Our 2018 campaign

Bringing the campus together

The University of Waterloo’s United Way campaign always brings the campus together, but in 2018 we were able to spark new connections as we brought senior leadership and our volunteer base together for the first time ever.

This new approach to connecting supporters came about after reflecting on a 2017 campaign that saw us falling short of our goal. The campaign committee knew there had to be a stronger way to support and invigorate our on-campus champions.

Volunteers and senior university leaders came together over lunch to learn about the work the work United Way is doing locally and how our campaign makes a difference in the community. Landon Jennings, United Way co-op student, shared her personal experiences accessing services from the Child Witness Centre in Kitchener and attendees noted her story struck a chord with all in attendance.

“Landon’s story captured everyone’s attention, from our volunteers to the President, and it was clear that her words were impacting everyone in the room,” noted Alison Boyd, Director Alumni Relations. “I’ve participated in the United Way kickoff lunches before, but there was something special about this year’s event. Seeing all our campus champions together connecting with such an impactful message reminded me of why I support our United Way campaign.”

The energy in the room carried through to a successful campaign launch on October 2 and momentum built throughout October thanks to volunteers and their fundraising events.

Later in October, senior academic leadership stepped up to help build awareness and excitement across campus. The October Senate meeting saw a disturbance in the Force as the six Deans dressed up as Star Wars characters and marched around campus. The galactic crew made sure students and employees knew they were ‘dressed this way for United Way’.

The deans dressed up with Star Wars characters

Who's who:

  • Paul Stolee, interim Dean of Applied Health Sciences as Obi Wan Kenobi
  • Doug Peers, Dean of Arts as Yoda
  • Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering as Darth Vader
  • Jean Andrey, Dean of Environment as Princess Leia
  • Stephen Watt, Dean of Mathematics as Luke Skywalker
  • Bob Lemieux, Dean of Science, as a member of the Red Guard (who presumably stole a light saber)