A partner in learning and research: Giving Tuesday matching donor helps the Library support students

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Don Cowan (MSc ’61, PhD ’65), distinguished Professor Emeritus and Director of the Computer Systems Group at the University of Waterloo, has spent his entire career supporting students and continues to look for ways to do so. 

Don CowanAs a long-time University of Waterloo community member, Dr. Cowan knows firsthand how important the Library is to the success of a student’s experience. This Giving Tuesday, he is matching donations to the University of Waterloo Library Fund.  

“Supporting the Library has always been important to me. This year I have chosen to match gifts to the Library on Giving Tuesday to inspire others and share the joy of giving. The Library is the place I’ve returned to many times over and I want to help ensure its continued success in supporting our excellent students.” 

Don is one of the earliest pioneers of computer science at Waterloo. After completing multiple degrees at the University of Toronto and University of Waterloo, he began his teaching career at Waterloo in the 1960s and was appointed Founding Chair of the Computer Science Department. Dr. Cowan was a critical part of the team that developed hardware and software that supported computer science education, and the early projects he was involved with underpin the systems that support computer-based learning to this day.   

Responsible for major research projects, supervision, and educating and engaging young people, Don’s mark on the University and its students is immeasurable. Beyond campus Don has also had significant impact, supporting and working with many companies developing new technologies, and remains actively involved in the region and on campus today. 

 The University of Waterloo Library Fund 

This versatile fund supports programs to equip students with key information navigation and assessment skills while providing a place for community and learning, online or in person. Services, resources and programs supported with gifts to this fund prepare students to lead and thrive in our complex information age.  

Recent projects funded through donor support to the University of Waterloo Library Fund include an update to the first floor of Dana Porter to include more space for visual scholarship and comfortable space for student use and an oral history pilot project to document lived experiences of Waterloo campus community members, providing experiential learning opportunities to students.  

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