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The Grand Re-Opening of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in B.C. Matthews Hall

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Grand Re-Opening of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in B.C. Matthews Hall

Department Chair, Dr. Troy Glover, Department Administrative Coordinator, Sandy Heise, and AHS Dean Dr. James Rush cutting the ceremonial ribbonOn February 28 2018, staff, faculty, students, retirees, and alumni REConnected in the freshly renovated Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies to celebrate the re-opening of their home in B.C. Matthews Hall.

With over 70 alumni working on campus, the Department felt that the most appropriate way to celebrate the renovations was to welcome the alumni and retirees back to the space. Old friends, past colleagues, current students, and more shared stories and laughs over their time as a RECer.

The Grand Re-Opening was a day-long open-house with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 12:30 PM. The open-house consisted of a light-table feature where visitors could view slides from the 1970s and 1980s Rec experience, a slide-show presentation of more recent events in the Department, photos and swag from throughout the years, a photo station, as well as a collaborative Jenga game where guests could write their idea of leisure on one side of a piece; the Jenga game is now available for all visitors in the Department’s social space.Guests were asked to reflect on their leisure pursuits on a Jenga game piece

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Dean James Rush and Department Chair Troy Glover, each spoke to the event guests. Dean Rush congratulated the Department on its success and sent best wishes for future work:

“I want to extend my congratulations to the RLS department on its success. As you may know, your department has received high subject area rankings on the global stage which is a wonderful acknowledgement of the work that you do here. Further, there is an appetite for interdisciplinarity right now - the world wants what you have! As this beautiful space opens, may it be a source of inspiration to you in your continuing work toward making a positive difference to our collective health and well-being”.

Department Chair, Troy Glover, held up the event take-away gift and addressed the guests:

"... a chair is meant to represent celebration. Celebration is another one of our departmental values. Chairs are gregarious creations, after all, just as this is a gregarious event.

In celebrating our newly renovated space, it was important to me that we invite back our over 70 REC alumni The event take-away, a mini beach chairwho work on campus. We’re asking them to “pull up a chair”, as it were, and REConnect with us. Our alumni are so important. We wanted to reach out and welcome you back home."

He continued to explain how the beach chair is an accurate symbol for our department. "... a chair is meant to represent our department. 'If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.' These words by the great African American politician Shirley Chisholm resonate with me immensely as some who belongs to a field called leisure studies. As an unconventional field of inquiry, we sometimes need to make our own space. RECers bring their folding chairs and assert their presence, whatever the context. Given our departmental focus on social justice and inclusion, it’s important to remember that folding chairs are also used in the home for any situation requiring extra seating. RECers make room for others."

Troy further explained how a beach chair reminds us of the importance of balance in our lives. The chair take-aways were handed out and guests invited to return the the department and visit in the future.

The Recreation and Leisure Studies Department would like to thank the following people and organizations who helped with the renovation as well as the moving process from BMH to MC for the better part of 2017, and back again:

From the University of Waterloo:

  • Sandy Heise - Department Administrator, and project coordinator for the Department
  • Adam Toplician - designer, UW Plant Operations
  • Paul Poetker - project manager, UW Plant Operations
  • Brent DeMueleneare - contractor, Kodiak
  • Katherine Marshall, Jim Rush, Kristie Slaney - Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
  • Trevor Bain and Lowell Williamson - Applied Health Sciences Computing
  • Tony Bairos and the UW Central Stores moving team
  • Ziggy Bojarski - Plant Operations
  • Gerry Doyle - Plant Operations
  • Matt Verlis - Information Systems & Technology
  • Joe O'Marra - IST Telephone Services
  • Pat Kadwell - IST fob security
  • Amy Bender and Scott Nicoll - UW Space Planning Office

Our Contractors and their teams:

  • Cory & Howard - H C Electric
  • Dennis - Brody Enterprises 
  • Ernie Matteau - ICI Marble and Tile
  • Andy - Armadillo Interiors
  • Tom Mclaughlin - CN Mechanical
  • SDS Cabling
  • Siemens ventilation
  • Jeff Cole - Bakers atWork

A big thank you to Jenna Remedios and David Harnock for making this event happen, and to all of our visitors throughout the day for coming to our housewarming event.

To see photos of the event day, visit our Facebook page

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