Dominic Barton, the University of Waterloo's 11th chancellor, has committed $1 million to support the next generation of talent at Waterloo.

Barton is a well-known leader in global business and a philanthropist, as well as a key supporter of the University.

“Dominic has created valuable opportunities for our researchers and students during his tenure as chancellor,” says Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor. “I’m deeply grateful for his ongoing support, and I’m delighted that he has built on his leadership with this meaningful gift.”

Barton’s gift will fund several initiatives including a new award for Indigenous students, an international travel program in the School of Accounting and Finance and the growth of Waterloo’s entrepreneurship program, Velocity, at its new home in the Innovation Arena.

“Global forces, including rapid changes in technology, are redefining how we develop talent,” Barton says. “Waterloo excels at training the leaders of tomorrow. I’m proud to support this critical work as an ambassador of the University and as a donor.”

Members of the University community thank Dominic Barton for his support.

Preparing future leaders to thrive

The chancellor’s investment will support the three pillars of Waterloo’s strategic plan, Connecting Imagination with Impact:

Pillar #1: Strengthening sustainable and diverse communities

The gift will create an award for Indigenous students, reducing barriers to education and infusing the University with a range of new ideas and perspectives.

The Kiinomaagawin Zhoonia Award (which means “wealth of learning or teaching”) will be open to Indigenous students entering any full-time undergraduate program at Waterloo. Recipients will demonstrate a combination of academic achievement and connection or contributions to Indigenous communities. Valued at up to $40,000 each, the first awards will be available in 2023.  

A portion of the chancellor’s gift will also grow the Indigenous Opportunities Fund, which supports a broad range of programs, resources and outreach for Indigenous students at Waterloo.

Dominic Barton receives a gift from Indigenous students and community members at Waterloo

Dominic Barton receives a gift from Indigenous students and community members at Waterloo. 

Pillar #2: Developing talent for a complex future

Helping to shape the business leaders of tomorrow, the chancellor’s gift will expand a highly successful travel program in the School of Accounting and Finance. The International Study Trip introduces students to the business operations of multinational firms, offering students the chance to meet directly with leaders at global corporations. The gift will fund new trips to South Asia, allowing more students to participate in the program and develop intercultural skills for the future of work.

Pillar #3: Advancing research for global impact

Barton’s gift will also play a part in building the new home of the Velocity entrepreneurship program — known as the Innovation Arena — which will create more opportunities for entrepreneurs to combine research skills with business expertise and solve challenges in industry and society.

The Innovation Arena will provide business founders with access to high-tech labs, manufacturing equipment and sought-after collaboration space. These resources will equip founders to develop their products and companies, propelling economic growth in Waterloo region and Canada.

“With this gift, Dominic is opening avenues for future game changers to pursue their highest aspirations,” says President Goel. “Our University community is deeply grateful for his generosity. It will have a profound impact on students’ lives and communities worldwide.”