Graduating student taking a selfie with Dominic Barton

Talk of the Campus

Thank you Dominic Barton

As chancellor, Dominic Barton has been the honorary head of the University of Waterloo since 2018, presiding over convocations and sharing his thought leadership on global business, geopolitics, corporate sustainability and governance.   

We are grateful for his leadership and support over the past six years. As our 11th chancellor, he has been a pillar of knowledge and stability during a challenging period, including a global pandemic.  

He has inspired our students and our University community while never ceasing to promote the institution across Canada and around the world. As Barton himself famously says, “The world needs more Waterloo.” But as an institution, we can attest that the world needs more Dominic Barton.  

His enthusiasm and commitment to rallying support for the University’s initiatives and priorities around the vision for Waterloo at 100 have helped fuel and inspire Waterloo’s community of entrepreneurial leaders and problem solvers.  

As his term ends, his legacy lives on thanks to his $1 million commitment to support the next generation of talent at Waterloo. The gift supports scholarships for Indigenous undergraduate students, an international study program that focuses on business centres in South Asia, the School of Accounting and Finance and the growth of Velocity at its new home in the Innovation Arena.    

Thank you, Dominic Barton, for your exceptional leadership as an ambassador for Waterloo.  

Waterloo names triple alum Dr. Jagdeep Singh Bachher as new chancellor

Jagdeep Singh

The University of Waterloo welcomes Dr. Jagdeep Singh Bachher (BASc ’93, MASc ’94, PhD ’00) as our 12th chancellor. Bachher is chief investment officer and vice-president of investments at the 10-campus University of California, where he oversees an investment portfolio of $164 billion. The University of Waterloo’s Senate elected him to a three-year term that begins on July 1, 2024.  

Breaking ground on the Waterloo Eye Institute 

Waterloo Eye Institute External Building rendering

Thanks to support from the optometry profession, alumni and donors across Canada, the University of Waterloo is slated to begin construction this year on the Waterloo Eye Institute (WEI), a state-of-the-art facility supporting advances in vision research, optometric education and patient care. With 67,000 square feet of new and renovated space, the facility will push the boundaries of eye and vision care, clinical education and research to benefit patients in the Waterloo region and across the country.  

The Happiness Project explores new ways to improve student well-being  

Last fall, Waterloo students gathered in the Dana Porter Library to explore their peers’ mental health and develop new solutions to improve well-being on campus. The Happiness Project — the fall 2023 iteration of the Velocity Foundations program — was an extracurricular opportunity for students to build an innovation mindset while delving into a real problem happening in their community.  

It’s no secret that mental health has declined in the past few years. In 2021, more than one-third of students said they experienced poor mental health. Rachel Figueiredo (BA ’10), entrepreneurship librarian and one of the program’s instructors, believes that the topic and setting helped to make this one of Velocity’s more diverse entrepreneurial programs.  

“We were focusing on the Happiness Project because we wanted to help our students feel like, regardless of whether they currently saw themselves as entrepreneurs, they could have some stake in this game. They can validate their own experiences and make improvements on campus, even if they're small.”  

Compared to other Velocity programs, Foundations participants are more likely to identify as female and more likely to study in the Faculty of Arts. As a result, participants can work with students they may not have otherwise met and learn from their perspectives.  

Participants spoke with stakeholders, including students and staff working on tackling these challenges, to gain first-hand knowledge of the mental health challenges on campus. They also explored current psychology research before identifying root causes and new approaches to solve the problem, then pitched their solutions in an informal, low-pressure setting.   

Whether or not students go on to pursue entrepreneurial projects, Figueiredo is confident they’ll use the skills they developed in the program. “This is an opportunity for our students to take their learning outside the classroom, work on something that's of direct interest, feel like they have some ownership and then see how they can make an impact.”  

The program welcomes new students every term with new problems to tackle.   

New 500-bed residence to prioritize Indigenous design principles

New Indigenous design principles  residence

Waterloo will break ground this July on a new residence building set to open in 2026. In collaboration with Indigenous-owned architecture firm Two Row, and alongside the Office of Indigenous Relations, the design will prioritize Indigenous engagement and principles.  

The building will feature a community healing garden, where sacred and traditional medicine plants can be cultivated, accessible room options and wellness and sensory spaces. It will also be home to gathering spaces equipped for smudging, cleansing ceremonies and meetings with live-in Elders.   

Warriors win first-even OUA hockey championship 

Waterloo Womens hockey team

The Warrior’s women’s hockey team experienced the biggest moment in their 22-year history with a 2-1 overtime win against the Toronto Varsity Blues.