The Graduate House watches over the open construction site that would become the Douglas Wright Engineering building.

The University of Waterloo has spent the last year celebrating 60 years of innovation. From public lectures to panel discussions, branded merchandise and banners on buildings, there have been many opportunities to celebrate the University's 60th Anniversary.

Institutional celebrations were complemented by a number of milestone events within the faculties, academic support units, and faculty, student and alumni groups. 

The Faculty of Engineering's 60th anniversary coincided with the University's 60th as did Co-operative Education and Career Action and the University of Waterloo's Faculty Association, and the Faculty of Mathematics, the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and the Federation of Students each celebrated 50 years. The Hong Kong Alumni Association celebrated 40 years this year, and the Institute for Quantum Computing marked 15 years. The School of Pharmacy welcomed its 10th incoming class. The University of Waterloo's Stratford Campus held its 5-year anniversary in 2017 as well.

So what happened in the first three months of our anniversary year? Here's a non-exhaustive, but hopefully comprehensive, overview of the celebrations, events, and happenings that helped the University mark 60 years of innovation:

Edward Snowden speaks via videoconference at the inaugural Beyond 60 lecture.

The official kick-off to the University's diamond jubilee celebration was the Beyond 60: University of Waterloo 60th Anniversary Lecture on Monday, January 9 featuring keynote speakers Edward Snowden, Kate Darling of MIT, and Waterloo professors Heather Douglas, Dana Kulic, and Michele Mosca. Snowden, who spoke by video conference, spoke about the relationship between technology and governing a free society, providing examples in several countries, including Canada, where government authorities have collected large amounts of private data and metadata on people, including innocent people who had done nothing wrong. "Privacy is the fountainhead of all rights," Snowden said. "If we are going to have individual rights we have to protect them for everyone."

Participants in a Mathematics 50th anniversary panel laugh together.The Faculty of Mathematics entered its 50th anniversary year with gusto, hosting a lively panel discussion on on January 18 that featured past alumni discussing their stories of the Faculty's early years, as well as displays of the computing technology of yesteryear. The panel, chaired by Steve Brown, included Donald CowanBev MarshmanPaul SchellenbergRon DunkleyIan McGeeand Jerry Lawless, all who were present during the early years of the Faculty as staff or students.

Hot on the heels of the first Beyond 60 lecture was the 60thAnniversary Alumni reception in Vancouver on January 19 that saw 150 alumni, students, and partners gather at the Telus World of Science in Vancouver. The event, hosted by President Feridun Hamdullahpur and Vice-President, Advancement Joanne Shoveller, included an exclusive sneak peek at the grand opening of IQC's QUANTUM: The Exhibition. 

The opening of the Hagey Hub.The Faculty of Arts celebrated the official opening of the Hagey Hall Hub on February 10with a reception that welcomed relatives of the University's Charter Board of Governors who rallied together as donors to name the main floor in honour of the visionaries who joined Gerry Hagey in 1955 to plant the seeds that grew to become Canada's most innovative university. The main floor of the Hub is now known as Founder's Hall.

In March, the Beyond 60 Community Lecture Serieslaunched in partnership with the Kitchener Public Library with a discussion on the truth about fake news that featured a panel of Waterloo professors, moderated by Douglas Peers, that included Robert DanischAnna Esselment and David DeVidi, all who discussed the topic from their disciplines of speech communication, political science and philosophy.