Sign for Feridun Hamdullahpur Field HouseDuring Feridun Hamdullahpur’s early years at the University, he and his wife Cathy lived in Waterloo’s graduate student housing off Columbia Street while their new home was under construction. On nights when he stayed up late to finish work, he would look out to see lights on in other townhouses where future graduates were studying. Seeing those lights, he said, felt like coming home.

But he knew that not everyone felt that way about campus. Waterloo’s sixth president would watch students line up for buses to take them back to the GTA on the weekends. Little kept them at the University beyond classes and exams. So, Feridun vowed to give students more opportunities to build strong connections to Waterloo and each other.

He championed the expansion of co-op opportunities, new academic programs and spaces for student activities, including the Student Life Centre-Physical Activities Complex (SLC-PAC) expansion and the new Field House. The Field House was a particular passion of his, and when Waterloo celebrated its grand opening in September 2019, Feridun beamed as he served burgers, threw Frisbees and booted soccer balls with students and other members of the community.

Roly Webster and Feridun Hamdullahpur holding a jersey that says Hamdullahpur

Roly Webster (left), Director of Athletics and Recreation, presents Feridun with a personalized jersey.

Space to make memories on campus

Open to all Waterloo students, the Field House offers a place to play and build lasting friendships. It’s also available for community bookings when conditions allow.

“What I like most about the Field House is that so many different organizations and teams can benefit from using it,” says Gordon Lam, a member of the Warriors football team who studies recreation and leisure.

Miranda Hunter, a kinesiology student and member of the Warriors field hockey team, likes that she can “train in comfort — especially during those cold October 6:00 a.m. practices,” she adds. “Being indoors makes them all the more enjoyable.”

Field House renamed as Feridun’s tenure concludes

Feridun’s tireless commitment to student experiences made this facility possible. To celebrate his decade-long tenure as President and Vice-Chancellor, the University has renamed the beloved building in his honour: the Feridun Hamdullahpur Field House.

“I’m truly touched,” said Feridun at a celebratory event in his honour. “Seeing our students practice in the Field House has been a tremendous joy, and watching them excel in both athletics and academics has been a beautiful gift. Thank you for this great honour.”

How you can build on Feridun’s decade of impact

As we wish Feridun well in the next phase of his career, we invite you to make a gift to students in his honour. You can direct your contribution to one of three areas:  

  • Catherine and Feridun Hamdullahpur Graduate Scholarship: Awarded annually to a student registered full time in any graduate program at the University of Waterloo
  • Waterloo Fund: Provides Waterloo with the ability to fund the current year's most pressing needs
  • Student Wellness: Supports student success by ensuring students have access to resources that promote their physical and mental well-being

We hope you will join us and help Warriors thrive for generations to come.

Thank you, Feridun, for everything you’ve done for Waterloo!