Spreading the word, supporting community: November in review

How quickly the cold weather has come upon us!

As I mentioned in the October issue, I spent the first few weeks of November on a very productive trip throughout Asia. I was pleased to have the opportunity to deliver a “distinguished lecture” at Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in Seoul, Korea, and also had the pleasure of meeting with Professor Yongmin Kim, president of POSTECH.

The trip continued into Hong Kong and then to Singapore, where I was pleased to deliver a keynote speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (Singapore). The assembled crowd was made up of very interested and forward-thinking business people, and the message from Waterloo was well received.

As I travelled from Korea, to Hong Kong, and then to Singapore, I was pleased to be able to attend some of our international alumni gatherings. It was tremendous to see the spirit of this institution thrive on an international level. Our alumni are hungry for engagement and to participate in the life of the University of Waterloo – this trip was a terrific opportunity to learn about their stories and ideas for building Waterloo’s international profile even further.

In the midst of the trip, which ran throughout the course of early and mid-November, my team and I made it a priority to attend the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Hong Kong.

Closer to home, our students, faculty and staff came together on a number of different occasions to support the Waterloo region community.

Kindness and generosity were celebrated throughout November, in the form of two very special events specifically. During Random Act of Kindness Day on November 7, the “Kindness Crew”, made up of Waterloo students, faculty and staff, spread goodwill across campus and in the community by way of meaningful good deeds. A week later, National Philanthropy Day offered a wonderful opportunity to celebrate philanthropy at Waterloo.

This month we also celebrated the United Way volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the month of October to raise funds for our local Kitchener-Waterloo community, and for the month of November our Warriors held their “Think Pink” campaign to raise money for breast cancer research.

On this note of charitable giving, I am delighted to confirm that the University of Waterloo has surpassed our United Way Campaign fundraising goal of $250,000. Thank you to our entire University community for making this year’s campaign a success.

The generosity – of both spirit and resources – on our campus is stunning, and sets the stage beautifully for the holiday season.

As my usual month end column will not be published in December, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all the happiest of holidays, a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Sincerely,

Feridun

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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