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Renison mourns the passing of its last living Founder

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It is with sadness, but with profound gratitude, that Renison University College relays the news that our last living founder, The Venerable Harvey Southcott, passed away on August 6, 2018 at the age of 93.

Harvey Southcott standing in front of the Founders Building at Renison in 1961 and 2013.An Anglican priest in Waterloo, Ontario in the 1950s-1960s, Archdeacon Southcott was active in the community and was central to the creation of Renison University College. It was Southcott’s vision for an Anglican affiliated educational institution, connected with the University of Waterloo (then Waterloo College), that ultimately led to the Renison that has been integral to the stories of so many people.

Archdeacon Southcott’s bold dream was for a place where relationships would flourish, explorational learning would take place, and individual gifts would be developed for the benefit of all.

This vision was beautifully summarized in a prayer he wrote for Founders’ Day in 2013:

Collect for Founders’ Day

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we pray for the founding of Renison University College. We offer unto you our special thanks for the success which has blessed the teachings and service of all those past and present members who have been part of this centre of learning. Help us to value and use the results of the efforts of all the staff and students to seek after truth and to share their benefits for the public good. In your gracious presence, we offer this prayer. Amen.

The Renison community is grateful for The Venerable Harvey Southcott and all of the Founders of Renison University College – for their vision, their commitment, and their legacy. They have gifted us with an institution that fosters lasting relationships and seeks to empower students to be change-makers in the world.

While we mourn the passing of Archdeacon Southcott, we find solace in his legacy which lives through the strong relationships and passion for knowledge maintained by Renison students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Photo: (Top) The Ven. Harvey Southcott standing in front of Renison's Founders Building while it was under construction in 1961. (Bottom) The Ven. Harvey Southcott standing in front of the Founders Building in 2013, wearing the medals of both a Founder (dark blue) and an Honorary Senior Fellow (red).

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