The University of Waterloo will be welcoming back more than 2,000 students on October 26 and 27 to receive their degrees at Waterloo’s 117th convocation. In front of friends, family and special guests, graduating students will receive their academic hoods and be presented with their official diplomas. 

The ceremonies will take place at the University in the main gymnasium of the Physical Activities Complex. There will be two ceremonies each day beginning at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Convocation Schedule

Friday’s convocation will begin with students from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and the Faculty of Science at 10 a.m. The Faculty of Environment and the Faculty of Mathematics are scheduled to follow at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s convocation will open with the Faculty of Arts in the morning and the Faculty of Engineering in the afternoon. For more information, please visit the convocation website.

Welcome Chancellor Barton

On Saturday, October 27, Waterloo will install Dominic Barton, global managing partner emeritus of McKinsey & Company, as its 11th chancellor. Barton replaces Tom Jenkins, chair of the board at OpenText Corporation. Jenkins’ three-year term ended in the spring. The University will name Jenkins chancellor emeritus.

Honorary Doctorates

David A. Butler-Jones David A. Butler-Jones is senior medical officer for First Nations and Inuit Health at Health Canada. Dr. Butler-Jones was the first chief public health officer of Canada and head of the Public Health Agency of Canada. He is the recipient of many prestigious awards for his achievements in public health and commitment to health equity. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science.

Ingrid Daubechies Ingrid Daubechies is the James B. Duke professor of mathematics and electrical and computer engineering at Duke University. She is the first female full professor in mathematics at Princeton University. Daubechies is well-known for her breakthrough in wavelet theory which she discovered while working as a researcher at AT&T Bell Laboratories. She is the recipient of many honours including the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the title of baroness bestowed to her by King Albert II of Belgium. Daubechies will receive an Honorary Doctor of Mathematics.

Parker MitchellParker Mitchell, a Waterloo alumnus, is the founder and CEO of SHIFT. With George Roter, he co-founded Engineers Without Borders, one of Canada’s most influential non-governmental organizations dedicated to tackling global poverty. A recipient of Canada’s Meritorious Service Cross (Civil), Mitchell will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering.

George RoterGeorge Roter is a director at Mozilla. He launched Engineers Without Borders (EWB) in 2000 with Parker Mitchell. A Waterloo alumnus, Roter worked to develop and expand EWB into a vibrant and highly successful organization addressing poverty around the world. Roter has received Canada’s Meritorious Service Cross (Civil) and numerous other awards. He will receive an Honorary Doctor of Engineering.

Special honours

Lynn Judge will become an Honorary Member of the University. As the director of academic services in Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, formerly the Graduate Studies Office, she championed projects to improve the graduate student experience and services for graduate students.

Alfrieda Swainston will also become an Honorary Member of the University. Having worked at the University for 50 years, she was instrumental in the design and development of the staff salary structure and job evaluation system that enabled the University to achieve pay equity compliance 30 years ago and since then, managed the strict adherence to the framework to ensure equitable and affordable salary administration practices across the employee group.

Leo Rothenburg will become Distinguished Professor Emeritus. Formerly chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Waterloo, Rothenburg also served as acting dean of the Faculty as well as associate vice-president, international. He has several achievements in innovative research and has a reputation for exceptional teaching and student supervision. His expertise in theoretical and computational methods are in use in the geomechanics of mining, petroleum, solid waste and transportation.

For more information about this fall’s convocation schedule and honourees, please visit the convocation website.