A fall full of celebrations: September in review

Feridun Hamdullahpur and volunteers handing out food

September’s always special, but this one really stands out.

First of all: a big welcome to campus to our new and returning students and faculty! It was great seeing so many of you — especially you first-year students and new faculty — out at our Orientation Week events.We’ve kept up the pace around here over the summer, but there’s nothing like a campus that’s full to the brim with fresh ideas and new energy. Welcome, one and all — let’s have an outstanding year!

This month the University of Waterloo really shone as an institution that prides itself on community and global engagement.

On September 11, I hosted local community leaders at our annual President’s Community Breakfast. This year, to underline our engagement with the whole Waterloo region community, we took our show on the road to the Waterloo Region Museum in south Kitchener.

Building our Community BookletLocal business, civic, and political leaders gathered with us for an update on the University’s community engagement activities and for the launch of our first-ever Community Impact Report: Building Our Community.

Take a moment today to read up on all the great work we’re doing to make the Waterloo region a vibrant place for all students and residents to live and learn. To the great many of you personally involved in some of these efforts, from driving prosperity to promoting sustainability, thank you.

We were delighted to have another major opportunity to show off the Waterloo region this month, and this time to an international audience.

We partnered with Communitech to make the third annual Waterloo Innovation Summit a tour-de-force of the Waterloo region as a global innovation hub, with the University of Waterloo as its anchor.

Keynote speakers included Steve Blank, one of the architects of the Silicon Valley, and Hon. Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario.

addressed the gathering and also joined some Canadian and British colleagues for a panel discussion on how universities enable the success of innovation clusters.

#WINS15 was a great way to continue advancing the University’s reputation as an innovation leader, while championing the Waterloo region as a top destination for global talent, venture capital, and businesses looking to partner with some of the world’s best researchers.

As if that wasn’t already enough, I can’t sign off without highlighting a few other important items.

First, several Waterloo researchers received major honours this month, including a Trudeau Fellowship and membership in the Royal Society of Canada. Congratulations!

Second, in September Velocity surpassed the $250 million mark in total capital raised. Up from $100 million just a year ago, that’s a massive achievement and an impressive trend line. Way to go, Velocity teams.

Third, I was incredibly proud to announce the recipients of our HeforShe IMPACT 10x10x10 scholarships this month. It’s all part of our commitment to promote equity both here at UWaterloo and in our university sector across Canada. Read up on all of our recent HeforShe updates.

As I said, this September was a special one: we have much to celebrate, and with a new term now in full swing, much work to do.

There’s no place I’d rather do it.

Til next month,

Feridun

PS: Remember, October is our United Way Campaign month, but things officially kick off on September 29. Don’t forget to wear red so we can all Go Red for United Way!

Note to readers: from June, 2013 through 2015, the president’s monthly review was published in the Daily Bulletin, where this piece originally ran. As of January 2016, monthly reviews are published directly to this blog.

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