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Home > Press > Campaign Waterloo raises $515 million

Campaign impact shows how great philanthropy can "make a huge difference"

Campaign Waterloo raises $515 million

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada | Posted on June 29th, 2009

The University of Waterloo has reached "new heights in philanthropic giving," raising more than half-a-billion dollars over the course of the campaign that has transformed the university and its
community, says Bob Harding, chair of the university's board of governors.

Campaign Waterloo has raised more than $515 million, nearly double its original goal of $260 million and significantly surpassing its subsequent "stretch goal" of $350 million. During the campaign, Waterloo attracted four of the 10 largest gifts ever made to education in Canada.

Only two other universities have surpassed $500 million in fundraising campaigns - University of Toronto and University of Alberta - and both are significantly larger and older institutions.

"This hugely successful campaign is classic Waterloo, the university that dared to be unconventional and ask 'why not?' and is now one of Canada's best universities" says Harding, who also served as campaign chair. "It demonstrates the power of philanthropy to make a huge difference in the future of a university, a community, a country."

Harding says this became possible because "our alumni, students, faculty and staff, individuals, plus many corporate partners - over 58,000 donors in all collaborated in creating opportunities for this university to build a better future, for Canada and the world."

Those philanthropists range from Boaz Van Veen, who was four years old when he contributed his piggybank's contents to Waterloo's Alzheimer research program, to Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis, who donated $101 million to support the Institute for Quantum Computing and the Quantum-Nano Centre. The latter leveraged an additional $100 from federal and provincial governments, plus
$100 million from other sources, creating a $300-million investment in research that may transform everything from communications to medicine.

Louise Fréchette, former United Nations Deputy Secretary General, and long-time senior Canadian diplomat now serving a three-year term at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, says Waterloo has also strengthened its connections to the global community through enterprising endeavors such as the Balsillie School of International Affairs made possible by the generosity of RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie.

"CIGI and the Balsillie School are already major players in the international stage, examining the ways humanity is dealing with issues such as global security, resources, environment and nuclear energy," Fréchette said. "That's the power of transformative giving, of enlightened

The campaign has spurred creation of new facilities, satellite campuses, teaching resources, scholarships and research capacity, and also attracted talent, brainpower and investment to the region and province. Among other key developments made possible or aided by this record philanthropy were:

- The Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (CBET);
- The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology;
- The School of Pharmacy and the Health Sciences Campus in downtown
- The Stratford Institute for digital media;
- The School of Architecture in Cambridge
- Expanded facilities for the School of Optometry and the school of
Accounting and Finance
- The Schlegel UW Research Institute for Aging
- The David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

"Waterloo has always been an unconventional university, responding to the needs of society and effectively partnering with government, business, and other researchers to pursue and find solutions to problems facing our world today," says Waterloo President David Johnston. "I am so grateful that so many of our friends and university family share our vision, and have donated their
resources and energy to make this campaign such a splendid success."

The campaign continues, focusing on the priorities of Waterloo's sixth decade plan, entitled Pursuing Global Excellence: Seizing Opportunities for Canada, for each of the six faculties and four colleges.

To learn more about Waterloo's sixth decade priorities, please read the plan at For information on campaign highlights, visit


About University of Waterloo
In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart
of Canada's Technology Triangle, has become one of Canada's leading
comprehensive universities with 28,000 full and part-time students in
undergraduate and graduate programs. In the next decade, the university is
committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing
innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of
today and tomorrow. Waterloo, as home to the world's largest post-secondary
co-operative education program, embraces its connections to the world and
encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research, and discovery.

For more information, please click here

Linda Kieswetter, Associate Vice-President,
Principal gifts and campaigns, (519) 888-4567 ext. 32961; Michael Strickland,
Waterloo media relations, (519) 888-4777

Copyright © University of Waterloo

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