Waterloo welcomes an Eagle Staff

On March 27, the University of Waterloo community came together to welcome an Eagle Staff to our institution. An Eagle Staff is an important element of the Indigenous relationship to Earth and those that have protected it. It reflects the wisdom, strength and honour of those that carry it in representing the Nations across Turtle Island. By introducing the Eagle Staff, the University honours the responsibility to take on Indigenous perspectives in the ways we teach, govern and behave as an institution. The Eagle Staff will be present at future Waterloo ceremonies and celebrations and will have a prominent place in convocation ceremonies. The Eagle Staff will be representative of the University’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit community members, as well as their traditions, cultures and strengths.

Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Elder Myeengun Henry and Vivek Goel

“It is my hope that the Staff will serve as an important symbol and reminder of the commitment we made to reconciliation and serve as inspiration for our University community today and for future generations.”

Vivek Goel, President and Vice Chancellor

Waterloo WELL-FIT celebrates 20 years

Two decades ago, University of Waterloo faculty members created a unique exercise program for people undergoing cancer treatment. UW WELL-FIT was inspired by successful cardiac exercise programs and trends among athletes with cancer. To date, the program has helped more than 2,000 people improve their fitness during cancer treatment and find support among others with similar experiences. Over time, UW WELL-FIT created a template for other exercise programs, including STEPS (for stroke survivors) and Brain and Body (for those experiencing early cognitive impairments).

Waterloo celebrations return to Asia

There are more than 238,000 Waterloo alumni living around the world, and some of our most active communities are on the other side of the globe. Winter 2023 marked a return to large-scale in-person events for Waterloo alumni living in Asia.

On February 20, 65 alumni in Indonesia gathered for an event with University of Waterloo President and Vice-Chancellor Vivek Goel. The following day, the new Singapore Alumni Chapter hosted their first in-person event, with Goel and more than 80 alumni in attendance. During his time in Singapore, Goel also attended the inaugural Canada-in-Asia Conference, at which alumni and other attendees heard from leading minds from Canada and Asia, including Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland and Waterloo Chancellor Dominic Barton.

On February 24, the Hong Kong Alumni Chapter celebrated the return of its marquee event, an annual dinner and gala for local professionals to gather, network and hear from expert speakers. After a two-year hiatus, alumni were thrilled to reinstate the event with special guests Goel and Strickland in attendance. Thank you to this year’s sponsors, and the more than 200 alumni, students and friends of the University who attended!

Faculty of Science to bid farewell to Dean Bob Lemieux

Bob LemieuxWaterloo’s Faculty of Science will celebrate Dr. Bob Lemieux as he ends his eight-year term as dean this summer. Appointed in July 2015, Lemieux leaves behind a strong legacy on campus and in our community in both new scientific discoveries and subsequent future applications that have a long-reaching impact. 

Throughout his tenure, Lemieux focused on the importance of fundamental science and its cardinal intersection with innovation and social impact. He led the development of the Centre for Eye and Vision Research, a collaboration with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University that performs ground-breaking research in critical areas for vision health. True to his belief that “chance favours the prepared mind,” Lemieux enabled the enhancement of multiple research facilities on campus to help the Faculty’s fundamental research across all science schools, disciplines and programs. He welcomed the University’s first Nobel Laureate, Donna Strickland, and saw the steady rise of the Faculty’s international reputation. 

At the heart of Lemieux’s efforts is a commitment to innovation through science- discoveries, applications and technology to improve lives. Lemieux expanded Velocity Science, an on-campus facility for student and faculty-led businesses with an element of science needing entrepreneurial guidance. And he established a space for interdisciplinary problem solving, the Science Innovation Hub, in partnership with existing science-focused entrepreneurial groups on campus. Lemieux has also been a strong supporter and champion of the Waterloo Eye Institute, which will significantly enhance Canada’s leading eye and vision care centre. 

Thank you, Dean Lemieux, for your many contributions.