As Waterloo's 60th anniversary reached its midpoint, the temperature was definitely rising throughout the summer, with celebrations continuing across campus.
The 2017 Spring Convocation ceremonies featured a special 60thConvocation Lecture delivered by Roberta Jamieson, lawyer and First Nations activist, whose remarks were entitled “Education and Reconciliation, the Path to Canada’s Future”.
Things really began to warm up as the countdown to the annual Canada Day celebrations continued. How best to beat the heat? The University of Waterloo Staff Association had some thoughts on that as the UWSA brought the Heavenly Dreams Ice Cream Truck to campus, where it travelled around giving out smiles. And also ice cream.
On Friday, June 29, during the 2017 Canadian Association of Optometrists Congress, the School of Optometry and Vision Science announced the recipients of the 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni of Honour Awards in front of over 500 practitioners from across the country. Recipients were selected based on their outstanding leadership, advocacy, and contributions to their communities and to the profession.
Canada Day took on a special significance in 2017 as more than 65,000 people we celebrated a milestone year for country and community. As the nation celebrated the 150th anniversary of confederation, the University continued to celebrate its 60thanniversary, alongside the Federation of Students' 50 years.
Highlights of the day included the Canada Day salute, featuring a flyover of two vintage fighter jets, and a new Canada 150 Cultural stage in partnership with the City of Waterloo. Families enjoyed children’s performers Bobs & Lolo and as the crowds grew, Dwanye Gretzky and Canadian rock icon Tom Cochrane with Red Rider performed on the OpenText stage. The evening was capped off by the most spectacular fireworks display to date that lit up the sky over Columbia Lake.
July 2017 marked 60 years since the first cohort of 74 Engineering students filed into their stifling hot tin-roofed temporary buildings at the Waterloo College Associate Faculties to begin their studies. One of those pioneering students, Paul Koch, penned a recollection of those early days.
Also in July, the Library unveiled its UW@60 exhibit in the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room, showing off a collection of artifacts including President Gerry Hagey's academic robes, a school jacket from a 1965 graduate, and an early chemist’s bottle from the School of Pharmacy, as well as many photos taken over the past 60 years.
On July 25, the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies celebrated its 50th anniversary with an outdoor pop-up movie night featuring a screening of the 1986 leisure-centred film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Summer quickly gave way to fall, with a number of events receiving a special anniversary twist.
Doors Open Waterloo Region held its 15th annual Free Talk on Saturday, September 16 and invited the whole community to join in to hear Ken McLaughlin, distinguished professor emeritus and the University of Waterloo’s official historian, tell the story of the development of the 1,000-acre campus, and its impact in Waterloo and beyond in a lecture entitled "60 Years at Waterloo: Perspectives of a University from a Corn Field to Architectural Traditions,". In addition, the Library's Special Collections & Archives opened up as part of Doors Open Waterloo Region for a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility and an overview of its more than 300 collections.
Later that month was also Reunion 2017, where 4,600 alumni had a unique opportunity to return to campus and celebrate the 60th on Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30, reliving their fondest memories while making new ones. A special 60thAnniversary Reunion Concert featured Indigenous sound crew A Tribe Called Red performing in the PAC.