Congratulations to the class of 2021

President Hamdullahpur at the podium in convocation robes

Congratulations to our distinguished graduating class of 2021.

The University of Waterloo is built on a legacy dedicated to creating positive impact. Over the past decade our institution has experienced an era of transformative entrepreneurship, expanded student development and support, and strengthened our global community. Thank you, graduates. You have helped propel Waterloo into new frontiers.

Graduating marks a significant milestone in your life and in the history of our institution. While you look ahead to what’s next, I hope this moment also provides an opportunity for both celebration and reflection.

As my term comes to a close, I am in a sense also graduating with you, and reflecting on my time at Waterloo—on the past decade during which I have been honoured to serve as president and vice-chancellor. I think not only about all that we have accomplished together as a university, but also about the many people I have had the privilege to work with and serve, who make up this great community we have.

The degree you have earned is more than a piece of paper. It is a symbol of your hard work. It is recognition of the challenges you took on, the skills you developed, and the relationships you built along your journey to today.

Our world needs your unmatched curiosity and drive now more than ever

We are in the midst of great change as our world grapples with an unprecedented pandemic that will have repercussions for years to come. You, our new graduates, will face a number of unique challenges. You can rely on the perseverance and the experience you gained during your time at Waterloo to rise above what we will face. It is important to remember that while the challenges ahead are complex and innumerable, they are in fact opportunities to be seized.

You are the problem-solvers and the innovators who go beyond expectations. Our world needs your unmatched curiosity and drive now more than ever—I encourage you to take what you have learned here to help shape our future for the better and redefine what is possible.

Always remember that the University of Waterloo is here for you, wherever you go

You will do great things, and always remember that the University of Waterloo is here for you, wherever you go. We are so proud of you and all that you have accomplished and know you will represent our institution with distinction. You are a lifetime member of our global community, and I hope that you will stay connected to help inspire the next generation of innovators and continue this legacy of excellence.

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