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Coordinates: 43°28′25″N 80°33′31″W 43.4735237, -80.5586028


University of Waterloo

  • Location & Contact Information
    • Address, Directions, & Map:
      • 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    • Telephone Numbers:
      • +1 519 888 4567
      • 519-884-8009 (fax)
    • Official Website: [1]
  • History & Memorable Moments

The University of Waterloo was originally conceived in 1955 as the Waterloo College Associate Faculties (WCAF), a semi-autonomous entity within Waterloo College (now Wilfrid Laurier University). [1]

The university's first president, Gerry Hagey, gathered teachers of engineering and basic sciences, and also obtained an initial grant of $625,000 from the government. The first 74 students began classes on July 1, 1957, in makeshift temporary buildings on the Waterloo College campus. In January 1958, Hagey and colleagues purchased 184 acres of farmland a kilometer west of Waterloo College's main campus in order to meet the growing expansion needs. Soon, construction began of the first academic building on the new site, known as the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Building, later renamed Engineering 1 and now named after Douglas Wright, UW's first Dean of Engineering. Through a series of delicate negotiations which turned into bitter hostilities, the "Faculty of Science and Engineering" broke free from Waterloo College, partly due to the fact that the two campuses were now disjoint. Hagey himself was opposed to the break, as his dream had been to establish a world-class university built on the strengths of Waterloo College's liberal arts strengths and the applied science education of WCAF. In early 1959, the government established three universities: Waterloo Lutheran University, University of St. Jerome's College, and the University of Waterloo. Initially, St. Jerome's and Waterloo Lutheran were both expected to federate with the new UW, but in the end Waterloo Lutheran chose to remain independent. UW then quickly created a faculty of arts in order to gain respect as a university. In the same year, arts students joined the science and engineering students in the new campus. [1]

Three more church colleges ended up joining the university: Renison, Conrad Grebel, and St. Paul's. Waterloo created the first Faculty of Mathematics in North America, and the first co-op programs outside of engineering soon followed. The co-op system then was revised in involving four-month terms rather than the initial three-month terms. In 1967, the College of Optometry of Ontario, at the moment an independent institution in Toronto, moved to Waterloo and became affiliated with the university. In 1967 the world's first Department of Kinesiology was created, which later grew into the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. The Faculty of Environmental Studies was created soon after. [1]

More recently, in 2004, the School of Architecture was relocated to downtown Cambridge in an effort to enhance the school's facilities and strengthen its community ties. The School, located in a former industrial building on the Grand River, is an important part of plans to bolster the economy of Cambridge's downtown area. [1]

In 2001, the University of Waterloo announced its intentions to develop a Research and Technology Park on the university's north campus. The park intends to house many of the high-tech industries in the area and maintain the partnership between university and private-sector innovation. Sybase/iAnywhere Solutions and Open Text Corporation were the first two tenants, and the multi-tenant Accelerator Centre building opened in April 2006. [1]

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  • Teachers (Where are they now?)
    • Harris, Christian (January 1995 - January 1998)
    • Jenkins, Nicole
    • Raju, Jayadev (February 2004 - Present)
    • Schmidt, Peter (January 2001 - Present)
    • Wright, Joel R (September 1990 - May 1995)
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