As exceptionally generous long-time philanthropists, Tom and Toby Jenkins are deeply proud of their connection to the University of Waterloo and its reputation for turning theory into action.
For Tom, (LLD ’13 Honorary) chair of Open Text Corporation and chancellor of the University of Waterloo, it’s much more than a personal connection —although admittedly that personal connection is pretty great. One of his fondest memories is walking through a cornfield with future Governor-General David Johnston, talking about establishing a research and technology park that would one day bear Johnston’s name.
Having been actively involved with the University for 30 years — as an entrepreneur spinning off companies based on local research and, most recently, as the University’s 10th chancellor — Tom is proud of the global impact and spirit of collaboration for which Waterloo is known. He has been actively involved in various fundraising efforts, helped establish the Stratford campus and the R&T Park, and has taken part in dozens of conferences involving the University and national and international audiences.
“The University is a very unique place in the world where great science and practical application come together in a wonderful way,” Tom says.
Toby (BES ’82), CEO of Integra 3D Research and Columbia Developments Inc., has also been an active University of Waterloo promoter. For more than three decades, she has honed a strong relationship with the University, first as a student in urban planning, as a banker who funded growing technology companies, and later as an avid supporter of research into applied health.
In 2006, Toby developed a multi-tenant professional-services building in the R&T Park. In 2012, she and her husband gifted the building to the University. Since then it has provided much-needed space for the growing Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, integrating research and community programs in diverse disciplines to develop innovative health interventions.
To honour this act of generosity, the building has been renamed the Toby Jenkins Applied Health Research Building — and to this day, opening the building with her family, friends and colleagues in attendance is among Toby’s proudest moments.
Together, Tom and Toby have supported the University of Waterloo with contributions of more than $24 million, including a $1 million pledge toward the David Johnston International Experience Awards in 2010 and $1 million to kick off the development and growth of the Stratford Institute.
Read more about the Transformers who helped build Waterloo