University of Waterloo holds 114th convocation

Monday, June 19, 2017

More than 5,700 students received degrees as part of the University of Waterloo's 114th convocation. There were 4,818 undergraduate degrees and 966 graduate degrees handed out at ceremonies taking place over five days.

“It is an honour for me to watch Canada’s future leaders cross the stage to accept their degrees, particularly as the University of Waterloo celebrates its 60th anniversary this year,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. “These graduates excelled at what we asked them to learn, and challenged their community and this institution to think bigger. We will endeavour to continue to match their commitment and dedication by ensuring we stay at the forefront of innovation and excellence.”

Recent graduates holding their degrees.

Among the highlights of Waterloo's spring convocation:

Piper Bernbaum (master’s, Engineering) and Gordon Pennycook (doctoral, Arts—Fall 2016) were awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for highest standing in a graduate degree program.

Sophia Chen (Arts) and Thomas Coolican Fraser (Science) Geoffry Zilong Song (Mathematics) received the Governor General’s Silver Medal for highest standing in an undergraduate degree program.

Anne Kathleen Dawson (Engineering), Emma Fisher-Cobb (Environment), Gillian Faith Hawes (Science), Kieran Hendrickson-Gracie (Mathematics), Ding Jia (Arts), Syed Mahamad (Applied Health Sciences) received the University of Waterloo Alumni Gold Medal in recognition of academic achievement.

The following delivered valedictory addresses:

  • Brandon Eduard H. Gaffoor (Environment)
  • Allison Nicole Jewell (Science)
  • Shivangna Kaistha (Science)
  • Clare Cummins (Applied Health Sciences)
  • Giancarlo Lahura (Mathematics)
  • Jessica Audrey Mackinnon (Engineering)
  • Ashna Mankotia (Arts)
  • Ambika Opal (Engineering)
  • Clarisse Mary Schneider (Mathematics)
  • Amy Chun Zhou (Arts)

John Flanagan (Science), Peter Forsyth (Mathematics), Laurie Hoffman-Goetz (Applied Health Sciences), François Paré (Arts), Graham Strong (Science) were named distinguished professors emeriti.

Heather Lynn Smith and Pam Van Allen were named honorary members of the University.

Mónica Barra (Science), Sanjeev Bedi (Engineering), Daniel Davison (Engineering) and David McKinnon (Mathematics) received distinguished teacher awards.

Xuemin Shen (Engineering) and Joanne Wood (Arts) received the university professor designation.

Richard Cook (Mathematics), Carl Haas (Engineering), Bill McIlroy (Applied Health Sciences) and Susan Tighe (Engineering) received awards for excellence in graduate supervision.

Waterloo presented honorary doctorates to the following, all of whom addressed convocation:

  • Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator and co-chairman of OpenAI (Doctor of Engineering)
  • Göran Andersson, professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Doctor of Engineering)
  • Chunli Bai, president of the Chinese Academy of Science (Doctor of Engineering)
  • John Clague, Shrum Chair, Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University (Doctor of Science)
  • John Frank, director of the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (Doctor of Laws)
  • Terry Lyons, Wallis Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford
  • Ingrid Mattson, professor and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies, Western University (Doctor of Laws)
  • Pat Mooney, co-founder and executive director of the ETC group (Doctor of Environmental Studies)
  • Stephen Scherer, director of the Centre for Applied Genomics and senior scientist in genetics and genome biology, Hospital for Sick Children (Doctor of Science)
  • Efim Zelmanov, Rita L. Atkinson Endowed Chair in Mathematics, University of California, San Diego (Doctor of Mathematics)

For more information, please visit the website for spring convocation 2017.

About the University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo is Canada’s top innovation university. With more than 36,000 students we are home to the world's largest co-operative education system of its kind. Our unmatched entrepreneurial culture, combined with an intensive focus on research, powers one of the top innovation hubs in the world. Find out more at


Media Contact

Pamela Smyth
University of Waterloo

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