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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

  • Memories of 25 years live tonight
  • Art and spirit meet in festival
  • Union members vote; other notes
Chris Redmond

Birthday of George Vancouver

[Leaning on console]

Wes Graham, computer science professor and innovator, posed with the console of UW's IBM 360/75, which was taken out of active service in August 1979. Other highlights at UW that year: the Third Decade Report, budget cuts, and plans to open a fund-raising office.

Memories of 25 years live tonight

Hundreds of UW's long-time faculty and staff will get together tonight and remember a time when computers lived in "machine rooms", not on desktops.

It's the annual reception, dinner and awards night for the 25-Year Club, consisting of people who have worked at the university for at least a quarter of a century. Guests of honour for the evening are those who came to work here in 1979 -- the year when Burt Matthews was president, Joe Clark was prime minister and "Kramer vs. Kramer" took the Academy Award for best picture.

On the UW campus, a newcomer in 1979 was Porcellino the pig sculpture, initially housed in the Modern Languages lobby. Another addition was a second flagpole at the University Avenue entrance, as the provincial government asked universities to start flying the Ontario flag beside the Maple Leaf.

Organizers list 42 people who started at UW that year and are still active employees, including Graham Strong (director of the school of optometry), Lois Claxton (then a librarian, now secretary of the university), Ann Snyder (housekeeper in Village I), Lynn Judge (director of graduate studies services), Farhad Mavaddat (computer science professor), and Mary Clare (secretary in women's studies).

The annual 25-Year Club event is organized by a committee based in the human resources department, and hosted by UW president David Johnston, who will present each new 25-year veteran with a watch or stickpin as a Waterloo memento. The event begins at 6:00 in the Physical Activities Complex.

"It seems that 25 years ago it was not nearly as busy as it is today," says one of the new 25-year employees, Barb Heppler of the housing and residences office. "Everything was done with typewriters, paper and pens, interoffice memos instead of e-mail, face-to-face conversations and people on the other end of the phone instead of voicemail. . . . Over the years there have been great changes."

She describes Waterloo as "a great place to work with many great people", and another of the 1979 arrivals, Hugh Scoggan, cites a specific example. "What attracted me to the University of Waterloo," Scoggan writes, "was Professor Don Ranney.

"The previous year I had witnessed (at an annual meeting of the Schools of Anatomy in Ontario with General Inspector of Anatomy) Dr. Ranney's energetic and successful efforts to convince resisting medical schools of anatomy in Ontario of the merit of establishing a school of anatomy within the department of kinesiology. There was never a dull moment working with Dr. Ranney for twenty years before his official retirement (in 1996). Whoever has met this man can never forget his brilliant wit and sense of humour, agile inquiring mind, and vast knowledge."

Tonight's reception provides an opportunity for the old-timers to catch up with mentors like that, since retired 25-Year Club members are also invited. And the evening includes presentations to those who have gone another decade beyond the 25-year level, reaching 35 years of active service at Waterloo during 2004. The list of 35-year employees includes 29 names, among them Geoff McBoyle (dean of environmental studies), John Vanderkooy (faculty member in physics) and David Reynolds (manager of Ron Eydt Village).

[Volleyball court and green, green trees]

Summer is officially here, and among the gathering places would be the patios at Federation Hall (seen during the recent engineering reunion weekend) and the Bombshelter (where outdoor capacity will be temporarily increased to 600 for the "I'm a Canadian" party the night before Canada Day). Photo by Sepehr Vosoughi for the faculty of engineering.

Art and spirit meet in festival -- a news release from St. Jerome's University

The rich and intricate relationship between artistic creativity and spiritual quest finds expression at the second annual Festival of Art and Spirit at St. Jerome's University June 24 to 26.

This year, the festival focuses on the visual arts, showcasing the work and lives of five outstanding Canadian artists, with stories, interviews, workshops, barbecues, and musical presentations enriching the theme. All five will also exercise their creativity throughout, sketching whatever catches their eyes and offering the resulting work for silent auction at the festival's end.

Opening night is Thursday, June 24, and showcases the work of four Canadian artists -- Rene Meshake, Catherine Paleczny, Ted Rettig, and Gerald Squires -- at the UW art gallery in East Campus Hall. Each comes from a different generation, place and spiritual tradition; all share an apprehension of the role of the spiritual in their creativity. This exhibit is free of charge and will be open throughout the festival.

On Friday, June 25, Rene Meshake, an Ojibway artist and performer presents "Nenabozho", which draws upon native oral tradition and combines his unique storytelling ability and creative eye. Meshake's art helped him heal after experiencing abuse in residential schools and "gives his life meaning, renewal, and joy". Later, Queen's University artist-in-residence Ted Rettig, a sculptor and visual artist whose work is influenced by his study of contemplative practice and inter-religious dialogue, offers a slide show entitled "Reflections" on his life and work of the past thirty years.

Friday's evening performance features author Lesley Millard, reading her short story "A Fine Country" against a backdrop of artistic projections by Kitchener artist Isabella Stefanescu.

Saturday morning finds festival attendees elbow-deep in clay. Catherine Paleczny challenges conformity in "Amalgamation", a sculpting class in East Campus Hall. Spaces are limited to the first 25 people to sign up, but spectators are also welcome.

After a relaxing "Lunch with the Artists" barbecue, CBC host Michael Enright interviews Gerald Squires, renowned Newfoundland artist, "Inside the Artist's Studio". Squires's works explore the search for an understanding of God through the journeys of saints and mystics, and slides of his finest work will illustrate the dialogue.

Saturday evening's closing performance Performance, "Faith in Music", presents local mezzo-soprano Jennifer Enns Modolo conveying her sense of spirituality through song in a well-rounded performance including traditional and contemporary pieces. Afterward, all are invited to the closing reception.

The Festival of Art and Spirit is sponsored in part by BMO Financial Group, the Federation of Students, and St. Jerome's University. Events are open to all. Thursday's opening night is free. Festival passes are $25, day passes $15, and single performance passes $10. Students and seniors receive a $5 discount. There's more information on the web.

Union members vote; other notes

Members of Canadian Union of Public Employees local 793 -- which represents the hourly-paid staff in the plant operations and food services department -- will be voting today on a new contract. Negotiators have reached a tentative settlement, says Neil Murray of the human resources department, adding that "as always, the specific details of the agreement are confidential until it has been ratified by the membership." The previous CUPE contract was effective May 1, 2002.

So that CUPE members can attend a ratification meeting, most food services outlets will be closed from 2:30 today -- "with the exception of Tim Horton's in Davis Centre", a memo says. "Brubakers and Mudie's (Village I) will reopen at 4:15."

Several utility shutdowns are scheduled tomorrow in the Davis Centre. From 6 to 7 a.m., electrical power will be out in a selection of rooms (occupants of those areas are supposed to have been notified). From 8 a.m. to noon, cold water will be shut down, which means all washrooms in DC will be out of operation. Finally, from 3 to 8 p.m. the building will be without natural gas, which chiefly affects the furnace in the "clean room" where microchips are made. The shutdowns are generally connected to the major renovations going on in the library wing of Davis.

Mock candidates' debate sponsored by UW Debating society, noon, Student Life Centre.

Ideas to Innovation program, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, presentation for all interested faculty, 1:30, Rod Coutts Hall room 110.

Architecture students ranking for fall term co-op jobs, opens 3 p.m., closes 9:00 tomorrow morning.

Renison College "Principal's Ceilidh" for alumni and friends, 7 to 9 p.m. at the college, information 884-4404 ext. 657.

Summer garage sale organized by chemistry stores, Wednesday 10:00 to 1:00, Earth Sciences and Chemistry room 149. Cash, or charge to university accounts.

'Elaine Sings the Blues' concert by Elaine Brown, Village I staff member, Wednesday 12 noon, Student Life Centre multipurpose room, sponsored by UW Recreation Committee.

Feminist philosophy lecture, Marilyn Frye, Michigan State, visiting professor at UW, "Category Trouble: Helping Feminist Philosophy out of a Bind", Wednesday 3:00, Humanities room 373.

'Economic Policy and the World Bank', speaker and documentary, Wednesday 7 p.m., Davis Centre room 1302, part of series sponsored by UW International Health Development Association.

People have been asking: what's with Columbia Lake, which is not so much a lake this summer as a mudflat? Tom Galloway, UW's director of grounds services, confirms what I was guessing: the lake is being allowed to dry out in preparation for a major dredging project that's set to start in the fall. As part of the "environmental reserve" improvements to the central section of the north campus, the lake will be made smaller and deeper, which is expected to help improve water quality and fish habitats. Columnist Christian Aagaard said more about this issue in the Record yesterday.

The "WatWorks" conference for employers, organized by the co-operative education and career services department, is under way today in the Tatham Centre and Arts Lecture Hall. Participants will learn about new programs and how through them students can add value to their work environment. Adjunct professor Larry Smith of economics, who is president of Essential Economics Corp., is the keynote speaker at 11 a.m. (TC room 2218), on "Responding to the Challenges of Competition". Working sessions begin at 9:15 a.m. with an interactive panel discussion on "Best Practices in Co-operative Education", and continue with discussions of engineering innovation, performance appraisal and other issues. The day winds up with a reception hosted by UW's president.

A few days ago I had some words from Patti Cook, UW's waste management coordinator, about the recent Commuter Challenge and the need for people to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions for which they're to blame. Cook has a little more to say on the subject: "Heating and cooling buildings, using energy at home and work, driving vehicles to move people and goods, powering industrial processes -- most things we do that consume energy contribute to the problem. Radiation from the sun enters the earth's atmosphere, and GHGs act like a greenhouse's glass to block this heat from escaping back to space. There is a direct link between rising atmospheric GHG concentrations, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), global warming and more frequent extreme weather events. In Canada, climate change will affect fishing, farming, forestry, lakes, rivers, coastal communities and the North. At home or at work, we are the ones that will make the difference, by making the choices to turn off our monitors, turning off lights and even leaving lights off to keep it cooler, so air conditioners don't have to work as hard. The Government of Canada is challenging all Canadians to reduce their emissions by one tonne."


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