Skip to the content of the web site.

Friday, May 6, 2011

  • Grebel seeking $6 million for expansion
  • That's one week down in the spring term
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Grebel seeking $6 million for expansion

Conrad Grebel University College will hold a luncheon today to launch a campaign aimed at raising $6.3 million to expand its academic building.

[Architect's drawing]The “Next Chapter” capital campaign was approved by Grebel’s board of governors on April 28, a news release says, but it’s a response to a need that has been recognized for years: “In 2006, capital expansion, particularly of the library and archives, was identified as an urgent need and one of the College’s six strategic priorities.”

The release continues: “The College’s academic building has not been renovated or expanded since it was constructed in 1976 and is no longer able to accommodate the academic program or enrolment growth. While the 2002 building project expanded the residence program by fifty percent, it did not address academic space needs.”

Construction (architect's drawing, above) is scheduled to begin in March 2012, says Grebel president Henry Paetkau, and be completed in time for Grebel’s 50th anniversary in August 2013.

“Initial interest and support has been enthusiastic and generous,” reports Scott Beech, chair of the board’s fund-raising committee. “More than $2.9 million has already been raised in gifts and pledges.” He said a grant application to Heritage Canada is in process, “and other funding will come from annual revenue for graduate teaching, reserves, and an internal mortgage.”

This expansion will triple the capacity of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario, double study space in the library, increase music department space by 5,000 square feet and create a new community education facility for the peace and conflict studies program.

“It will also create a clear, welcoming entrance to the College,” says the release, quoting Grebel dean James Pankratz: “This new facility will be a focal point for community outreach and education and enhance the academic program’s facilities for the next 50 years. We are committed to making the unique resources of the Archives more accessible to the community. The music program will enjoy expanded practice and teaching facilities. Additional space for graduate programs in theology and peace and conflict studies are also imperative for future growth.”

The board of governors has approved the schematic design and appointed Architecture Incorporated, who designed Grebel’s John E. Toews Atrium, built in 2002-03, to prepare the construction drawings. Nith Valley Construction will serve as project managers.

“We are thrilled with the building plans,” says Paul Penner, the College’s director of operations. Plans for the new library, archives, and academic facilities will be available on Wednesday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Conrad Grebel Great Hall, during a presentation by Laureen Harder-Gissing of the Mennonite Archives of Ontario.

Back to top

[Posing with trophies]

The World Tourism Forum, held last month in Lucerne, Switzerland, included a “Young Talents Program” with a competition for student research papers. Two of the winners — seen at the awards presentation — are graduate students supervised by Daniel Scott of the geography and environmental management department. Ryan Sim, second from left, took first place for a paper on the implications of rising sea levels for tourism in the Caribbean. Michelle Rutty, centre, placed third for her paper on the economic and environmental sustainability of ski resorts.

Back to top

That's one week down in the spring term

Free tickets will be available starting Monday morning (and, if demand is brisk enough, ending Monday morning too) for the “public” side of next month’s Equinox Summit event, sponsored by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative. WGSI is a partnership of the university and the Perimeter Institute, designed to bring together top scientists and policy-makers from around the world. Their topic this time (June 5-9): “Energy 2030”. In addition to the experts’ deliberations, the week will include an opening session featuring Governor General David Johnston, three major public lectures (one of them by Waterloo’s Thomas Homer-Dixon), daily plenary sessions, and live tapings of  TVOntario’s “The Agenda”. “The Equinox Summit public events are tailored for the general public,” an announcement reassures less-technical readers. “No scientific or specific energy knowledge is necessary for our events.” Details and ticket information are online.

Directors are officially in place for two academic programs associated with the university’s Stratford campus, which will enrol its first students this fall. According to a routine report to the university senate from the dean of arts, Gray Graffam is director of the Master of Digital Innovation program (that appointment was effective January 1) and Christine McWebb is director of the Global Business and Digital Arts program (effective May 1). Graffam is based in the department of anthropology; McWebb, in the department of French studies.

[Flanagan]John Flanagan (left) of Waterloo’s school of optometry was honoured this week at the other place he teaches: the University of Toronto’s Institute of Medical Science (through U of T’s ophthalmology department). He’s the 2011 recipient of the IMS’s Mel Silverman Mentorship Award, for “a graduate faculty member who has served as an outstanding mentor and role model for graduate students, and who has contributed in a significant way to the IMS graduate program. All candidates for this award are nominated by IMS graduate students.”  The award was presented on Wednesday as IMS held its annual Scientific Day symposium in Toronto’s landmark Medical Sciences Building.

A funeral service will be held tomorrow for Rial G. R. (Barney) Lawrence, Kitchener lawyer and long-time friend of the university, who died April 30 (not May 1 as the Daily Bulletin said earlier this week). The service will start at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in downtown Kitchener; visitation is today, 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m., at the Ratz-Bechtel Funeral Home. The obituary notice includes multiple references to Lawrence’s involvement with Waterloo: adjunct professor in three faculties where he taught business law; “resident counsel” for a time; years heading the President’s Committee of top donors; coach for the squash Warriors and, for a time, women’s tennis. He was presented with a Distinguished Teacher Award in 1991.

Deaths of several retired staff members have been reported in recent days. Charlotte Weber, a secretary in the dean of engineering office from 1969 to her retirement in 1984, died February 7. Gavin Currie, who was director of purchasing (now “procurement and contract services”) from 1974 to his retirement in 1990, died February 17. Maria Tomczuk, a housekeeper in Village I from 1971 to retirement in 1986, died February 26. Luise Stefanescu, a food services assistant in Village I from 1974 until she retired in 1990, died March 16. John Mohacsi, who worked in maintenance at St. Jerome’s University from 1967 until his retirement in 2003, died April 6.

The national women’s volleyball team will play two games against their counterparts from the Netherlands in Waterloo’s main gymnasium on August 20 and 21, Volleyball Canada announced this week. The games (on a Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon) follow similar games in Oshawa and Hamilton. “This series,” said a news release, “will offer fans in Ontario an opportunity to see Team Canada’s top line up face the Netherlands as both teams prepare for the Olympic qualification process that will begin the following month. Both the Canadian team (ranked 20th in the world) and Netherlands will be showing off their A squads.” Head coach Arnd Lundwig declares that “we are not that far away from the top teams in the world, but to close the gap we need to play more matches against the top teams in the world. These matches against the Netherlands, currently ranked 12th in the world and the 2009 European silver medallists, will offer us that opportunity.” Tickets should be on sale this week.


Back to top

OHD courses: getting the details right

The spring issue of the Edge newsletter from the office of organizational and human development was distributed this week, and includes a listing of workshops and other offerings this term. Among the events planned: three new workshops in an "inclusivity" series, as well as familiar courses on e-mail, minute-taking and other skills. OHD reports that there's an error in the schedule: a course on "Understanding Inclusivity" is listed for Monday, May 23, which is the Victoria Day holiday. It will actually be offered Wednesday, May 25.

Link of the day

Sunday is Mothers' Day

PhD oral correction

Chemistry. Uthaiwan Suttisansanee, “Investigation of the Microbial Glyoxalase.", oral defence is scheduled for Monday, May 16, 10:00 a.m., Chemistry 2 room 361, and not as listed in this space yesterday.

When and where

Co-op students return-to-campus interviews, final day, Tatham Centre; architecture, May 10, Cambridge campus.

Catalyst Conference for young women interested in math and science, hosted by Women in Engineering, Friday-Sunday. Details.

Strive Dance Challenge Friday-Sunday, Humanities Theatre.

Charity Grillfest sponsored by Engineering Society in support of Free the Children: pulled bork on a bun, halal chicken, veggie kabobs, lunchtime, Carl Pollock Hall courtyard.

Stratford campus reception (by invitation) honouring artists whose work are on display in the Waterloo building, today 3:00, 6 Wellington Street, information ext. 23000.

OUA women's basketball all-star game Saturday 7:30 p.m., RIM Park, Waterloo, admission free, preceded by clinic 11 a.m., skills competition 2:30.

DaCapo Chamber Choir, based at Conrad Grebel UC, “A World of Colour” Saturday 8:00, St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Kitchener. Details.

Employee Assistance Program sponsors UW Campus Walk, May 9 to June 5, individuals and teams welcome. Details.

Senate graduate and research council Monday 10:30, Needles Hall room 3004.

Problem Gambling Research Team seminar: Sheila Wahsquonaikezhik, Batchewana Band of Ojibways, “From the Floor to the Frontline: An Insider’s Perspective” Monday 11:00, Flex Lab, Dana Porter Library.

WatPD Engineering first birthday celebration, reception primarily for faculty and alumni involved in launching the program, Monday 3:00, Engineering 5 room 3010, RSVP ext. 31208.

VeloCity start-of-term “pitch night”, as students present their technology business ideas, Monday 5:00 to 8:00, University Club, by invitation, information e2barnes@

Census of Canada Tuesday, May 10. Details.

Class enrolment appointments for fall term undergraduate courses posted in Quest, May 10; appointments for continuing students, June 6-11; for first-time students, July 11-24; open class enrolment, July 25.

Student team recruitment fair seeking newcomers for 10 student teams, Tuesday 3:00 to 6:00, Student Design Centre, Engineering 5.

Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, gives the 2011 Stanley Knowles Humanitarian Service Lecture, speaking on national and international issues, Thursday 7:30 p.m., Theatre of the Arts, admission free but registration is full.

Open class enrolment for spring term courses ends, May 13.

Co-op job posting for spring term (main group and pharmacy students) appears on JobMine May 14.

Discussion group for parents of first-year students (incoming or just finished) May 16, 12:00, Needles Hall room 1116, information e-mail hwestmor@

Victoria Day Monday, May 23, university closed.

Yesterday's Daily Bulletin