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Celebrating 60 Years of Innovation

Feridun Hamdullahpur Speaking at the 60th LectureI 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.

Sixty years ago, our campus was a farmer’s field. From those muddy beginnings Waterloo charted an unconventional path through the landscape of higher education – one shaped by commitments to co-operative education and world-class scholarship, deep connections to industry and a desire to serve the needs of Canadian society.

Six decades later, Waterloo is at the forefront of many fields, having emerged as an international leader in arts, engineering, mathematics and computing, health, environment, and science. Our impact is being felt around the world.

That’s why, even as we look back to celebrate our successes of the past 60 years, we are looking forward to the ways our breakthrough research and innovative teaching will change the way we live, communicate, work, travel, and connect over the next 60 years. The measure of our impact will be international in scale, combining our innovative culture and disciplines together.

All of us—students, faculty and staff—play an important role in Waterloo’s story; both the history we have made together, and in the chapters that have yet to be written.

I invite you to visit the 60 Years of Innovation website to share your memories of what makes Waterloo a great place to study and work, and help us set a course for the next 60 years by sharing your wishes and predictions of what the coming decades will bring for Waterloo, and the difference Waterloo will make in the future.

Our campus celebrations kicked off on Monday, January 9 with the Beyond 60 Lecture, which featured a panel of future-focused experts who challenged us to look beyond the status quo as only Waterloo can. Throughout the year there will be a series of events that celebrate our institutional milestones as well as faculty and department anniversaries. I invite you to view the calendar of events on the 60th Anniversary website and consider hosting your own celebration using the tools and resources available online. 

We have reached an important moment in our history – our diamond jubilee. There is much to celebrate. I hope you’ll join me in making 2017 a very special year for the University of Waterloo.

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