The University of Waterloo has a strong history of connection and commitment to local communities, spanning back to our founding. Today, those connections are felt across the globe, with alumni, co-operative education employers, students and partners located in hundreds of countries.

In February 2024, UWaterloo staff, faculty and leaders crossed the globe for two special celebrations with our international community. The events, held in Tokyo and Hong Kong, provided new opportunities for connection among UWaterloo alumni, current and prospective students, friends and officials — individuals with shared knowledge, history and culture that spans from our Canadian campus to Asia.   

Japanese alumni gather in Tokyo

On Tuesday, February 20, members of the UWaterloo community gathered at the Embassy of Canada to Japan in Tokyo. The reception invited alumni, students and friends, including special guests from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Japan External Trade Organization, to celebrate international community, and the impact made possible by UWaterloo’s global partnerships.  

Our event partner, Tokyo-based Curvegrid, is a fantastic example of what can happen when ideas and professional connections cross borders. Founded by alumni Jeff Wentworth (BASc ‘06) and William Metcalfe (BMath 04), Curvegrid is a proud co-op employer, offering a unique experience to UWaterloo students and encouraging young people to consider careers across the globe.  

Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to network with others in their UWaterloo community, and heard addresses from Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor of the University, Matt Fraser, Senior Trade Commissioner at the Embassy, and Wentworth. All three highlighted the immense value of international experience and connections — from personal and professional perspectives.  

Jeff Wentworth speaks at the event

Alumni pose at the event

Attendees networking at a table

Alumni and special guests mingle

Hong Kong community celebrates Dominic Barton 

On Friday, February 23, the UWaterloo Hong Kong Alumni Chapter hosted its 2024 gala dinner for alumni, students, friends and University officials. This year’s event was especially significant, as they celebrated UWaterloo’s 11th chancellor, Dominic Barton. Barton has been a champion for our institution on the global stage, opening new international opportunities while also providing support and enthusiasm for students, researchers and leaders on campus. June 2024 will mark the end of Barton’s term as chancellor. 

The evening began with a Lion Dance in celebration of Lunar New Year. Then, attendees joined Goel, as well as deans and leaders from campus to honour Barton’s many contributions to our institution and international partnerships. The event included an exciting lineup of speakers, including Rachael Bedlington, counsel general of Canada in Hong Kong and Macao, who shared several personal experiences she had with Dominic while he was the Canadian ambassador to China. Her address was followed by an armchair chat between Goel and Barton.  

During the chat, Barton noted the dedication and passion of alumni in Hong Kong, pointing to the chapter’s work to cultivate community and even support students — whether they are prospective UWaterloo students, or current students on co-op terms or exchange. Goel highlighted the cross-border partnerships and opportunities made possible by Barton’s work as chancellor and ambassador. Goel also spoke about the need for international collaboration to create a better future for humanity, as outlined in the Waterloo at 100 vision. 

Lion dancers among the dinner tables

Lion dancers on stage

Rachael Bedlington speaks at the event

Vivek Goel and Dominic Barton during their armchair chat

Alumni network at the event

Alumni greet each other at the event