Then and Now

Looking to our past to inspire our future

The origins of the University of Waterloo are genuinely inspiring. An institution founded by its local community has grown over the past 65 years to become a globally recognized driver of innovation and impact. Together, our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community have driven Waterloo’s rich history and helped to shape its future. This issue will undoubtedly stir up nostalgia as you return to campus through photography and stories. 

Waterloo’s founders defied tradition by integrating academic and research excellence with work-integrated learning. In our rapidly changing world, we continue to honour this legacy by seeking new ways to be unconventional. To evolve and become an institution fit for the future, we must address inequities and challenges in the constantly changing educational and global landscapes. We continue to work towards maintaining excellence in its historic areas of strength while delivering on new directions and solutions desperately needed for humanity’s future. 

The cover of the Spring 2023 Waterloo Magazine featuring an illustration of people on the University campus

Michael Byers illustrated this issue of the Waterloo Magazine.

In these pages, you’ll find some inspiring stories of our students and alumni making a difference in their communities. One of my favourite pieces is Ken McLaughlin’s (BA ’65) story highlighting the Waterloo campus’ evolution over the past 65 years. McLaughlin has dedicated many years to documenting and preserving Waterloo’s history through published books, articles, and interviews. His work has been invaluable in helping me understand the wonderful history of this institution.

While we celebrate our successes, we need to be prepared to take risks and learn from our mistakes. This will ensure we continue to have a bright and impactful role for our communities.

Vivek Goel speaking with colleagues

Over the past 18 months, we have been undertaking an exciting long-term visioning exercise titled Waterloo at 100. We’ve heard from our community through consultations and feedback about their ideas and aspirations for what the University of Waterloo will become by its 100th anniversary in 2057. Being innovative means considering our past as we set our sights on the future. Waterloo at 100 will help guide us into the future, so that we can continue to positively impact our communities and beyond.

Dr. Vivek Goel, CM
President and Vice-Chancellor