Celebrating National Philanthropy Day

National Philanthropy Day logo

As we mark National Philanthropy Day for the fifth year, I’d like to personally thank everyone who supports the University of Waterloo and the Affiliated and Federated Institutions of Waterloo through charitable giving and volunteer efforts.

UWaterloo employees making treat-a-gramsAdvancement volunteers making Treat-a-Grams

Our Keystone Campaign is a wonderful example of our campus community’s generosity. Last year, nearly 1,000 faculty, staff and retirees gave to scholarships and awards, academic programs, libraries, athletics and other initiatives at Waterloo. At the same time, more than 150 volunteers helped to promote the campaign and coordinate special events like Treat-a-Gram and the Keystone Picnic.

Meanwhile, our Board of Governors, Executive Council and Alumni Council offered their time and expertise to help us chart a course for the future — and they gave generously of their financial resources to move us even closer to our goals.

Our students also stepped forward as the largest supporters of campus recreation and wellness facilities. Both graduates and undergraduates voted in favour of a $24 million investment in the expansion of the PAC and SLC, demonstrating their exceptional leadership and their commitment to the student community. I’m delighted by their generosity as we work together to bring this project to fruition.

We’re equally fortunate to recognize the students, alumni and friends of the University who lend their time and expertise to a variety of volunteer activities, from community building to outreach to event planning. Last year, Advancement volunteers alone gave more than 10,500 hours of their time to Waterloo — the equivalent of 5.3 full-time jobs!

As we celebrate philanthropy this week, I have the pleasure of attending two events that acknowledge our supporters. The first is the official launch of our StartUp Pledge program, a fundraising initiative designed for emerging entrepreneurs. Our first participants will be joining us for a special appreciation event where we will thank them for their commitment and share the impact that their pledges have on Waterloo.

The second event is the AFP National Philanthropy Awards Luncheon, which recognizes outstanding philanthropists in our region. Among this year’s award recipients are Ron Schlegel and The Esch Foundation, two strong supporters of Waterloo. I’m delighted that they have received this honour for their many contributions and their impact on society.

To everyone who gives to Waterloo, please accept my sincere thanks. All week long, the University will celebrate your generosity by sharing a range of stories of philanthropy. We invite you all to join us on Storify to explore some of the good work that our donors and volunteers have performed in the past year. Their support has made a profound impact, and we’re truly grateful.

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