Under the light of the setting sun in Renison’s Atrium, on Wednesday we celebrated the founding of Renison University College and recognized members of the Renison community who have distinguished themselves by advancing the values of Renison in the broader community.

The evening’s keynote speaker was John Neufeld, Renison alum and Executive Director of the House of Friendship. He began the keynote by saying “the world needs a little more Renison” and described his journey at Renison, including the meeting of his wife Andrea in a Renison corridor and finding his passion in the field of Social Work.

Wallis Zeng, a Renison resident, Peer Leader, and former English Language Institute student spoke next about her experience in our community. First viewing her time at Renison as a means to an end for her English language requirement, her time on campus would becoming, in Wallis’ words, “the cornerstone of profound friendships, transformative experiences, and unparalleled personal growth.”

Three people standing in front of a Renison backdrop. They are each wearing a medal and holding a folder with the Renison logo on it.

Left to right: Aurra Startup, Ajirioghene Evi, and John Neufeld.

One of the traditions of Founders’ Day is the bestowing of Renison honours on members of our community. This year, we bestowed the following honours:

John Neufeld, Honorary Senior Fellow (Presented by Kristiina Montero, Vice President Academic and Dean)
Ajirioghene Evi, Distinguished Alumni (Presented by Cort Egan, Director, External Relations and Communications)
Nauroz Tanya, Distinguished Alumni (Presented by Christine Gillies, ELI Lecturer)
Aurra Startup, Young Alumni (Presented by Kristina Llewellyn, SDS Professor)

Read more about our honorees in this year’s Renison Reports.

Nauroz Tanya was unable to join the celebration, and his son accepted the award on his behalf. He did, however, record a thank you video on YouTube.

The evening was capped off with a reception, where attendees enjoyed refreshments and good company.

Thank you to the supporters of our online auction, which raised over $3,000 for our Students First Fund, which supports students through bursaries, awards, and scholarships. The auction was made possible by generous donations from:

  • AmazingCo
  • Brenda Maciel
  • Centre In The Square
  • Drayton Entertainment
  • Flat Rock Cellars
  • Forge Football Club
  • Grand Philharmonic Choir
  • Kitchener Rangers
  • Lost Aviator Coffee
  • National Ballet of Canada
  • New Hamburg's Puddicombe House
  • Niagara Parks
  • Renison Food Services
  • Shed Brewing
  • Together We're Bitter Brewing
  • University of Waterloo 
  • Waterloo Region Museum
  • Wendy Fletcher Originals
  • Wordsworth Books

We thank everyone who was able to attend. The program was recorded, and can be viewed below, or on our YouTube channel.

Remote video URL