Occasional updates, comments, and reflections from President Feridun Hamdullahpur

Wishing Everyone a Happy Holiday Season

President's holiday video

The holiday season is a wonderful time to pause and celebrate our accomplishments as we look forward to an exciting year ahead filled with new opportunities. Our students have flourished and have much to be proud of, our faculty and researchers are pushing the boundaries of discovery and guiding our best and brightest, and our dedicated staff continue to enable our university to succeed.

The end of a year is a natural time to look back, but our community of students, faculty and staff never rest on the past but strive to reach higher.

Standing with l’École Polytechnique de Montréal as we Remember and Act to End Violence Against Women

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Today, like so many other universities across Canada, we mourn. We mourn the loss of safety. We mourn the loss of bright futures. We mourn the loss of 14 young women. Today we stand with l'École Polytechnique de Montréal and all those who identify as women who are impacted by gender-based violence.

Respect our heroes by honouring their legacy

Remembrance Day

Today is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the past as we honour those brave men and women who have fought and died for Canada, its values and its people. For weeks we have worn our poppies with reverence and care, pinning them to our jackets to show the respect our veterans deserve for their service to our country.

Waterloo launches its new strategic plan: Connecting Imagination with Impact

university of waterloo strategic plan

Change and disruption is shifting our world and we must be prepared to face the challenges of our society and lead. I know what our University is capable of because of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who have made Waterloo the dynamic institution it is today.

How Interdisciplinary Approaches to Health Care Are Vital for Our Future

Waterloo Innovation Summit Health Tech

Our population is aging. This demographic shift is affecting the majority of Western nations and creating profound challenges. This and other factors – from mobility and accessibility to the efforts to battle cancer – are creating a number of opportunities to find solutions and supports. Universities have a leading role to play in meeting these challenges head on. The University of Waterloo is leading the way.

This week the University hosted the Waterloo Innovation Summit which brought leaders to campus to discuss how a boom in health technology is transforming health care.

The Growth of our Campus and the Student Experience

columbia icefield Field House at Waterloo

I know how exceptional our students are and all the effort they commit while in and out of the classroom. They are the heartbeat of our campus and a significant part of my commitment to them is to ensure their experience at the University of Waterloo is positive and enriching.

Today marks a leap in that offering with the grand opening of the Columbia Icefield Field House. This 65,000 square foot indoor facility is the newest addition to our campus landscape and it didn’t happen overnight. The structure and meeting place we have today is something we can all be proud to have at Waterloo.

HeForShe and the need to never stop working towards gender equity

HeForShe Get Free Tour

The University of Waterloo was the first stop on the special HeForShe Get Free Tour this morning that brought representatives from HeForShe and United Nations Women to our campus. The Tour stop brought excitement and support to our campus with guest speakers, corporate HeForShe partners from DeBeers and special celebrity guest Edgar Ramirez, all sharing the importance of building a university and society that is truly equitable. The outpouring of support of those from across our campus community this morning was truly inspiring.

The Beginning of so Much More Than a School Year

Orientation Week Waterloo

I cannot imagine a more exciting time of the year than the first week of September.

I know we are an active community the entire year. Our students, faculty and staff are in a constant state of exploration and learning, but September and the beginning of a new academic year is something special. This week we welcome thousands of new students to our campus for the first time and welcome back even more returning students to continue their journey at Waterloo.

Bringing wellness to the forefront of our community

mental health and wellness

When I signed the Okanagan Charter this past October, our University took a significant step forward in our journey to embrace the lens of wellness in all that we do. From the decisions we make about our policies, buildings, programs and initiatives, wellness – particularly mental health wellness – will be a key factor in how we make the choices that will shape our campus.

I was excited to see the recent launch of the Wellness Collaborative which the result of the signing of the Okanagan Charter and the signing of the Healthy Workplace Statement. The Wellness Collaborative takes the commitment found in these two documents and turns it into action by bringing our community together to share ideas, perspectives and experiences on an ongoing basis.

Doing Good and Closing Canada's AI Gap

artificial intelligence at waterloo

Canada has a problem.

We play an outsized role in the world as drivers of artificial intelligence knowledge and advancement, but we aren’t seeing it pay off on the global stage–not in the headlines, and not yet in the marketplace. Even as Canada cements its role as the big thinkers behind one of the world’s most dynamic and disruptive technologies, companies are having a difficult time capitalizing on that advantage.

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