January 2017

From its founding in 1957, the University of Waterloo has defied convention, breaking new ground, crossing old boundaries and challenging the status quo. Our 60th anniversary has been an opportunity to celebrate the stories that have shaped us, and to paint a vision of a bright future yet to come.

Some final thoughts on the 60th anniversary

Historical photo of person drinking from the beer tower

A look back at the 60th Anniversary, Part Four

Students working on computer, historical

A look back at the 60th anniversary, Part Three

People dressed in Canadian flags on stilts

As Waterloo's 60th anniversary reached its midpoint, the temperature was definitely rising throughout the summer, with celebrations continuing across campus. 

A look back at the 60th anniversary, Part Two

Students standing with donation cans

As the University's 60th Anniversary celebrations continued through the dead of winter and into spring, a number of events took place across campus commemorating sixty years of innovation.

A look back at the 60th anniversary, Part One

Speaker on stage

Inaugural President’s Community Impact Award winners named

David Marskell of THEMUSEUM, Mary Jane Patterson, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Idrisa Pandit, and Sally Gunz.

David Marskell of THEMUSEUM, Mary Jane Patterson, President Feridun Hamdullahpur, Idrisa Pandit, and Sally Gunz.

Gala celebrated sixty years of innovation

President Hamdullahpur at gala

A gala event hosted by President Feridun Hamdullahpur celebrated the outstanding alumni, partners, students, faculty and staff who have invested in the University of Waterloo's past, present and future.

Beautiful U: Waterloo: A Series in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary

Wendy Fletcher's Beautiful U: Waterloo

The paintings in this series are a collection of 11 canvases done in oil and acrylic with glass, charcoal, gold leaf and calligraphy ink: one canvas which gathers all of the branding colours of the University, one for each of the 6 faculties and one each- to be hung as a collective-- for the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo.

Life as one of UWaterloo’s First Civil Engineers

old Waterloo handbook

I grew up in Hamilton Ontario and at the age of six, my mother and I, the oldest child, were advised by two army officers, who visited our home, that my father was killed overseas in the war, on February 15, 1945.

This was a very emotional time for my family, especially for my mother who was already working hard to support us. With my dad out of the picture I knew that I would not be able to go to university, as we had limited funds. So I decided at the time, that I would go to high school to become a draftsman.

60 years of co-op at Waterloo

Department of Co-ordination and Career Services, now known as Co-operative Education & Career Action, in early 70's

What does 60 years of co-op look like at the University of Waterloo?

Reflections on the history of the School of Optometry and Vision Science

School of Optometry exam

In the early sixties, the College of Optometry of Ontario, Canada’s only English speaking Optometry program, was held in only two modest buildings at 138 and 140 St George Street, in the heart of Toronto.The reality was that the St. George Street buildings were bursting at the seams as 4 years of an optometry program within a space measuring only 15,600 square ft. Back then, the full-time faculty only included three; Dean Ted Fisher, Walwyn Long, and Clair Bobier. Later joined by William Lyle, the first of the faculty to have a PhD.

History of Computing at Waterloo

Man using the IBM 360

The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science is one of Waterloo’s greatest advancements and this year marks its 50th year of innovation and change to the world. What started with the construction of a new building, also jump started a new faculty and a positive change to the world; one that was unexpected by academics like Don Cowan, Wes Graham and many more. This contribution has sparked a ripple effect of success throughout the past 50 years, and will definitely continue in the years to come.

Darcy Higgins reflects how the University's green initiatives inspired his current venture

Darcy Higgins and Lisa Kates

Back when Canada’s Confederation had reached 100, and the University of Waterloo was just 10, a student government on campus formed which later became the Federation of Students or FEDS. I had the pleasure of attending its 50th anniversary a couple months ago, re-connecting with the campus where I’d learned so much. At the 40th Anniversary of FEDS, I had just been elected its VP Internal, allowing me to put my four years being involved in campus to good use.

I scream, you scream, UWSA screams for ice cream

staff members with ice cream from UWSA Ice Cream Day

On June 28th, 2017, everyone was smiling as the University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA). In celebration of the University of Waterloo’s 6oth anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday, the UWSA brought the Heavenly Dreams Ice Cream Truck to campus, where it travelled around giving out smiles.

UW Canada D’eh: As Canadian as Canadian gets


Thirty years ago, I arrived at UW’s campus an eager undergrad with a bad perm. My 80s hair and I were soon swept up in the excitement and energy of the campus – not only the academics but also student life, including a role helping to plan the (then much smaller) Canada Day celebrations for the Federation of Students.

Becoming a UWaterloo engineer – A reflection on 60 years and a look to the future

Class of 1963

In 1957, we took our first classes in prefabs erected at what was Waterloo College on Albert Street. That fall we put the first Engineering float in the Waterloo College Homecoming Parade – a model of the planet with the moon and the just launched first Russian sputnik floating over head. From that humble beginning, the UWaterloo Engineering program has been successful beyond the wildest dreams of its founders.  The curriculum and approach to engineering education has changed dramatically and will continue to do so. 

Inspiration through Innovation

Karen Scian

I didn’t plan on staying in Waterloo after graduation.

It was a four-year plan, in and out, get the degree, then back home to Saskatoon.

But, as we all know, life likes to derail the best laid plans.

I liked it in Waterloo. I liked it so much that I raised a family, built a career, became a community advocate, launched a political career, started a business … I think I’m staying.

Mathematics naming celebration recognizes Professor Tutte’s achievements

Stephen Watt naming ceremony

The humble mathematician who changed the course of a war and helped to build the reputation of a fledging university, is recognized

Retirees reflect the old and new during 60th tour

opening remarks at Retiree tour

On April 20, the Retirees Association in partnership with University Relations, invited past alumni, staff and professors to a 60th tour on campus and a luncheon.

Waterloo launches Celebration 2017 Legacy Project

Celebration 2017 hangouts

On April 11, 2017, the University of Waterloo officially launched their Celebration 2017 Legacy Project at the Bombshelter Pub. Staff, students and professors were invited to kick-off the celebrations and encouraged to leave their legacy by participating in the design competition.

Along with the other celebratory events to mark both the University’s 60th anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday, Waterloo unveiled a legacy project for student teams to re-design a creative student space in the Arts Quad — and win $10,000 cash if their final design is chosen. 

Arts professors present real facts on fake news for Beyond 60 lecture

David DeVidi presenting fake new presentation

In partnership with the Kitchener Public Library and part of the Beyond 60 Community Lecture Series, three professors from three Faculty of Arts disciplines spoke the truth about fake news in a panel discussion and Q&A on March 16th, 2017. Over 200 community members gathered at the Kitchener Public Library to hear the three panelists discuss reasons why lies are creeping into platforms of public discourse, and the phenomena of fake news in our society.

Growing up Waterloo

Cynthia's family wearing Waterloo sweaters

I was born a Warrior.  For math alumni, it means in a sample size of 36 family members, 42% of my extended family and 100% of my immediate family are Waterloo alumni.  For AHS alumni, it means I am unstoppable. 

Student video explores how far we've come — and where we'll go

screenshot of opening scene of video

In this video, two current undergraduate co-op students — Noma Abdulrahem and Laryssa Li —share their vision of how the University has grown, and what the future might hold for Waterloo.

From 74 engineering students in 1957 to more than 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students in six Faculties today, the University of Waterloo has undergone — and inspired — dramatic change over its first six decades. Just imagine what the next 60 years will bring.


Equity focus will shape Waterloo's next 60 years

Co-op student Mackenzie Snape is a co-op student in University Relations

As the University of Waterloo marks its milestone 60th year, we can look back on the many advances made in its short time as an institution.

You don’t have to look far to see the advances the University is making in fields including artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles, just to name a few. While these technological advances often take centre stage, Waterloo is making changes just as important in gender equality and inclusivity.

Waterloo, then and now

Photo of Davis Centre from 1988 in front of Davis Centre in 2017

For 60 years, the University of Waterloo has inspired new generations of students and new waves of innovation and discovery. At the heart of it all is a dynamic, constantly changing campus.

After seeing archival photos of landmark University sites, our co-op team was inspired to re-shoot those historic images against a modern-day backdrop. Watch for more then-and-now photos, or submit your own on social media at #UWaterloo60.

Tap into student innovation to build a better campus

Zoey Hu is a second-year student in the Arts and Business program.

The University of Waterloo has spent its first six decades constructing academic success, developing innovative technology and strengthening the student community. As a student at the university, I can’t wait to find out what the next 60 years hold for us.

With advanced technology, fast-growing startups and strong collaboration between Faculties, the University of Waterloo is on its way to becoming one of the most well-known universities in the world. 

Predictions from an Arts student in a tech-driven world

Nicole Bennett is a second-year student in the Honours English Rhetoric, Media and Professional Communications program.

Attending University of Waterloo – rightfully dubbed a tech school – as an Arts student is an interesting experience. Waterloo’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and arts programs have very distinct cultures. But what I have begun to experience within my own program, and what I hope to see in other programs, is an interdisciplinary culture that connects the strengths and expertise of multiple faculties.

Arts celebrates the official opening of Hagey Hub

aerial view of the crowd at the Hagey Hub official opening

The Hub has been open to students (and everyone) since the fall, but February 10, 2017, marked the formal opening to honour the many people who contributed to this important priority project to enhance the don-campus experience of Arts students. The grand opening was also a perfect opportunity to honour UWaterloo's founders and celebrate our 60th anniversary. 

Waterloo and the Order of Ontario

Waterloo is celebrating 60 years of innovation in 2017, which is also the 150th anniversary of Canada and Ontario. An important part of that shared history is the Order of Ontario, marking its 30th anniversary as the province’s highest honour.  Over three decades, it has defined a community of excellence and innovation that has helped the province grow and thrive.

Waterloo luminaries figure among members of the Order, including two graduates, one faculty member and one past chancellor

Math alumni celebrate Faculty's first 50 years

50th panelists on stage

As the Faculty of Mathematics begins its 50th anniversary celebration, alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends were invited to a kick-off lunch and discussion panel on January 18, 2017.

On January 1, 1967, the University of Waterloo became the first university in North America to have a stand-alone Faculty of Mathematics, as what was once a department in the Faculty of Arts grew in size and reputation. Since that time, Mathematics has welcomed more than 80,000 students from 80 different countries. 

Feds is turning 50

Students inside the SLC in the late 1960's

To mark its 50th anniversary, Waterloo’s Federation of Students is taking the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments that this student union has achieved over its half-century history.

From controversial student referendums to heated sit-ins, tense board meetings to lively special events and concerts, Feds has seen its share of noteworthy moments since its incorporation on April 27, 1967.

Celebrating the Waterloo of the future in Vancouver

digital screens with 60th anniversary logo

As part of the kick-off celebrations for the University of Waterloo’s 60th anniversary year, President and Vice-Chancellor, Feridun Hamdullahpur, was honoured to celebrate 60 years of innovation with 150 alumni, students, and partners in Vancouver on Thursday, January 19, 2017.

Tina Roberts shares her passion for supporting Waterloo

Alumnus, staff member and donor, Tina Roberts, shares her passion for supporting Waterloo