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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Meeting the Moment

With the completion of our new Strategic Plan, Renison stands on the cusp of a new chapter. We have defined our core commitments, our strategic goals and our institutional objectives and priorities.

Since 2014, Dr. Wendy L. Fletcher has held the position of President and Vice-Chancellor at Renison University College. She has provided
steadfast leadership including guiding Renison through the global pandemic and one of the most difficult, complex, and challenging periods in our history. After a well-deserved sabbatical, Wendy will return to her teaching responsibilities at Renison and will oversee the newly created Centre for Spirituality and Wisdom Practices. Before she steps away, Cort Egan (Director of External Relations and Communications) asked about her time at the helm of Renison University College.

Before Dr. Fletcher’s term ends in June 2024, we have asked community members to reflect on what her leadership has meant to them, and offered a word to describe her (shown in the word cloud above). We had a huge response; the following is just a small selection of what was submitted, but demonstrates the lasting impact of President Wendy L. Fletcher. 

Quilting is a handicraft with a long history. Some sources suggest it emerged during Medieval times as a quilted garment under armor, but there is evidence that stitching padding and fabric together could date back as far as 3400 BCE! Since the beginnings, quilted items have been practical and beautiful, and provided a focal point for social interaction. Ever heard of a quilting bee? It’s a gathering where quilters share skills and techniques, and generally catch up. 

It’s no wonder why this craft has such longevity. Two members of the Renison community, Brenda Maciel and Julia Williams, have picked up the needle and found peace (or perhaps piece) in patchwork.

Joseph Olubobokun is a Renison Board member and a generous donor to the College. Time and money are both finite and therefore valued possessions. The decision to give both to a single organization is meaningful; Joseph’s story is worth sharing.

The road that led Joseph Olubobokun from Lagos, Nigeria to Waterloo, Ontario is long and complex and included lengthy detours in London, England; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Woodstock, Ontario and North Portal, Saskatchewan. Throughout his sojourning, three sign posts were constant companions on Joseph’s journey: faith, networking, and a universal language.

You can find anything online. Replacing a sink? Want to get into yoga? Need to know what plants will work in the shade of your backyard? It’s all there, right at your fingertips. That’s exactly why Renison alum Rachael Fowler wanted to go online for an educational series about therapy. Since graduating, Rachael has been working with a wide variety of clients, including some who are hesitant to try therapy. So she wanted to introduce clients to therapy to prepare for sessions, make the concepts accessible, and get to the heart (or mind) of the matter. 

Renison community members might notice a new addition to the hallway, tucked into the vestibule beside the Ministry Centre and the outdoor space where students can be found gathering for regular bonfires. In this small space, Renison’s Student Wellness and Food Security Committee has made a big impact, with the new Community Fridge and Cupboard.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Link-ing Students Together

f you’ve been in the halls of Renison over the last few months, you may have noticed a new lounge space in the location previously occupied by the Renison Registrar Office. This space, which had originally been slated for a student lounge before being used as an office, was ideal because of its central location and proximity to the student-run Moose Tracks Connection desk. The hallway is known as “The Link” because it links the area of Renison where Social Development Studies and the School of Social Work reside, to the Great Hall, Library, Chapel and classroom spaces. The Link Lounge, together with Moose Tracks, means that the Link is now largely student space, easily accessible and on the main level of Renison. We spoke with Ryan Connell, Assistant Director of Student Experience and Housing (SEAH) at Renison, about the new lounge.