A surprise donation from Alumni Weekend

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Library’s Special Collections & Archives (SCA) curates not only rare books, archives and materials related to the University’s teaching and research programmes, but it also houses the University of Waterloo Archives, containing official correspondence, publications, photographs, memorabilia and more.

It is from this perspective that SCA is an active participant in Alumni Weekend every year; it is an opportunity to showcase Waterloo archival material and talk to alumni about their student experience. Many alumni who attend events wear their school jackets, with countless varieties in existence dating back to the 1960s.

At this year’s Black and Gold luncheon a chance meeting led to SCA’s latest acquisition in their Waterloo archive collection. Robert Judd, a student at Waterloo from 1957 to 1963, was at this year’s luncheon wearing a jacket from the Waterloo College and Associate Faculties.

The University of Waterloo started as a non-denominational Faculty of Science affiliated with Waterloo College (now Wilfrid Laurier University) in 1956, known formally as the Waterloo College and Associate Faculties (informally known as Associated Faculties). The first classes began in July 1957; Judd started with the second class in October 1957.

At that time, Judd adhered to a 40-hour weekly classroom schedule and participated in the brand-new co-op program. Classes were held in temporary portables located in the Waterloo College parking lot. He likely purchased the jacket in the spring of 1958 and wore it until a new grey school jacket became available around 1960.

Between 1957 and 1959, the Associate Faculties formally separated from Waterloo College to be re-established as the University of Waterloo with the passage of the University of Waterloo Act in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Back at the alumni luncheon, Robert stopped at the SCA booth where he encountered archivist Nicole Marcogliese, who was delighted to see such a rare and previously unknown piece of Waterloo history. Waterloo records from this early period are primarily administrative so this peek into an aspect of the student experience was an unexpected but exciting surprise.

Judd made the very generous and spontaneous decision to donate his jacket to the University of Waterloo Archives so many more people in the future can have a glimpse of Waterloo’s early history.

The front left-side of the jacket features a design printed in blue that includes the school’s name, “Waterloo College,” the Waterloo College coat of arms, and the Waterloo College motto “Veritas omnia vincit.” The back of the jacket features the word “Engineering” printed in blue lettering across the centre.

The front left-side of the jacket features a design printed in blue that includes the school’s name, “Waterloo College,” the Waterloo College coat of arms, and the Waterloo College motto “Veritas omnia vincit.”

The back of the jacket features the word “Engineering” printed in blue lettering across the centre.

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