60 Years of facts

Waterloo has achieved great things

This is just the beginning. Take a step back in time with us and look at some historic moments at Waterloo.

2017 is a year of milestones

Thank you for joining us in celebrating how far we have come as an institution. 

60 years for our founding Faculty of Engineering and Co-operative Education program; 50 years for North America’s only Faculty of Mathematics; since Waterloo became home to Canada’s only English-language School of Optometry; since we turned our attention to improving health with the world’s first Department of Kinesiology — the foundation of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences; and since our Federation of Students was formed; and 40 years since Waterloo founded its Hong Kong Alumni Association.

Take a moment to look back on our firsts, the progress we've made, and some of our key accomplishments over the years:

exterior of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering building

Waterloos first building, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, is completed in December 1958.

student on co-op

The first co-op program outside of engineering is established in the Department of Physics in 1962.

Arts student shaking professor's hand

In 1975, the first Arts co-op stream begins for Economics students, demonstrating the value of co-operative education in all fields.

man writing on a white board

In 2000, En-hui Yang, electrical and computer engineering, created a new compression algorithms that millions of people use to decompress file with no loss of data.

exterior of School of Pharmacy

Canadas only pharmacy co-op program the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Campus opens in downtown Kitchener in 2006.

exterior of Tatham Centre

In 2003, the William M. Tatham Centre for Cooperative Education and Career Services opens, the largest building dedicated to co-operative services at a Canadian university.

John Thompson

In 2004, Biologist John Thompson discovered gene eIF5A a death switch in plants and animals that determines whether cells live or die which also enhances crop yields and combat cancer and other diseases.

people in front of Innovation fund banner and Waterloo banner

In 2007, the largest amount awarded to any Canadian university,the Canadian Foundation for Innovation announces a $33M grant to the University of Waterloo.

students holding up a St. Paul's Greenhouse sign

The first and only live-in campus-linked accelerator in Canada St. Pauls GreenHouse Social Impact Incubator, established in 2013.

Justin Trudeau walking down the stairs of the Science Teaching Complex

University of Waterloo has a $2.6 billion per year economic impact in Ontario according to a 2013 Economic Impact Report.

students at Velocity Garage

Startups launched by Waterloo researchers, students and alumni: BlackBerry, Clearpath Robotics, D2L, Kik Interactive, Maplesoft, MappedIn, OpenText, Vidyard

students at convocation

Today, Waterloo has 31,380 undergraduate, 5,290 graduate students compared to 74 students when the university opened in 1957.