Research park, international study award named after David Johnston

Thursday, September 16, 2010
WATERLOO, Ont. (Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010) - The University of Waterloo has bestowed a double honour on its departing president David Johnston, Canada’s Governor General Designate, by naming the university’s bustling research and technology park and a new international student award after him.

The announcement was made at a special dinner earlier this week to honour Johnston attended by 1,000 people, including members of his family, friends, business, government and the university community. Johnston ranks among the most respected and admired educators and public servants in Canada.

In addition to naming the R+T park after him, the university also announced the creation of the David Johnston International Experience Awards, to be supported by a $5 million endowment fund. In just two months the effort raising money for the award has been enormously successful, with most of the funds in hand.

"I am enormously honoured. These two programs are indeed very close to my heart, and I want to say 'thank you' to all of my cherished colleagues at the university and this splendid community," Johnston said.

Johnston is an ardent believer in the power of international education, and that global experience will enlighten and bring the world’s citizens together. One of Waterloo’s important goals for its sixth decade has been to expand its international horizons and global outreach. It now has campuses in Dubai (U.A.E), Nanjing (China) and Rome (Italy).

The research and technology park has been hailed as a great success across Canada and many give Johnston credit for bringing the necessary public-private-government partnership together. The park is only 10 years old, accommodating 1.2 million square feet of office space on 120-acres (49 hectares), housing thousands of researchers, creating new technology jobs and generating billions of dollars in economic impact.

"Creating the research and technology park was a very difficult challenge, but David has that unique ability to bring people and organizations together, to make them see the benefits in working in harmony for the greater good," said Bob Harding, chair of the university’s board of governors. "The creation of this park was extremely important in terms of its lasting impact on the university and the whole Waterloo region community where it has become a powerful centre of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization."

Waterloo Region chair Ken Seiling, who helped spearhead the creation of the park, called the honour fitting.

“David has been a major force in advancing the research and development agenda of this region. It is only fitting that we should recognize his energy and drive in building an even stronger Waterloo Region," said Seiling.

Campaign officially to end

As well as honouring its departing president, those attending the special celebratory banquet for Johnston were also told that the university will officially cap its six-year fund-raising campaign at the end of the month. The campaign, which will top $600 million, was one of Johnston’s prime accomplishments as he spearheaded an effort that originally had set a $260-million target.

It’s a remarkable achievement, one of the largest campaign totals in Canadian university history. The campaign has fuelled necessary expansion, created new research and teaching programs and added satellite campuses in the community and abroad. The campaign has been the impetus behind the completion of 10 major new buildings, four that are still under construction, and numerous additions and facility expansions. The construction boom cost $600 million adding 2.5 million square feet of building space for new labs, classrooms, study and recreation space.

About Waterloo

The University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle, is one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities. Waterloo is home to 30,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who are dedicated to making the future better and brighter. Waterloo, known for the largest post- secondary co-operative education program in the world, supports enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. For more information about Waterloo, visit www.uwaterloo.ca.

Research + Technology Park

The University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park is ideally located on the campus of Canada's most innovative university. Reflecting the enterprising spirit of Waterloo Region, it ensures continued support for pure and applied research and innovation throughout Canada. Tenants of the Research Park have unprecedented access to Waterloo’s talented co-op students, alumni, and professors. Their goal is to create breakthrough research discoveries that lead to social and commercial advantage. The University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park is growing and nurturing new technology, generating thousands of high-quality jobs, contributing to environmental excellence and the well-being of the community. For further information, go to www.uwrtpark.uwaterloo.ca.

Contact:

John Morris, Waterloo media relations, 519-888-4435 or jmorris@uwaterloo.ca

Waterloo release no. 70



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