Waterloo's 60th Anniversary Alumni Award Recipients 2017

Making a difference for the next generation

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

 Martin Luther King Jr.

Waterloo is recognized around the world for its accomplished alumni. With our 60th Anniversary Alumni Awards, we want to recognize a few who exemplify extraordinary University citizenship through volunteerism, mentorship, philanthropy and advocacy. These 12 people have kept the promise of Waterloo’s founders alive by investing in the next generation. Their disciplines are diverse: environmental studies, mathematics, philosophy, engineering, accounting and optometry. What unites them is their generosity and vision for a better future.

These alumni were celebrated at the President’s 60th Anniversary Gala in December 2017.

Chamath Palihapitiya and Brigette Lau

Chamath Palihapitiya, (BASc ’99), Founder and CEO, Social Capital

Brigette Lau, (BASc ’99), Co-founder and Partner, Social Capital

These entrepreneurs and philanthropists are using venture capital to create change on a global scale.

View Palihapitiya and Lau's extended profile

Marta Witer

Marta Witer, (OD ’79) Bloor West Optometry

Witer’s first year in residence felt like being part of an extended family — now she’s part of an even bigger family as a member of the University’s Board of Governors.

View Witer's extended profile


David McKay

David McKay, (BMath ’87), President and CEO, RBC

McKay leads one of the largest banks in Canada, but few know it all started with co-op — a program his company continues to support.

View McKay's extended profile

Ophelia Wai Fong Lazaridis

Ophelia Wai Fong Lazaridis, (BMath ’85), Director, Lazaridis Family Foundation

This alumnus elevates her community quietly, strategically and diligently, allowing the impact of her family’s generous gifts to make all the noise.  

View Wai Fong Lazaridis' extended profile


Robert Ewen

Robert Ewen, (BA ’71), National Bank Financial (retired)

This financial leader credits a love of philosophy for his business success, and continues to support the arts.

View Ewen's extended profile

Toby and Tom Jenkins

Toby Jenkins, (BES ’82) CEO, Integra 3D Research and Columbia Developments Inc.

Tom Jenkins, (LLD ’13 Honorary)  Chair, OpenText Corporation and Chancellor, University of Waterloo

Long-time philanthropists Tom and Toby Jenkins are deeply proud of the University’s spirit of collaboration and reputation for turning theory into action.

View the Jenkins' extended profile


Danny Ying

Danny Ying, (BMath ’80), Business Development Director, Rockwell Collins

A global champion for the University of Waterloo, Ying dedicates his time to recruiting and mentoring students from his base in Hong Kong.

View Ying's extended profile

Karen Wilkinson

Karen Wilkinson, (MAcc ’90), President, Karen Wilkinson Professional Corporation

Wilkinson is a strong believer in giving back, and is extensively involved with the University and regularly engages with faculty and students.

View Wilkinson's extended profile


Dr. John Albon Pollock

John Albon Pollock, (LLD ’07 Honorary) Founder, President and CEO, Blairtech Investments Ltd.

This well-known philanthropist and community leader is a keen supporter of higher education.

View Pollock's extended profile

Blair McArthur

Blair McArthur, (BASc ’85), President and CEO, Miller Group

This proud engineering alumnus continues to support Waterloo personally and through an enduring partnership with his company.

View McArthur's extended profile