Dr. Jo-Anne Willment

Head shot of Jo-Anne WillmentJo-Anne Willment joined the St. Paul’s community as a first-year student in 1973 and quickly came to appreciate why students who lived at the College spoke so highly of their experiences. St. Paul’s was a place where she could get involved and make a difference in the lives of others. It was a place where she easily made new friends who would provide support and encouragement as together they faced new challenges in life and academics – and for eight months of the year, it was a place to call home.

Jo-Anne has been an active contributor to the community since day one. Regarded by her friends in residence for a great singing voice and the ability to play multiple instruments, she was a key performer in the early days of BlackForest Coffeehouse. Later, she joined the Board of Governors, was a member of the alumni association executive, and stayed in touch with a large group of friends from St. Paul’s through various events and reunions. Most recently, she has pledged a major gift to the Shape the World Campaign and has begun to volunteer with the GreenHouse program.

At the age of 34, Jo-Anne experienced a stroke, a life-altering event that left her without the use of her right hand, caused other mobility issues, and significantly affected her speech. But with treatment, therapy, and the help of a supportive community, she recovered very well, resumed singing and used the experience as motivation to obtain an Ed.D. Doctorate in Education, and ultimately to pursue a career in academics.

This past January, Jo-Anne retired after working at several prominent institutions, including Waterloo, Dalhousie, and most recently, the University of Calgary. She is well regarded for her work in distance and adult education and for working hard to remove barriers for differently abled learners. Recently Jo-Anne was granted Emeritus status from the University of Calgary Board of Governors. 

At her retirement party, she requested that in lieu of gifts, her friends and colleagues contribute to the Dr. Jo-Anne H. Willment Travel Scholarship fund, which she established for St. Paul’s students through a planned gift. The intent of the award is to provide future St. Paul’s students with access to funding for national and international travel in the pursuit of academic, experiential, or fieldwork experience with preference given to students in GreenHouse, International Development, or Indigenous programs.

For Jo-Anne, the decision to include St. Paul’s in her will was an easy one. She knows how much value the St. Paul’s community can add for Waterloo students and she wants to continue knocking down barriers for learners.


If you’d like to follow Jo-Anne’s lead and leave your own legacy at St. Paul’s, we invite you to get in touch to discuss the available options.

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Dr. Richard and Linda Jussaume ('07)