Why one employee gives back to Waterloo
Tina Roberts (BSc ’80) is continually inspired by her University of Waterloo community. To make her own contribution, she went beyond her role as an employee, and became a donor as well.
After more than 40 years on campus, Tina Roberts has created an interesting career and fulfilling life at Waterloo. Inspired by her experiences as an employee and alumnus, she also became a loyal donor to our community.
Tina became a donor while working in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (AHS), in a role responsible for marketing and enrollment management.
To help the Faculty reach its enrollment goals, Tina began conducting student surveys. “I wanted to understand why students were choosing us and not choosing us, and where they were going instead,” she explains. In the first survey, she found two clear reasons why potential AHS students declined their Offers of Admission: they weren’t receiving scholarships, and they weren’t getting a room in residence.
If I’m going to contribute and make a difference in the world I’m living in, then I wanted to start giving to scholarships.
“That really prompted me to think about giving,” Tina explains. “If I’m going to contribute and make a difference in the world I’m living in, then I wanted to start giving to scholarships. There were a lot of factors where I had absolutely no circle of influence, but giving to scholarships was something I could easily do.”
After years of work in AHS, Tina took a position with the newly-created Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment (MUR) unit, where she was exposed to a wider range of talented students who inspired her giving in new ways.
In 2008, she was working with a cross-campus committee to build a new booth for the Ontario Universities Fair (OUF). Architecture Professor Rick Haldenby suggested they consult students who had just studied booth design.
After briefing the students, the committee heard their ideas for the booth. “And that was super rewarding,” says Tina. “Because I saw how talented these students are, and I also saw how collaborative they were and how they build on each other’s ideas.”
The committee used one of the concepts from this group of students, and they even hired two Waterloo Architecture graduates to design the booth. For the past nine years, MUR has used this booth at the annual OUF, and it continues to stand out.
While searching for a new booth Tina also discovered a new group of talented, creative students, who inspired her to give to the Architecture Senate Scholarship Fund.
“I’m so inspired by our students,” says Tina.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.