January 2017

Occasional updates, comments, and reflections from President Feridun Hamdullahpur

A Holiday Message from the President

Holiday Greetings from the President

With the holidays approaching and the conclusion of our 60th Anniversary, I’m delighted to send you season’s greetings on behalf of the entire University of Waterloo community.

The University of Waterloo Visits Hong Kong

Hong Kong Alumni Dinner Crowd

It was a few short weeks ago that a delegation from the University of Waterloo visited Hong Kong to broaden Waterloo’s ties to one of the most vibrant economies and communities in the world. Hong Kong is home to the most Waterloo alumni in the world, outside of Canada, making it an incredibly special place to visit and explore. Our roots have traveled far, shaping our future beyond the borders of Canada.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

national day of remembrance and action on violence against women

Twenty-eight years ago the post-secondary education community and all of Canada changed forever. On what was supposed to be a normal day at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1989 was instead replaced with unimaginable tragedy as 14 young female students were taken from us in an evil attack of gender-based violence.

The End of Another Fantastic Term

student end of term studying

The end of Fall 2017 classes has come and as you begin to prepare for your exams and final assignments I would like to offer my deepest congratulations.

Giving Tuesday in Honour of Our 60th Anniversary

Giving Tuesday

We are now in the swing of the holiday season and over the past week, four of the busiest shopping days of the year took place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A lot of shopping took place around the world, but it’s also an important time of year to give back.

President's Town Hall: Successes, Growth and Dialogue

President's Town Hall with attendees listening to Feridun Hamdullahpur's speech.

One of the most important events on my schedule every year is the President’s Town Hall. This is my opportunity to talk about some of the successes we’ve enjoyed over the past year, the important projects we are working on, my vision for the future and have an open dialogue with the campus community.

Remembrance Day Message

Poppies on a plaque of soldier's names.

On Remembrance Day we come together as a nation to honour the Canadian men and women who fought and died in the name of peace and freedom.

We pause at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month to reflect on the memory of our brave servicemen and women. Not only reflect on their sacrifices, but what each of them stood for: their selflessness in the service of others.

Canadian soldiers not only protect fellow Canadians during times of war. They defend the vulnerable around the world during peacekeeping missions. We are forever indebted to their service.

Why We Should Never Stop Talking About Equity

Women looking at laptop screen.

The University of Waterloo has made real strides in gender equity through our HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 commitments, but we cannot settle on the gains we’ve already made. We need to keep talking, thinking and taking action together.

Entrepreneurial solutions to environmental challenges

Turtle Island Institute Wayfinders discuss ideas on chart paper

At Waterloo, we pride ourselves on our determination to take on the world’s biggest problems, and no challenge is more urgent than climate resiliency. As one of the world’s top innovation universities, we can have a positive impact on the planet’s survival.

Health and Wellness: We’re all in this together

Two students hiking on a fall day

We have all worked hard through the first half of the Fall term and now it’s time to take a breather. Fall Break offers us a pause to reflect on what we need to be successful for the remainder of the term. 

Encouraging women to choose science, technology, engineering and math

Far from a simple concept of fairness, addressing gender equality is integral to the future of our nation, its people and our economic wellbeing.

Hacking the Future at Waterloo

Hacking the Future logo with event date and location

Waterloo is a magnet for innovators and disruptors.

So, it is no surprise that tomorrow our University will welcome a diverse group of business leaders to our Waterloo Innovation Summit.

Fall welcome

New students walking in front of the Quantum Nano Centre

The Fall is one of my favourite times to be on campus. The season is marked by the enthusiasm of new students, as well as renewed comradery for those returning and refreshed commitment from faculty and staff.

A new way of thinking about free trade and manufacturing.

I was pleased to contribute to the Canada’s discussion on NAFTA and the future of our nation’s economy. I invite you to visit the opinion section in today’s Globe and Mail Report on Business to read my Op Ed.

David Johnston’s vision of “smart and caring” Canada began at Waterloo

David Johnston and Feridun Hamdullahpur

I was honoured to be part of a recent feature in the Waterloo Region Record celebrating David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

A more sustainable Waterloo

Feridun with winners

The Waterloo community celebrated our on campus sustainability successes today at the 2017 Eco-Summit.

Celebrating 150 years of Canadian innovation

Mihaela Vlasea

As we celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of confederation, it's time to reflect on the innovations that have shaped the field of science — and what the next 150 years might bring.

A look at the future as Waterloo celebrates graduates

Graduating students posing for photo

This week the University of Waterloo celebrates the hard work and dedication of our undergraduate and graduate students. Read my op-ed on how the University of Waterloo looks to the future with our newest alumni.

A community committed to action on mental health

needles hall expansion

Learn more about how Waterloo will continue the conversation on how to improve access to mental health assistance for people who need it.

A campus conversation on mental health

Further to my earlier message, I want to acknowledge that when the members of our university community suffer the kind of heartbreaking loss that we did this week, we are all affected.

Forging collaborations between universities and industries

I invite you to read the op-ed on the Times Higher Education-World University Rankings blog, which highlights the elements of partnership between universities and industry that will best advance research success and allow innovation to flourish.

Empower our best and brightest

Naila Keleta-Mae speaks at the International Women's Day Dinner

As we recognize International Women’s Day, we must also recognize that we still have a way to go.

I invite you to read the Op Ed in today's edition of the Waterloo Record, which outlines some of the challenges still faced by many of the women across the world.

An update on the U.S. Executive Order on Immigration and Travel

Canada’s universities continue to follow closely the impacts of the Executive Order (EO) issued by the American Administration last week preventing individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.  

On February 3, 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a stay suspending the order. This means at this time land and airports of entry are prohibited from enforcing the EO.  

A statement on the U.S. Executive Order on Immigration and Travel

Globally and here at home, universities are strengthened by the exchange of talent, ideas and experience from students, faculty, researchers and staff.  The original principle of academic freedom encompassed thought, expression and geography. 

Diversity is a strength of this university and of our country. Together, with universities across Canada, we will continue to welcome students, faculty and staff from around the world including those seeking refuge from violence and injustice.

Celebrating 60 Years of Innovation

Feridun Hamdullahpur Speaking at the 60th Lecture

I am excited to welcome you back to the University of Waterloo for 2017. As we all return to campus after the holiday break, we should take a moment to reflect on the significance of this New Year. It is anything but a regular year.

This year we are celebrating Waterloo’s 60 years of innovation: 60 years since our founding, but also what the next 60 years has in store for this institution.

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