The University of Waterloo’s United Way campaign has always brought the campus together. Releasing our annual report this year, in the midst of a global pandemic, has a different feeling for those of us on the campaign committee. We want to sincerely thank our dedicated supporters, whether through volunteering as an ambassador or donating to the campaign; you help make a difference in the health and well-being of our community. Together, we can support our Region to ensure a more prosperous future for all.
This year, it’s important to reflect on the ‘togetherness’ the campaign brings to the University community and to reflect on the importance of philanthropy.
Looking back on our 2019 campaign, we asked former United Way campaign faculty representative James Skidmore why he continues to support the United Way.
I live a privileged life and want to share what I have, but I don’t know where the need is greatest. The United Way does. They support agencies rooted in the community, and by giving to the United Way, I’m affirming my solidarity with everyone who lives in Waterloo Region.
Adding to the importance of the campaign to our community, current campaign co-chair Alice Raynard said:
Everyone benefits with the United Way, from donors and volunteers to beneficiaries. It brings out the best in people and I am amazed at the difference it makes in our community: we are engaged, we belong, we are generous and we grow together.
During our President’s campaign lunch last year, we kicked off the campaign with a phenomenal impact speaker, Mallory Boyer, from Big Brothers and Big Sisters Waterloo Region, where we heard firsthand how our donations impact people within our community. This message echoed throughout the campaign’s success, as we celebrated our 2019 campaign contributions of over $262,000 to United Way Waterloo Region and Communities through individual donations and special events run by enthusiastic and dedicated departmental ambassador groups. We’re so thankful for the support of our university community.
Later in October, senior academic leadership stepped up to help build awareness and excitement across campus. This was the fourth year in a row that the Deans dressed up, this time as Sesame Street characters, and marched across campus, ensuring that viewers knew they were dressed for the United Way Campaign.
This is the fourth year the Deans have dressed up in support of the campaign – the characters joining their repertoire from Sesame Street are:
- Lili Liu, Dean of Applied Health Sciences as Cookie Monster
- Sheila Ager, Dean of Arts as Ernestina, an adaptation of the original Ernie
- Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering as Oscar the Grouch
- Jean Andrey, Dean of Environment as Bertha, an adaptation of the original Bert
- Stephen Watt, Dean of Mathematics, who was in his element as Count von Count
- Bob Lemieux, Dean of Science, as Elmo