Waterloo has a spring in its step: March in review

Campus has been a busy, bustling place this month. There’s almost been too many events and initiatives to mention, but I want to capture some of them here.

On March 12, I stopped by the Student Life Centre to see the final structures constructed by some of our CanBuild participants. This is the second year of our campus-wide food drive, which is a partnership with the FEDS Student Food Bank and The Food Bank of Waterloo Region.

This year 16 teams participated, about 200 people, and collected over 4,500 cans. This is the equivalent of about 6,583 meals. Well done to all who participated and made CanBuild a success!

This month I spoke at the Co-op Student of the Year Awards. What remarkable students. Six students (one from each faculty) were recognized for their exceptional contributions to their employers, in their own entrepreneurial ventures, and in transformative research. Read more about them.

On March 5, Edmund S. Phelps , a Novel Prize-winning economist, visited campus to deliver a special President’s Lecture. Dr. Phelps’ latest publication, Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change, has received wide-spread global recognition. It was truly an honour to have Dr. Phelps speak on campus.

On March 17, we welcomed Minister Ed Holder and Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid to campus to announce more than $15 million in funding for UWaterloo research from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

Almost as if to underline that kind of high-impact research that Waterloo is known for, on March 19 I joined with local leaders and dignitaries in announcing a new research partnership between Waterloo and Grand River Hospital.

March was also a month to celebrate inclusivity and diversity. In honour of International Women’s Day, the University hosted its annual International Women’s Day Dinner on March 6, at the University Club. Over 120 people registered to attend the celebration this year: a 33 per cent increase in numbers from 2013. Jo Atlee, Professor, School of Computer Science delivered an excellent keynote presentation titled: “Gender Diversity in Computing.”

On March 18, I was delighted to help bestow the 2015 Senate Status of Women and Equity Committee (SWEC) Inclusivity Award to Jeremy Steffler. Jeremy’s work toward inclusivity and diversity both on campus and in the community is an inspiration.

And on March 26, I delivered a keynote address to the Immigration Partnership Community forum. You can read my speech online. This was an excellent opportunity to underline the importance of diversity both here on campus and in the broader Waterloo region community.

March also saw several appointments, and a few farewells. I was happy to announce the appointment of new deans for the Faculties of Environment and Applied Health Science. Jean Andrey and James Rush have already gotten off to a terrific start. I’m delighted to be working with them both, and you can read more about their appointments in the official announcement.  

President Hamdullahpur presents outgoing chancellor Prem Watsa with a Key to the University of WaterlooThis month we bade farewell to two extremely valued members of our team. Bud Walker will be officially retiring from the University on March 31, 2015. Rounding out a long-serving career that traces back to 1971, Bud has recently been heavily involved in strengthening the University’s efforts in entrepreneurship. In his honour, the Velocity residence’s Great Hall has been renamed Bud Walker Commons. Bud, you’ll be missed.

We also saluted outgoing chancellor Prem Watsa with a small reception in his honour this Wednesday. As ceremonial head of our University, Prem has been an immense contributor to our success and prestige both in Canada and around the world.

  President Hamdullahpur presents outgoing chancellor Prem Watsa with a Key to the University of Waterloo in recognition of Mr. Watsa's distinguished service. The small farewell event took place in Toronto on Tuesday, March 24,                                                                          2015.
Thank you, Prem, for all you’ve done.
 
And thanks to each of you for a great March!


All the best,

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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