A vibrant institution - even in the summer: July in review

Many universities practically shut down for the summer — not this one.

My work on Waterloo’s behalf has taken me around the world this month, and in fact I send this update to you from beautiful Thailand.

I gave a keynote speech to the 2015 World University of Technology Colloqium on Tuesday, July 28, sharing the Waterloo experience and perspective on promoting technological innovation while maintaining broad-based academic success.

This conference is designed to be a touchpoint for tech universities in Southeast Asia who want to make sure their missions and mandates are in line with the needs of the 21st century.

For Waterloo, it’s an opportunity to learn about regional best practices in higher education and build relationships with key institutions and prospective partners.

We should all be proud — students, faculty, and staff alike — that universities near and far so often turn to the University of Waterloo for inspiration and guidance.

Earlier this month I did my best to provide just that to a meeting at the Sorbonne Universités Strategy Committee meeting in Paris.

I serve alongside several other post-secondary education leaders on this committee, which the Sorbonne has established to inform its strategic directions and thinking.

It’s an honour as well as a thrill to provide input on this historic university system’s strategic direction. And again, it’s the same story: it all traces back to Waterloo’s growing reputation for innovation, research, and academic excellence, thanks to the efforts of you and your colleagues.

It’s been an exciting month closer to home, too.

I was thrilled that several University of Waterloo personnel were named to the Order of Canada. Congratulations to each new member or officer of the Order of Canada and their families! Your well-deserved recognition reflects beautifully on the University of Waterloo, and we are all very proud of you.

Waterloo’s Member of Parliament, Peter Braid standing on ice rink with University of Waterloo members and mascotEarlier this week Waterloo’s Member of Parliament, Peter Braid, was on campus to announce almost $600,000 in funding to our Columbia Icefield through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. As Peter said, the arena is an integral part of our community’s sports and recreation landscape. In 2014-2015 alone, more than 11,000 community members used the facility, emphasizing that this isn’t just a university campus, but a campus that our whole community can be part of and proud of.

On that note: I can’t sign off before acknowledging the hugely successful 2015 Canada Day Celebrations. Approximately 65,000 people joined our campus community on July 1 to celebrate our country and kick off the hot summer months.

If you haven't seen it yet, take a minute to watch this video capturing the spirit of the day.

The growing success of our University of Waterloo-FEDS Canada Day celebration shows just how committed we are to supporting the Waterloo region and being an open, engaged campus. Thanks to the hundreds of staff and organizers who made it all happen.

Best wishes for the month to come. And of course, good luck on exams, students!

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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