might sound familiar to you – of pivotal conversations around the dinner table, of inspirational professors chatting after class, and of memorable antics like throwing new presidents into the pond at the September retreat (which I was privileged to experience firsthand). But what has inspired me the most is hearing about how Grebel has impacted so many of you. I’ve heard comments like:
“Grebel gave me life-long friendships, social skills, and broadened my perspectives.”
“Grebel has been my inspiration, motivation, and support.”
“Grebel became an emotional, physical, and spiritual home.”
“Grebel’s faculty set my career direction. I owe them all that."
Many alumni remember Community Supper, a tradition that continues to this day. This hour of fellowship and connection regularly reveals how Grebel’s programs enrich the student experience. You would be amazed to learn about the wide range of subjects our students are studying, and to hear about their dreams for the future. One week I might have a conversation about the connections between math and music with a computer science student who is enrolled in one of our instrumental ensembles. The next week I could be chatting with Peace and Conflict Studies students who are eager to create a start-up in the Grebel Peace Incubator. Or I might find myself in a deep theological discussion with an aspiring church leader.
Back in 1963, Grebel’s first president, J. Winfield Fretz, imagined a Mennonite college that would serve and teach people from all walks of life, as a partner of the University of Waterloo. I think we’ve lived into that founding vision wonderfully over the past sixty years, and it continues to shape our future.
I suspect that Winfield would be impressed with how Grebel has evolved and the impact it has had on so many people. Growing from a handful of courses, we now teach more than 3200 individual undergraduate students each year, and an additional 65 graduate students. When the residence opened in 1964, it had 106 beds. Today Grebel houses 172 students in the residence and apartments, and connects with dozens of off-campus associates too.
Another, less positive change over the past sixty years is the erosion of the Ontario government’s financial support for universities. This has driven up the cost of being a student in Ontario, and has also challenged universities and colleges with shrinking resources. In the past five years, funding from government-controlled sources has decreased by 31 percent. Universities and colleges across the province are grappling with tight finances, and Grebel is no exception.
Please consider a gift to the annual Grebel Fund. With your support, we can continue to provide transformative student experiences, and continue to provide over half a million dollars in scholarships and bursaries for our students. Your donation helps give a new generation of Grebel students the opportunity to be leaders, dreamers, musicians, questioners, peacebuilders, researchers, and scholars.
Marcus Shantz, President
Make a credit card donation on Grebel's pledge page. Simply select the fund at Grebel you wish to support and fill in your details. Your receipt for online donations will come from the University of Waterloo. Thanks!
Make your donation
- Online donations can be designated to Grebel through the University of Waterloo (please select Conrad Grebel University College in the drop-down menu).
- E-transfers can be made at email@example.com Please send a separate email to Alison Enns to notify her of your gift with the date and amount.
- Donations should be made payable to:
Conrad Grebel University College, 140 Westmount Road North,
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G6
In the 1960s, university tuition in Ontario was around $400, residence fees at Grebel were $395, and a student could earn almost $730 working at minimum wage for the summer. Today, students graduate with an average debt load of almost $30,000.