Summer 2009 Campus Magazine

Page 1

For Alumni & Friends

Setting the scene Sunil Kuruvilla’s award-winning play takes centre stage at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival

The business of motherhood How connecting with neighbourhood moms led to a thriving career

The spirit of song The Nathaniel Dett Chorale hits a high note at the U.S. presidential inauguration

Leading-edge Laurier Learn about the innovative research and teaching occurring on campus


Summer 2009



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Sunil Kuruvilla in Stratford.

Cover Story His play’s the thing


Playwright Sunil Kuruvilla’s compelling characters have moved audiences across North America for the past decade. But this summer marks his biggest achievement so far: the staging of his play Rice Boy at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.




Editor’s Letter


Reader Letters


President’s Corner


Alumni News


Campus News


Keeping in Touch




Campus spotlight


From leading-edge research to innovative teaching, this new feature looks at what’s happening on Laurier’s campuses.

A song for history



The Nathaniel Dett Chorale sings about hope and possibility at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Welcome to the motherhood How one grad’s desire to connect with neighbourhood moms led to a thriving business.






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Editor’s letter

Celebrating the unexpected

Volume 49, Number 1, Summer 2009 ISSN 0700-5105

Laurier Campus is published by the Department of Public Affairs Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 Editor: Stacey Morrison ’97 Writers: Lori Chalmers Morrison, Mallory O’Brien ‘08 Design: Erin Steed Photography: Tomasz Adamski, Mat McCarthy, Mallory O’Brien, Dean Palmer, Jodi Renee, Mike Whitehouse Send address changes to: Address Updates, Development and Alumni Relations Email: Phone: (519) 884-0710 ext. 3176 Publications Mail Registration No. 40020414 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Department of Public Affairs Wilfrid Laurier University 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5 We welcome and encourage your feedback. Send letters to the editor to We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Laurier celebrated convocation this spring with more than 2,000 graduates joining the university’s alumni family. I took a break from my office duties to attend one of the ceremonies and it wasn’t long before I was imaging what these newly-minted graduates would do with their lives and where their paths would take them. One of the honorary degree recipients was Louise Fréchette, former United Nations deputy secretary general and officer of the Order of Canada. In her speech to the graduating class, she recalled her own path: “I entered the foreign service by fluke — literally. To tell you the truth, I did not realize I was joining the diplomatic career until my first day at work.” Even the most distinguished careers can be accidental. Many alumni have learned that the best experiences are unplanned. Playwright Sunil Kuruvilla was passionate about writing, but was never a “theatre guy.” In fact, the first play he saw was his own. This year, his work will be part of the prestigious Stratford Shakespeare Festival. And Ann-Marie Burton thought she gave up her career when she quit the corporate world to be a stay-at-home

mom. But she became an unwitting entrepreneur when a small play group she started grew to nine chapters across Ontario. Fréchette also spoke about how “…all the good things that happen in the world happen because good people believe in what they are doing and have faith in their capacity to make life on this planet better for future generations.” We have started a new section of the magazine that features people at Laurier who are doing just this through their research or teaching. In this issue you will learn about Dr. Brent Wolfe’s research into the critical state of Canada’s freshwater resources, and how Dr. Hind Al-Abadleh’s study of arsenic and soil particles is providing vital environmental information. Also in this issue is the annual Donor Report, which highlights some of the milestones achieved in 2008, thanks to the financial support of so many. Enjoy this issue of Campus!

Stacey Morrison ’97 Editor

Questions, comments, rants or raves? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at

Laurier Campus (circ. 56,000) is published three times a year by the Department of Public Affairs. Opinions expressed in Campus do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or the university’s administration. Cover photo by Mat McCarthy Visit us online at



Generosity for generations

A legacy gift to Laurier will live on forever in the opportunities created, the dreams achieved and the potential realized.


Call now for more information on how you can leave a bequest to Laurier. Call Cec Joyal at (519) 884-0710 ext. 3864/3170 or email

reader letters

Letters from our readers Love Story I thought this photo might be interesting to you, as I read the “Love at Laurier” article in the last issue of Campus (Winter ‘09). My wife and I held our wedding reception in the Science Building four years ago after we both graduated from WLU. We spent long nights in that building cramming for midterms and exams. Many thanks for the updates, Andrew Brown and Maggie Goertzen

Grandmothers to Grandmothers

Fight Song

I certainly enjoyed the Winter edition of Campus. It was one of your best yet! One thing that caught my eye was the letter from Carol Schmidt of the K-W Grandmothers to Grandmothers group. We had a luncheon today planning for our big fundraiser in September.

I read with interest the article entitled “Laurier Fight Song: A Musical Mystery” (Winter ’09). The composer of the song, Max Magee, was my aunt’s brother. He died tragically at 39 years of age. I recall going to his funeral in Hanover, Ontario, in 1953. I have enclosed the newspaper article that relates his death.

Ron Woods (BBA ’63), Ancaster

Cheryl (Kristine) Barlow (BA ’65)

Curling In the Winter issue you have an article on Laurier curling. I started the curling at Waterloo College. I went to the Kitchener-Waterloo Granite Club and got them to let us curl there and provide ice time for free. This picture (from the 1952 Keystone yearbook) shows we had enough curlers to use all four rinks. My dad also started schoolboy curling in Guelph with eight of my friends, and in 1948 we were the Jr. Men’s Ontario Champions. Stuart Ogg BA ’52 In the above photo, Stuart is in the middle row, fourth from left — Ed.

Great Job! I just got the latest issue of Campus. Great job! Very informative and easy to read with interesting stories — makes for a good read.

The article from the Hanover Post on February 22, 1953 reports that Maxwell Magee died from exposure after loosing his way in a snowstorm while driving from London to Stratford, Ont. Magee, who graduated from Waterloo College in 1938, had established a notable music career in London after completing his studies. — Ed.

I read with interest the article on Laurier’s fight song in the Winter 2009 issue of Campus. I knew this song pre-dated my arrival on campus in September 1948, and I was aware that the late Maxwell Magee had composed the music. Max Magee was from Hanover, Ontario, the son of the late James A. Magee, the long-time principal of the Hanover public school and one of my former teachers. The Magee family were members of the Trinity United Church in Hanover, my own church, and Max, his two sisters and parents were all very musical, singing in the church choir and playing various musical instruments. I knew Max reasonably well, and after he left Waterloo he continued his career in music as a teacher. Unfortunately, Max died at an early age in an accident. Reg Haney (BA ’51, MA ’71)

Brian Morrison (BA ’84)




Contextualizing Laurier in a complex world Universities around the world are experiencing turbulence. The global recession has shaken the financial underpinnings of postsecondary education in Canada and abroad. At the same time the ascendancy of the “knowledge economy” has governments everywhere scrambling for ways to boost their countries’ output of university graduates. In the United Kingdom, where every university is struggling with a structural deficit, there is a fierce debate over tuition policy. Many think the current cap of £3,500 (about $6,700 Cdn) must be raised substantially to enable British universities — including such prestigious institutions as Oxford and Cambridge — to remain competitive in research and teaching quality. In the United States, tuition and fees have Dr. Blouw talks with students and parents at Laurier’s risen by 440 percent spring convocation. on average at private colleges over the past 25 years and student debt levels have become a disincentive for pursuing higher education. President Barack Obama has invested over $60 billion in the post-secondary sector in order to ensure that this strategically important asset for global competitiveness for the United States is well supported during the current recession. In Australia, the national government is increasingly active in setting policy for higher education and is considering a “studentvoucher” plan in which funding would follow students to the institution in which they enrol. In New Zealand an influential discussion paper urges post-secondary institutions to focus on their strengths and, if need be, abandon areas in which they are not strong. China has made post-secondary education a national priority. The country, which has more than 2,200 universities and 25 million post-secondary students, is recruiting top researchers from around the world and employing impressive strategies to develop world-leading research universities. In Canada, where education is the responsibility of the provinces, we have no national



post-secondary education strategy and a great deal of variation in the policies and approaches taken by each province. In Ontario, we continue to rank last among all provinces in per-student funding. At Laurier, we have just completed a difficult budget-setting exercise in which $8.8 million was trimmed from the 2009-10 operating budget. However, it is difficult to reduce academic costs on relatively short notice without doing harm to our programs and our reputation. Consequently, we made a strategic decision to put money back into the academic side this year on a one-timeonly basis to give our deans and department chairs additional time to find innovative ways to continue to deliver high quality programs with fewer resources. While we have addressed our budget issues this year, we expect 2010-11 to be just as challenging, if not more so. Like every other university in Ontario, Laurier will continue to struggle with pension pressures, a structural deficit and underfunded building and maintenance needs. However, there are opportunities in the midst of the adversity. We continue to pursue educational partnerships with other institutions, and we see great potential in Laurier’s multicampus reality. Laurier’s ability to sustain an intimate, community-minded university experience is very attractive to students. To this end, we plan to nurture our Waterloo campus, to grow our Brantford campus, and to explore the opportunity for a new campus in Milton. In all of these endeavours we will be responsive to government priorities and programs in order to take advantage of opportunities that dovetail with Laurier’s strengths and capabilities. The current economic climate is challenging for all sectors. But at Laurier, our goal must be more ambitious than to simply weather the storm. We need to lay a foundation for the future, we need to emerge from this recession strong and focused, and we need to prepare for the opportunities that will most certainly attend the economic recovery.

Dr. Max Blouw President and Vice-Chancellor Wilfrid Laurier University

Alumni news

Milestones mark busy spring, summer

WLUAA 2009-10 Executive Honorary President Dr. Max Blouw Past President Steve Wilkie ’82, ’89 President Tom Berczi ’88, ’93 Vice-President Megan Harris ’00 Vice-President David Oates ’70 Treasurer Chris Pehlke ’00 Secretary Susan Haller ’00

Board of Directors Bruce Armstrong ’72 Scott Bebenek ’85 Siobhan Bhagwat ‘06 Arsenio Bonifacio ‘02 Thomas Cadman ‘87 Paul Dickson ‘03 Patricia Diver ‘90 Diana Dumlavwalla ‘04 Marc Henein ’04 Caitlin Howlett ‘05 Louise Kearney ‘00 Melissa Kiddie ’01 Susan Lockett ’99 Sue McGrath ’05 Kiran Nagra ‘02 Julius Olajos ‘07 Priya Persaud ’98 Marc Richardson ’95 Chris Rushforth ‘80 Steve Wilson ‘87 Rosemary Quinlan

The spring and summer months continue to be busy for the alumni association. In early May, we hosted our annual Awards of Excellence dinner, which honours the accomplishments within the university of our alumni, faculty, staff and students. This year saw a record number of award nominations. The association’s awards and rewards committee, and alumni relations staff, deserve to be recognized for their hard work in support of this important event. Details regarding the award winners can be found in this issue of Campus on page 22 and on the alumni website at Our alumni survey, which is conducted every three years, was also completed this spring. This year’s version was our most comprehensive and focused survey, and over 3,500 alumni submitted responses. Thank you for taking the time to participate. The information you provided will be used over the coming year to identify key priorities, update our strategic plan and develop event programming. June saw another successful week of convocation events. Alumni association directors participated in all eight ceremonies, addressing graduates

and welcoming them as the newest members of the association. This spring’s convocation marked a significant milestone, as we reached the 70,000 mark in alumni numbers — quite an accomplishment for the university! Planning for October’s Homecoming is well underway, and this year’s lineup of great events includes the return of comedian Russell Peters, who sold This spring’s convocation out the Kitchener Auditorium last marked a year. If the trend of the past few as we reached years continues, we should have the in another warm and sunny fall day alumni numbers. to enjoy a great football game and all the associated Homecoming celebrations. Best wishes for an enjoyable summer season.

significant milestone, 70,000 mark

Tom Berczi ’88, ’93 President, WLUAA

Board of Governors Representatives Frank Erschen ’81 Tim Martin ‘92 Lawrence Scott ’78

Senate Representatives Eric Davis ’01 David Oates ’70 John Trus ’90

Laurier business professor Dr. Mark Baetz, centre, received the Hoffman-Little Award for Faculty at the annual Awards of Excellence dinner. He celebrates with friend Dr. Chris Bart, left, and alumnus Dana Fox (BBA ‘81), right.



campusnews Hollie Nicol named Outstanding Woman of Laurier Female athletes honoured

Hollie Nicol, who balanced a busy schedule of curling, academics and community volunteerism during her four years at Laurier, was named the 2009 Outstanding Woman of Laurier. Nicol, who graduated in June from the kinesiology program, played for the Golden Hawks curling team.

Hollie Nicol throws a rock for Laurier’s curling team.

She became a two-time national champion after Laurier defeated the Saint Mary’s Huskies 6-4 at the 2009 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships in Montreal. Earlier this season, Nicol led the team to a silver medal at the 24th Winter Universiade in Harbin, China. Nicol has volunteered with numerous groups at the KW Granite Club, including a Special Olympics program instructing wheelchair curlers, and working with a boy with arthritis. Nicol has also volunteered at numerous celebrity skip charity tournaments. “I am honoured to receive this award considering the quality of the applications. You can really see how Laurier develops amazing athletes and leaders,” said Nicol. Laurier launched the Outstanding Women of Laurier award in 2006 to recognize female students who combine athletic and academic achievement with an active commitment to the development of young athletes through community teaching or coaching. Nicol received $1,000 and a gold pendant for her accomplishments. More than 300 people attended the luncheon ceremony. Eighteen women competed for the prestigious award this year, including three who joined Nicol as finalists: Renata Adamczyk, Tesca Andrew-Wasylik and Megan Gilmore. During the event, the annual Outstanding Women of Laurier Alumni Founders Award was presented to Carol Stewart. Stewart was a four-year starter with the women’s volleyball team from the 1981-82 season through to 1984-85.

Laurier collects e-waste for Earth Day Going green

Laurier celebrated Earth Day on April 22 by collecting the university community’s e-waste, including old computers, mice, keyboards and monitors. Over 40 recycle bins were filled during the collection, which means 4.18 metric tons of e-waste was diverted from landfill sites and transported to a waste-management recycling plant in Hamilton. Seventy old cellphones were also collected and donated to the Toronto Zoo for the Eco-Cell program, which supports gorilla conservation efforts in Africa. Other eco-friendly initiatives included the Bookstore and Library working together to collect old textbooks for Books for Africa, a nonprofit organization that ships textbooks to Africa to fill library shelves and classrooms, and the promotion of Laurier’s car-share program.



We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill

campus news


Guiding campus growth Building on last year’s Envisioning Laurier initiative, the university has begun work on developing a campus master plan. Over the course of 2009, Laurier will be working with a local planning company to create a document that will guide the physical development of the Waterloo and Brantford campuses in the coming decades. The university has experienced significant growth in recent years through major increases in student enrolment. “The role of the campus master plan will be to shape and manage the physical changes that lie ahead by developing a strategic document for the ongoing planning, design and physical development of both campuses,” said Gary Nower, Laurier’s assistant vice-president: physical resources. “It’s like a map, a framework to help us make informed decisions and allocate our resources effectively.” Essential information is being gathered, including building surveys, traffic studies and aerial photos, to begin a physical analysis of the university campuses. The next step will involve looking at ways to expand, whether by replacing older buildings or buying more land. Finding room to grow is only one part of the task. Other major issues to be covered in the campus master plan include managing parking and traffic circulation, maintaining a design theme, improving vegetation and aesthetics, ensuring campus safety and exploring sustainability options.

Gary Nower, right, examines campus blueprints with co-worker Ray Robichaud.

The women’s hockey team won one of Laurier’s four OUA titles this year.

Gold and silver cap off successful year LADY HAWKS WIN MEDALS

The Laurier women’s curling team repeated as national champions, defeating the Saint Mary’s Huskies 6-4 at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships in Montreal. “It’s the last year the four of us will be playing together for Laurier,” said team member Danielle Inglis. “The tournament this time around was tough to get through with all these skilled teams.” The CIS championship capped a successful year for Laurier’s varsity sports teams, which captured four provincial titles for women’s and men’s soccer, women’s field lacrosse and women’s hockey. In other CIS play, the Laurier women’s hockey team won the silver medal at the national championships in March. The No. 2 nationally ranked women’s hockey team advanced to

the gold medal game after defeating the Ottawa Gee Gees and the University of Moncton Aigles Bleues. The Golden Hawks played for gold against the McGill Martlets, losing a hard fought match 3-2. Laurier’s women’s hockey team has competed in the national championships seven times, winning one gold and three silver medals with the most recent win in 2007/2008. The Golden Hawks advanced to the national championships in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, after capturing their sixth consecutive provincial championship, ousting the Guelph Gryphons with a 3-2 victory in the third game of the best-of-three series. The Golden Hawk athletics program has now earned 11 national and 55 provincial titles in its 22 varsity programs.



campus news

Laurier announces 2009 Awards for Teaching Excellence recipients Award-winning teachers

There was no shortage of peer and student praise for this year’s 2009 Awards for Teaching Excellence winners: Dr. Bill McTeer in the full-time faculty category, professor John Stephens in the part-time category, and PhD candidate Lisa Funnell in the teaching assistant category. Kinesiology and physical education professor Dr. Bill McTeer is respected by his colleagues for his teaching and for launching the KPE department. McTeer’s small, interactive first-year classes have become a hallmark of the program and are credited with setting students up for success throughout their university years. McTeer previously received the 2008 HoffmannLittle Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence from the

Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association. Stephens, a part-time psychology professor, is known for peppering his lectures with real-life examples from his years working in private practice and his career as a school board behavioural consultant. It’s a successful technique that results in packed lecture halls and students who do their best not to miss his lectures. The English and film studies professors who nominated PhD candidate Lisa Funnell have each worked with more than 20 TAs in the past few years, yet each professor ranked Funnell as one of the very best. Students respect not only her subject knowledge, but also the way she makes herself available for advice.

From top: Dr. Bill McTeer, Lisa Funnell, John Stephens

People at Laurier Mike Belanger, residential services director, has been recognized for his leadership and mentorship with a new award established in his honour. The Mike Belanger Residence Life Award was created to provide financial support for future members of the residence life team who improve the Laurier experience for students and who demonstrate financial need. The award was spearheaded by Rob Hums (’93) and Chris Dodd (’92), and was set up through the generous support of alumni, staff and faculty. Dr. Susan Caddell, associate professor of social work, is part of a multi-university research team whose work has been bolstered by a grant of $1.3-million over five years from the Canadian Institutes of Health



Research (CIHR). The “Charting the Territory” longitudinal study will track families of children diagnosed with progressive neurological, metabolic or chromosomal conditions to document the progression of the child’s condition and the experiences of the family. Researchers hope to provide new information that will lay the foundation for the best treatments to help support these families.

Dr. Judith Fletcher, associate professor and chair of Laurier’s archaeology and classical studies department, received the Gildersleeve Prize for publishing the best article in the American Journal of Philology in 2008. She is the second Canadian to receive the $1,000 US prize, which has been awarded for more than 30 years.

Sandy Campbell, instructor with the Faculty of Social Work, received the 2009 Canadian Association of Social Workers’ Distinguished Service Award for Ontario. It is the highest honour awarded to a social worker by the provincial and national professional association, and recognizes outstanding contribution to the profession and the promotion of social justice and/or human rights.

Dr. Carol Stalker and Dr. Eli Teram from the Faculty of Social Work collaborated with University of Saskatchewan and University of Alberta researchers on the second edition of the Handbook on Sensitive Practice for Health Care Practitioners: Lessons from Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. The handbook outlines nine principles of practice to help health care practitioners — from physicians to physical therapists — provide sensitive care for male and female adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

campus news

It is one thing to teach, but it is quite another to teach in a way that earns the label of excellence. Anonymous Laurier student

Laurier receives $26 million for Brantford Research and Academic Centre Breaking ground

The provincial and federal governments are contributing $13 million each to help Laurier build a state-of-the-art Research and Academic Centre on the university’s fast-growing Brantford campus. The funding will enable construction to start immediately on Phase 1 of the project. Much of the site preparation has already been done and the building is scheduled to open by fall 2010. A proposed second phase is dependent on securing appropriate funding. The Research and Academic Centre is a key part of a development strategy that will significantly increase enrolment and research capability at Laurier Brantford. When both phases of the

project are complete, the facility will enable the Brantford campus to grow to 4,000 students by 2012 from the present 2,200 students. It will provide research and teaching space for a number of programs, as well as library facilities and administrative areas. The university is aiming to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) silver certification for the facility. “This is an important step in the ongoing development of Laurier Brantford as a campus that provides comprehensive university infrastructure and services,” said Laurier president Dr. Max Blouw.

Carol Stephenson, head of collections and acquisitions for Laurier’s library, won the Canadian Library Association’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Collection Development and Management. Two Laurier professors received nearly $2.7 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s New Initiative Fund. Dr. Quincy Almeida, director of Laurier’s Movement Disorders Research and Rehabilitation Centre, received almost $700,000 for studies of particular brain structures on movement impairments. Dr. Bill Quinton, associate professor in the geography and environmental science department, received nearly $2 million to help establish the Canadian Aquatic Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Boreal Ecosystem Research (CALIBER). The facility aims to improve our knowledge of, and ability to protect, freshwater resources in Canada’s vast northern boreal areas.

Participants display Laurier Brantford’s new community art project.

Laurier Brantford unveils second community art projects Wall art

Faculty, staff, students and community members were on hand as Laurier Brantford’s second community art project was unveiled in Grand River Hall. The project is comprised of almost 400 individual clay tiles that participants created using a variety of colours and designs. The tiles were designed by students, staff and faculty members at Laurier Brantford and feature many different designs and concepts. Some chose abstract colours and textures, while others used geometric shapes, lines and designs. Laurier Brantford’s first community art project, using colourful fabrics, was completed in 2007 and is displayed prominently in the Carnegie Building.



campus news

Bruce Serafin’s Stardust wins Edna Staebler Award CREATIVE NON-FICTION

Editor and essayist Bruce Serafin has been posthumously awarded the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for Stardust, a collection of essays by the author published in June 2007. “I’m very honoured to accept this award on Bruce’s behalf,” said Sharon Esson, Serafin’s wife. “Creative non-fiction is a special type of writing and there’s no doubt that Bruce was good at it, but he always felt his writing needed to make its own way in the world. I know this recognition would mean so much to him; he worked very hard to finish this book before he passed away.” Esson plans to use the $10,000 award to prepare for publishing another book that Serafin was working on at the time of his death. The essays in Stardust range from the author’s experiences as a post office employee to commentary on literary and intellectual luminaries such as Roland Barthes and Northrop Frye. The title essay, “Stardust,” offers a personal perspective on student counterculture in the late 1960s. The short list for the 2008 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction also included: Baptism of Fire: The Second Battle of Ypres and the Forging of Canada, April 1915 by Nathan M. Greenfield; French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec by Chantal Hébert, and The Red Wall: A Woman in the RCMP by Jane Hall. The Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction is supported by an endowment established by author and award-winning journalist Edna Staebler, who died in 2006 at the age of 100. The award was established in 1991 to recognize a beginning Canadian writer publishing a book with a Canadian subject or location. It is administered by Wilfrid Laurier University, the only university in Canada to bestow a nationally recognized literary award.

staying afloat

have a beginning, a middle and an end... but not necessarily in that order.

Jean Luc Godard

Repairs extend life of Laurier’s 50-metre pool

The life of Laurier’s 50-metre swimming pool will be extended 15 to 20 years thanks to a combined contribution of $2 million from the federal and provincial governments to assist with repairs to the aging aquatic facility. The federal and provincial governments will provide $1 million each for repair work. The funding is in addition to $2.2 million already committed by the university, students, community aquatic groups and the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener. The 35-year-old pool is the only 50-metre competitive aquatic facility in Waterloo Region and is used by many community groups.


A story should


The aging pool was scheduled to close last year due to the urgent need for costly repairs. However, given the importance of the facility to the university and community aquatic groups, fundraising efforts were launched. “The Laurier pool has been a valued community asset for nearly four decades,” said president Dr. Max Blouw. “The repair project is a great example of community cooperation and I am pleased that the federal and provincial governments have joined with the university, our students, our donors, and our municipal and community partners in funding this work.”

Key components of the pool repairs include: • Replacement of the air-handling and de-humidification system; • Replacement of the curtain wall and the repair of pressure-relief valves in the pool; • Some building reconstruction, including masonry, insulation and vapour barrier; • Improvements to interior finishes, including the pool deck, walls, drains and equipment; • Replacing the filtration and chlorination systems.

campus news

Business school maintains prestigious certification International accreditation

Laurier student Brittany King performs in the Faculty of Music’s spring staging of the opera Dialogues of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc.

Laurier’s School of Business & Economics has maintained its accreditation for its undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Less than five percent of the world’s business schools have achieved this elite distinction. Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. Laurier’s School of Business & Economics first received AACSB International accreditation in 2004. To maintain accreditation a business program must undergo a thorough internal review every five years, at which point the program must demonstrate its continued commitment to 21 quality standards relating to faculty qualification, strategic management of resources and faculty-student interactions, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and achieving learning goals in degree programs.

Families travel from around the world to attend graduation Celebrating convocation

Waleed Hafeez (BA ’09) wasn’t going to attend spring convocation if he didn’t have anyone to share it with. So it’s a good thing his mother, Fatema, was in the audience. “I’m so happy that my mom is here,” said Hafeez, who is heading to England in the fall for law school. “I wish my brother and father could be here too, but it just didn’t work out.” For many families, Laurier’s campuses are just a car ride away. But it wasn’t such an easy trip for Fatema — she travelled to Waterloo from the family’s home in Dubai to see her son graduate. “I’ve been waiting for this day,” she said. “I’m so proud and so happy to be here. It was a very easy decision for me to come.” She wasn’t the only one to travel a long distance to celebrate convocation. This year, families travelled from China, Indonesia, St. Lucia, India and Hong Kong to attend one of the university’s eight convocation ceremonies. Hafeez and his mother will spend a month together in Ontario before they travel back home. But first on the agenda was a tour of the local sights. “Right after the ceremony I’m taking her on a campus tour to show her all the ‘hot spots’,” said Hafeez. “It will be fun to show her where I’ve spent my time over the last four years.” Hafeez was one of 2,250 students who graduated from Laurier in June. The university also bestowed four honorary degrees. Recipients included: Louise Fréchette, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and former deputy secretary general of the United Nations; David Anderson, a lawyer, politician and rowing silver medalist in the 1960 Olympic Games; Heather Reisman, founder and CEO of Indigo Books & Music, Inc.; and Audrey Ronning Topping, author, photojournalist and the first western journalist to report from China during the Cultural Revolution.

Fatema Hafeez with her son Waleed.



cover story



cover story

Sunil Kuruvilla’s afternoons are reserved for writing, left.




n the winter of 1973, nine-year-old Sunil Kuruvilla (BA ‘87) spent a lot of time huddled in a road-hockey

net blocking shots from his babysitter’s teenage son and his friends. He was often invited to fill in as goalie when they were short a player, but as the youngest, Kuruvilla knew he was still an outsider. “I remember always feeling a little removed as a kid,” he says. “But looking back, I feel lucky that I had these opportunities where I was more an observer than a participant.” After all, being a keen observer of others has allowed the award-winning playwright to create compelling characters that have moved audiences across North America for the past decade. It’s also what led him to his crowning achievement: the production of his play Rice Boy at the 2009 Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Last spring, festival dramaturge Robert Blacker invited Kuruvilla to submit a play for consideration for the Stratford lineup. Blacker first met Kuruvilla at a Rice Boy reading in New York City 10 years ago, where he was taken by Kuruvilla’s ability to develop characters in the way that only a keen observer can. “It’s a skill that Chekhov had as well,” Blacker says. “Sunil is able to see his characters from a distance. When you meet Sunil, you immediately see there’s a generosity of spirit there, and like Shakespeare, he knows how to



create characters we can empathize with. That’s a real gift for a playwright.” Yet comparisons to theatre greats like Chekhov and Shakespeare don’t faze the soft-spoken Kuruvilla, who remains endearingly humble. “The funny thing is, I wasn’t a theatre guy,” says Kuruvilla, who was once dubbed “the continent’s hot new playwright” by The Globe and Mail. He remembers going to the theatre for the first time. It was 1987, and he had just graduated with an English degree from Laurier. The play was an award-winner, recently taking top prize in the Shaw Festival’s silver-anniversary playwriting competition. The experience was particularly memorable because the play, Fight of the Century, was his own, and it was the first one he had ever written. “I felt like the characters inside my head finally had a voice,” says Kuruvilla, who wrote the 110-page play about boxer Joe Louis over the course of a weekend for a playwriting workshop. He drew inspiration from his high school boxing days to write Fight of the Century. Looking past the sport’s barbaric nature, he explored the underlying elements of fear and courage through the eyes of a mediocre sports writer who wanted to do great things. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the story is told from that perspective,” he says. “In a way, it’s how I think of myself. I have grand ideas, but it’s hard to realize them.” As much as his own story is one of public success, it’s also one of personal triumph, in which Kuruvilla

Kuruvilla autographs copies of his play Rice Boy at a bookstore in Stratford.

sparred with self-doubt before letting himself dream of victory. If he didn’t find his calling as a playwright in the rows of the theatre, Kuruvilla certainly found it early on in the rows of books in the Waterloo Public Library, where he spent many hours as a child. He also found inspiration on his summer trips with his family to Kerala, India — one of the settings of Rice Boy. “Back then it was a chore,” Canadian-born Kuruvilla says of travelling to his parents’ homeland. “I didn’t like the food. My mom had to convince my sister and me to go by packing Kraft Dinner and peanut butter for us.” But from the moment he started weaving these personal experiences into his stories at the age of 10, writing became a way of life. His father encouraged him to enter the first story he wrote in the library’s Dorothy Shoemaker Literary contest. He won the contest six years in a row. At 15, while he was “flunking” Grade 10 math, Kuruvilla won the Shankar International Literary Contest, placing first out of 20,000 entries. The next year he did it again and won a trip to meet the president of India.

He’s surpassingly polite, but at the same time it was clear to me that he was in control of his part in the conversation.

Kuruvilla’s parents encouraged him to pursue writing, so he studied English at Laurier, where his father, P.K. Kuruvilla, was a political science professor. “I wasn’t the greatest student,” admits Kuruvilla. “I remember going to the library to write a critical essay on a literary work and instead coming away with a short story I’d written.” After Laurier, he began a master’s degree in English and creative writing at the University of Windsor. His thesis advisor, noted Canadian author Alistair McLeod, encouraged him to keep writing plays. Kuruvilla spent nine years after his master’s degree winning awards for his plays and stories, securing staged readings and productions, and working as a playwright-in-residence, all the while holding down a full-time job as a communications writer at Laurier. Then in 1998, the Canadian Council for the Arts

- Yale director Liz Diamond



gave Kuruvilla a $20,000 grant that allowed him to nudge his ideas closer to centre stage as a playwriting student at the Yale School of Drama. “I’d always wanted to study there, but I didn’t think I could make it,” Kuruvilla says. He had also long admired the work of Yale director Liz Diamond from afar. “I didn’t even allow myself to dream of the possibility that I might work with her one day.” Despite the feelings of doubt that almost sent him home the weekend he arrived, Kuruvilla’s work at Yale planted his feet firmly in the spotlight. Diamond remembers being impressed by Kuruvilla at their first meeting, when he sought her opinion on Fighting Words, his play about the death of legendary boxer Johnny Owens. “In my first experience talking to him at Yale, Sunil was so open, but not in the way that an amateur writer is,” says Diamond. “He’s surpassingly polite, but at the same time it was clear to me that he was in control of his part in the conversation. He was objective about his own writing in a way that I considered to be the mark of a professional.”

In 2000, for the first time in decades, the highly regarded Yale Repertory Theatre produced a play written by one of its new graduates. It was Kuruvilla’s Rice Boy, directed by Diamond. “I wrote Rice Boy three months into my time at Yale. I was feeling homesick, so I wrote about home,” he says. “So this thing that was very personal… to think that it had grown into something where 20 people were sitting in a production room spending so much time and money to make it work, that was the thing that was fascinating to me — even more than opening night.” Rice Boy explores the themes of love, loss and identity, and is rich with Kuruvilla’s personal experiences of a childhood influenced by two cultures. Set in Kitchener and Kerala, it tells the tale of three generations of East Indian men who have lost the women they loved, the relationship between a Canadian boy and his father, and a cousin awaiting an arranged marriage in India. But the Stratford production of Rice Boy will be quite different from its Yale debut. For one thing, Kuruvilla and his wife of five years, Lisa, a high school English teacher, are first-time parents to 11-month old Isaac. “I’m now

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The staging of Kuruvilla’s play at Stratford’s Studio Theatre, above, marks a milestone in his career. much more sympathetic to the father character,” he says of the play’s father-son relationship. “Time, and I hope a little bit of wisdom, have given me perspective,” says Kuruvilla of the play, which has grown to 140 pages from its original 98, and has seen significant character changes, including the rewriting of a lead female role to a male. In some ways, Kuruvilla is still huddled in the hockey net of his childhood, this time watching with pride as actors bring his play to life on stage. “I really like when I’m surprised by my own play,” says Kuruvilla, who attends auditions and readings for his play, and maintains close dialogue with directors who respect his vision. “That happens when you’re working with really good people who think of things you’re not thinking.” He’s also thrilled when the personal memories in the play reverberate beyond his own experience. “I’m so happy when the actors read certain lines in the play and remember feeling the same way as a child,” says Kuruvilla. These days, Kuruvilla splits his time between Laurier, Stratford and home. His mornings are spent working his “dream job” as the marketing and promotions coordinator for Laurier’s Faculty of Music, and his afternoons and evenings are reserved for writing. “The afternoon is like a warm-up,” he says. “And then at night, you hope you can really run.”

Like Shakespeare, he knows how to create characters we can empathize with. That’s a real gift for a playwright.

Kuruvilla’s plays have been produced at major theatres across North America. He has received positive reviews in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, was a finalist for a Governor General’s literary award, and is represented by one of the top theatre agents in the U.S. But the best moment so far for Kuruvilla? “This moment,” he says. “Stratford has always been mythic in my imagination. It’s a grand, classy place, and I consider this production a huge honour.” But most of all, Kuruvilla is excited that Rice Boy will be the first play his son will see. “I’ve dedicated this play about fathers and sons to him. I know that he won’t remember seeing it. But I hope that someday I am able to articulate to him the significance of his presence, not at the play, but in my life.“ ❖

- Stratford festival dramaturge Robert Blacker

Rice Boy, directed by Guillermo Verdecchia, runs August 11-October 3, 2009 at Stratford’s Studio Theatre. For more information, visit



on campus

Your annual support matters

Thank you Your annual support continues to help us build a bright and exciting future for Laurier and the thousands of students who study here. In 2008 your generosity enhanced the Laurier experience through initiatives that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, including: s 3 TARTING A Literacy Camp to give our education students hands on experience helping children learn to read s #REATING AN accessible seating area at University Stadium to provide equal access for all s ,IBRARY ENHANCEMENTS INCLUDING more digital course content for students

For more information on these initiatives, and to see a full listing of annual donors, please visit: 20

LAURIER CAMPUS Convocation 2009


s % STABLISHING A Sustainability Centre at Laurier Brantford that will network WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND 3IX .ATIONS TO SUPPORT HEALTHY COMMUNITIES FOSTER environmentally sustainable planning and prevent urban sprawl.


The status of our freshwater resources is at a critical juncture.

Digging for clues in lake sediments It may have taken Laurier associate geography professor Dr. Brent Wolfe and his research team eight years to study the hydroecology of the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD) in Alberta, but in that time, they managed to recreate 1,000 years of environmental history and issue dire warnings for the Alberta oil-sands industry and Canadian policymakers. In what has become one of the most highly funded Canadian environmental science projects this decade, Wolfe and his team analyzed lake sediment cores and used a unique array of high-resolution paleohydrological reconstructions to better understand the history of the PAD ecosystem. “We discovered that river discharge and lake levels in the delta had been varying considerably with climate change over the past 1,000 years,” says Wolfe. Although the PAD’s water levels have been falling in response to climate change since the development of modern

society in western Canada, the amount of freshwater available was always “subsidized” by glaciers and high-elevation snow packs in the Rocky Mountains. “Now we are seeing these sources dwindling to very low reserves,” says Wolfe. “We are on the leading edge of a rapid decline, which is of critical concern to those living in areas relying on this fresh water for agriculture and industry.” At the same time, the province of Alberta has allocated at least half of the low-flow volume of the Athabasca River for consumption by the multibillion-dollar oil-sands industry, which uses the water to extract bitumen. The team’s studies suggest that rapid declines in river flow and lake levels in some parts of the delta will accelerate unless stringent water policies are put in place. “The status of our freshwater resources is at a critical juncture,” says Wolfe. “Clearly, we have been living on borrowed time.” ❖



W I L F R on campus







2 0 0 9 C E L E B R AT I N G O U R C H A M P I O N S Pictured from left to right: Alyssa Mossey, Joan Fisk, Dr. Mark Baetz, James Mason, Joan Leeson, Ian Troop

were established to honour alumni, faculty and staff who, through their actions and accomplishments, make a difference in the WLU community and the community at large. If you know someone who embodies the spirit of WLU, consider nominating him or her for a Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association (WLUAA) Award of Excellence.

Alyssa Mossey STUDENT ALUMNA OF THE YEAR This award recognizes a Laurier student who has made outstanding contributions on the Laurier Student Alumni (LSA). ALYSSA MOSSEY has played a vital role on the LSA for the past three years. As the vice-president: events she planned and executed the 2007 Parents’ Day, bringing more than 200 parents to the Waterloo campus. This past year as president of the LSA, Mossey showed exceptional leadership and worked hard to ensure the LSA was a known and respected association on campus. In January 2009, she took the lead in bringing Sue Johanson to campus — the event sold over 800 tickets and raised $1,500 for Planned Parenthood Waterloo Region. Mossey will graduate in June 2010 with a BA.

Joan Fisk HONORARY ALUMNA The Honorary Alumna Award recognizes friends of Laurier whose contributions enhance the institution and its surrounding communities. This year’s recipient is JOAN FISK, an accomplished designer and marketing executive well known in Canada’s fashion industry for her time as president of Tiger Brand Knitting Company Ltd. She transformed the former textile manufacturer into a nationally-recognized brand of apparel. Fisk has served on Laurier’s Board of Governors for a decade and is currently a member of the Executive and Governance Committee, and the Pension Committee. She has also volunteered her time and expertise with several selection committees for Laurier’s senior administration. “Ms. Fisk’s outstanding contribution to Laurier and Waterloo Region has been pivotal in making our school and our community the envy of Canada,” says Ginny Dybenko, dean of Laurier’s School of Business & Economics. Fisk is currently the president and CEO of the

Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Mark Baetz HOFFMANN-LITTLE AWARD The Hoffmann-Little Award recognizes teaching excellence at Laurier. This year’s recipient, DR. MARK BAETZ, has been a professor at Laurier since 1980 and his career is distinguished by innovative research and quality teaching. He is the driving force behind Laurier’s Academic Integrity initiative, leading the way for other universities and secondary schools throughout Canada to follow Laurier’s model. Fuelled by his passion for volunteerism, Baetz also serves as the associate director of Laurier’s Centre for Community Service-Learning. More than 1,000 students participate in this program each year, which undertakes national research on service-learning. Through his teaching and research projects, Baetz has inspired countless individuals to strive for academic excellence and integrity, and to engage in community service.

James Mason FACULTY MENTORING AWARD JAMES MASON is this year’s recipient of the Faculty Mentoring Award, which recognizes outstanding support and mentoring of Laurier students. One of the many talents in Laurier’s Faculty of Music, Mason has established a stellar reputation as one of Canada’s finest oboists. As a teacher, Mason has made an indelible impact on the lives of many young musicians, providing outstanding instruction and advice, and instilling a desire for excellence. As student Aimee Foster says, “Mr. Mason is generous with his resources, always willing to contribute more for the sake of learning. We see this not only on a material level, but also with the time he invests in each of his students. He cares about the entire person, not just the musician.” Along with providing countless professional performance opportunities

for his students, Mason goes beyond the call of duty and offers a great deal of personal attention, infusing the confidence needed for a career in music.

Joan Leeson SCHAUS AWARD This award is presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to the university by a staff member. For 20 years, JOAN LEESON has served Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work as practicum co-ordinator. In her role, she arranges practical learning experiences for nearly 300 students, connecting them with local and regional human services and health agencies. The success of these placements is crucial, as they allow the students to “experience the integration of theory with practice.” In an area where many universities see placements frequently break down, Leeson matches the students and agencies with precision and sensitivity, resulting in a very high success rate. Over the years, Leeson has maintained positive contact with the numerous agencies, enabling them to develop long-term partnerships with the faculty.

Ian Troop, ‘81 ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR This award recognizes outstanding achievement by a Laurier alumnus. Since graduating from Laurier in 1981, IAN TROOP has led multinational organizations and global brands in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2006 and 2007, he was recognized by the Financial Post as one of Canada’s Top 20 CEOs of the Future. However, Troop is not one to forget his alma mater, donating his time, expertise and financial resources for the betterment of Laurier. A passionate and continuous supporter of the University Stadium renewal project and the football program, he also inspires others to give back. Most recently, Troop served on the business advisory committee for the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N A B O U T T H E AWA R D S O R T O D O W N L O A D A N O M I N AT I O N F O R M V I S I T 22 LAURIER CAMPUS Convocation 2009

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The WLUAA Awards of Excellence

on campus

Hurricane Katrina freed a lot of the arsenic that is found in pressuretreated wood.

Tracking tiny transformations Chemistry professor Dr. Hind Al-Abadleh tracks small changes that have a big impact on the environment. Her research involves looking at how chemicals interact with the surface of particles ubiquitous in the environment. “There is little scientific understanding about the surface interactions of pollutants, and only recent technological innovations have allowed us to study them under conditions that resemble ambient ones,” says Al-Abadleh. Al-Abadleh is tracking the interactions between arsenic and soil particles because when conditions change, arsenic “can become liberated,” causing a very real environmental concern. “Mining created an arsenic issue because this activity can free arsenic from ores. The flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina freed a lot of the arsenic that is found in pressure-

treated wood, and now Louisiana is experiencing an arsenic problem. “Arsenic is used as a feed additive to control parasites in the poultry industry. We need to know how arsenic molecules bind to soil particles once farmers apply contaminated manure on their farmlands to assess the risk of using it.” Students are heavily involved in conducting experiments stemming from this program, which will assist Al-Abadleh in providing the numbers needed to create accurate models that will predict, for example, how far and how fast arsenic compounds will travel. Research is conducted using infrared spectroscopy. This information is vital for helping municipalities decide on the implementation of pollutants-removal technologies for contaminated waters and soils. ❖



The spirit The Nathaniel Dett Chorale celebrates a milestone with music about hope and possibility By Mallory O’Brien ‘08



s Barack Obama’s motorcade made its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the United States Capitol after his swearing-in as the country’s 44th president in January, a small group of singers stood on the steps of the Canadian embassy in the bitter cold and sang at the top of their lungs. The singers, members of the Toronto-based Nathaniel Dett Chorale, including two Laurier graduates, were among the one million spectators who witnessed Obama take the oath of office. “The energy was so amazing,” says choir member Alexandra Asher (BMus ’07). “There were crowds and a frenzy of activity but there was no pushing and shoving — everyone was just filled with excitement and happiness.” “It was a privilege and honour to be in Washington for such a significant event,” adds soprano Carolyn Williams (MMT ’07). The Nathaniel Dett Chorale (NDC) is Canada’s first professional choir specializing in all forms of Afrocentric music, from blues to classical, gospel and beyond. The 21-member ensemble was invited by the Canadian Embassy to perform the day of Obama’s inauguration. The day before the historic event, the chorale was at the National Museum of the American Indian, invited by the Smithsonian Institute, to sing at the museum’s Martin Luther King Day celebrations. They were the only nonAmerican group to participate. Williams and Asher’s journey to Washington began January 16, when the NDC departed Toronto. They performed a scheduled concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan, before heading to York, Pennsylvania, where the group stayed for the duration of their trip — accommodations in Washington were either unavailable or unaffordable. The morning of the inauguration began with a 2 a.m. wake-up call, followed by a long commute from York to Washington by bus, metro and foot. They arrived at the Canadian embassy at 5:30 a.m. The group sang all morning while crowds eager to get close to the White House walked by. Many stopped to listen to the chorale as they sang songs of possibility and hope. When Obama’s motorcade came around the corner, the voices of the choir grew louder. “I saw the first couple of vehicles come down the road,” says Asher. “From that point the excitement

just grew. We all held hands and were jumping up and down.” Even though they didn’t know which vehicle Obama was in, after the event they saw a photo of him smiling at the group through the window as his car passed by. “I can’t believe how close we were!” says Asher, who added that seeing the motorcade drive by with her own eyes was “something I will never forget.” The reason why the NDC was chosen to help mark such a significant day in American history — the inauguration of the United States’ first black president — lies with the chorale’s namesake. Robert Nathaniel Dett was born October 11, 1882 in Niagara Falls (then Drummondville), Ontario, and eventually moved with his family across the river to Niagara Falls, New York. He started piano lessons at the age of five, and as he grew older continued his musical studies, earning several degrees and becoming one of the most renowned AfricanAmerican composers in the early 20th century. Dett was known for combining classic romantic style with folk songs and American spirituals. He also won the James Bowdoin literary prize from Harvard University in 1920 for his essay The Emancipation of Negro Music. Artistic director and conductor Brainerd BlydenTaylor founded the NDC in 1998 “to fill a musical void,” and in Dett’s tradition embraced Afrocentric music of all styles. Despite the choir’s many professional accolades — including a Gemini Award nomination in 2003 — it was Blyden-Taylor’s passion for the music and the spirit of the musical pieces themselves that appealed to Asher, who was still in elementary school when she first worked with him. “I was singing with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and Brainerd was a guest conductor,” she says. “He brought so much love of life and energy to the music, even back then I was wowed. “The music Brainerd chooses — it means something, it’s meant to be brought alive. It is powerful, it



I love running into Laurier grads. People will have that energy and you will find out they went to Laurier. vibrates through you, it brings you to tears and it tosses you in so many directions. When you leave an NDC concert you feel drained yet energized.” As a music student at Laurier, Asher studied voice with professor Daniel Lichti. She also sang in the WLU Chapel Choir, WLU Ensemble Concert Choir and Laurier Singers Chamber Choir. When Alexandra Asher, second row far left, and Carolyn Williams, front row third from she graduated, she heard the left, with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale in Washington, D.C. NDC was holding auditions. “I thought, never in a million years!” she says of Williams works as a music therapist with Alzheimer’s her chances. But she impressed Blyden-Taylor with and dementia patients, as well as adults who have her soprano voice and today she is not only a choir aphasia due to an acquired brain injury or stroke, and member, but she works as the group’s ensemble coor- people with developmental disabilities. Her work — dinator, acting as a liaison between choir members using music to promote physical, mental and spiritual and the director, and organizing auditions and wellness — relates well with the NDC. Music allows her patients to be active participants and have shared communications. She was happy to discover she wasn’t the only experiences with their caregivers and family members, despite their condition. The music of the NDC also helps Laurier alumna in the group. “I love running into Laurier grads,” says Asher. bridge gaps, by sharing African themes of struggle and “People will have that energy and you will find out hope with the audience. “I’ve seen audiences moved to tears or literthey went to Laurier.” Williams is an NDC veteran, having spent five ally leave the concert with uplifted spirits,” says seasons with the choir. During a two-year hiatus from Williams. Both Williams and Asher have been struck the group, she enrolled at Laurier to earn her master’s mid-song, brought to tears to a point where they can of music therapy degree and enjoyed her time at the no longer sing. “We’re not a religious group but we sing spiritual university so much that she spent time working as a placement supervisor to help others who were songs that resonate with me,” says Williams. “We are an organization that centres around music of African earning their degree. “I take pleasure in being a witness to someone’s origin but we’re multicultural, which mirrors who we journey while they develop their skills, and how my are as Torontonians and Canadians. We are connected life experience can be of use and help someone else by the music we sing — about keeping hope alive and down their path,” she says. “Seeing their growth the freedom to overcome obstacles. Suddenly we’re and increased confidence with consistent feedback is all one regardless of our beliefs and background.” ❖ perhaps the most satisfying.” When she’s not at rehearsals and performances To watch videos of NDC performances, visit (which have taken the group as far away as Japan),





Laurier Brantford’s Inaugural

Homecoming! O c t o b e r

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Schedule of Events Saturday, October 17 Homecoming Kick-Off Breakfast Carnegie Building 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. Start your day off right with a free breakfast at the Carnegie Building. We’ve got a lot of events planned, so you’ll want to get the day started early! Laurier Brantford Open House Various Locations 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Ever wondered what the new buildings on campus look like? Want to reminisce about your first lecture on campus in the Carnegie Building? We’re throwing open the doors and inviting alumni and the community for a tour of the campus. Each building will have events for the whole family, so come check out the growth over the past 10 years! BBQ Lunch Carnegie Building 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

WLU Varsity Hockey Game Brantford Civic Centre 2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. Your Golden Hawks will be taking on the University of Windsor Lancers. Put on your purple and gold and meet us at the Civic Centre! Alumni Pub Night & 5th Year Reunion Piston Broke Pub Doors open at 7 p.m. What better way to finish off your day than a reunion with your classmates in the new Harmony Square. Take this opportunity to catch up with friends and enjoy a night out.

Your day is less than half over, so be sure to stop by for a BBQ lunch courtesy of Laurier Brantford.

All event details subject to change. LAURIER CAMPUS Convocation 2009


Homecoming ’09 October 2 - 4

Waterloo Schedule of Events Friday, October 2 12th Annual Dean’s Alumni Golf Classic Rebel Creek Golf Club Registration and BBQ lunch: 11 a.m. Shotgun Start: 1 p.m. Golf and Dinner - $160 per golfer (incl. GST) Join us for SBE’s kick-off to Homecoming 2009! The 12th Annual Dean’s Alumni Golf Classic is hosted by the School of Business & Economics and is a scramble format tournament open to all Laurier alumni, faculty, students, staff and friends. To register, please contact Melody Barfoot at 519-884-0710, ext. 3280 or email

Homecoming Athletics Saturday, October 3 Men’s Football: Ottawa @ Laurier – 1:00 p.m. @ University Stadium Women’s Soccer: Western @ Laurier – 1:00 p.m. @ Alumni Field Men’s Soccer: Western @ Laurier – 3:15 p.m. @ Alumni Field

Sunday, October 4 Men’s Baseball: Guelph @ Laurier – 1:00 p.m. @ Jack Couch Park Women’s Soccer: Windsor @ Laurier – 1:00 p.m. @ Alumni Field Men’s Soccer: Windsor @ Laurier – 3:15 p.m. @ Alumni Field


Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner Senate & Board Chamber Reception: 6 p.m. Dinner & Induction Ceremony: 7:00 p.m. $65 per person The Hall of Fame, created in 1986, recognizes and honours individuals, athletes and teams who have made outstanding contributions to varsity athletic programs. The 2009 inductees are Alison Goodman, James Hitchen,

Cathy Ingalls, Justin Shakell and Kate Jackson in the athlete category, Bill Ballard in the builder category and the 1998/99 women’s hockey team. Tickets are available online at halloffame or contact Heather Ferris at (519) 884-0710, ext. 3289 or email for more information.

Saturday, October 3 Free Pancake Breakfast Fred Nichols Campus Centre Quad 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Start your day off right and enjoy a free pancake breakfast. This event is sure to be fun, entertaining and filling for all! Rain or shine! Alumni Association Annual General Meeting Alumni Hall 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Take the opportunity to meet your Alumni Association Board of Directors, have your say and find out more information about the Alumni Association.

Reunions Reunion activities are being planned for the following classes: • Class of 1979 • Master of Social Work Class of 1979 • Class of 1984 • Class of 1989 • Class of 1999

• Class of 2004 • The Founders’ Club will welcome the class of 1959 as they celebrate their Golden Anniversary

Be sure to visit for all your reunion information! All event details subject to change.

October 2 – October 4

LAURIER CAMPUS Convocation 2009

Dust off your collection of purple and gold, and show your Golden Hawk spirit on campus at Homecoming 2009!

WLU Campus Tours Alumni Hall 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Free Reminisce while enjoying a tour of your favourite Laurier facilities. Tours will depart from Alumni Hall every 15 minutes. Junior Hawks – Children’s Program University Stadium 12 p.m. – end of Halftime; Free Children who participate in the Junior Hawks program will enjoy story time, inflatable games, face painting and more. Interactive Zone University Stadium 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. This Homecoming favourite is fun for the whole family. Enjoy rides, face painting, tattoos and other activities. A barbecue and cash bar will be available. Football Game & Tailgate Party – GOLD RUSH! Laurier Golden Hawks vs. Ottawa Gee-Gees 1 p.m. Kickoff Adults (Football Game Only) - $12 Adults (Includes Entrance to the Endzone Tailgate Party) - $15 Students (non-WLU), Staff, Faculty - $8 Children under 12 - Free Homecoming 2009 fun peaks as our Golden Hawks pit themselves against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. Cheer our Golden Hawks to victory! You must purchase a ticket to have access to the Endzone Tailgate Party. Only a limited number of tickets will be available. Don’t be disappointed – purchase yours early! Post-Game Dinner and Celebration Wilf’s Pub 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Order from our special Alumni Homecoming Menu Wilf’s – the perfect place to celebrate a Golden Hawk victory! Admission is free until 7:30 p.m. and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Laurier Homecoming Presents: Russell Peters Kitchener Memorial Auditorium 8 p.m. $74 per person SOLD OUT! Let the Homecoming fun continue with the return of comedian Russell Peters! Peters will be returning to Laurier during his 20th Anniversary Tour, which will feature his greatest hits “remixed” and all new material! Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster online at Alumni Party at Wilf’s Pub Featuring Blackwater Trio 9 p.m. $10 per person What better way to celebrate Homecoming than by spending the evening with good friends and a live performance by Blackwater Trio? Purchase your tickets early to avoid disappointment! Alumni Party The Turret Nightclub 9 p.m. $10 per person Cap off Homecoming weekend with a party that only Laurier could host. Celebrate the night away with great friends, great music and memories that last a lifetime. Purchase your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Sunday, October 4 2nd Annual Laurier Loop University Stadium 10 a.m. $25 per person We are excited to announce the return of the Laurier Loop, in partnership with the Waterloo Running Series. This certified 2.5-km circuit starts and finishes on the University Stadium track and runs through beautiful Waterloo Park. Choose a four-loop 10-km run, a two-loop 5-km run, a one-loop 2.5-km run, or participate in one of three relays. All pledges will be donated to Laurier’s Movement Disorders Research & Rehabilitation Centre (MDRC). With family and friends cheering you on as you pass through each loop, round up your friends and run with the Hawks! Visit to register and for more information.

Accommodations Waterloo Inn* – 475 King St. N., Waterloo • (519) 884-0220 • Special rate: $139 + taxes per night Booking quote: WLU Homecoming Booking cut-off date: August 22, 2009 * Only available for Saturday night

Comfort Inn – 190 Weber St. N., Waterloo • (519) 747-9400 • Special rate: $99 + taxes per night Booking quote: WLU Homecoming Booking cut-off date: September 2, 2009

Destination Inn – 547 King St. N., Waterloo • (519) 884-0100 • Special rate: $109 + taxes per night (Standard Room), $134 + taxes per night (Suite) Booking quote: WLU Homecoming or use confirmation # 700694 Booking cut-off date: September 3, 2009

w ww. laurieralu m n i . ca / h o m e co m i n g LAURIER CAMPUS Convocation 2009


There’s a new mayor in

Momstown Everyone knows motherhood is a full-time job. Laurier grad Ann-Marie Burton turned it into a career.

By Mallory O’Brien ‘08

Photo: Jodi Renee


hen Kara Heald (BBA ’00) had her first baby, she spent afternoons in the park or did countless laps at the mall. But it wasn’t long before she was looking for other ways to fill her days and keep her daughter occupied with interesting and fun activities. So, when she heard rumblings about a mom “meet up” group that was starting in her hometown of Burlington, Ont., her interest was piqued. And when she discovered that fellow Laurier alumna Ann-Marie (Smith) Burton (BA ’98) was behind the venture, she signed up right away. Soon Heald was attending play groups and kidfriendly field trips through Burton’s company, Momstown. “Having a way to connect with new moms and doing new activities was just what I needed,” says Heald. “And I was thrilled to see Ann-Marie was a lead organizer. We were both dons at Laurier and I heard she had a baby, but we hadn’t seen each other in ages.” Momstown is both a support network and an online community — a “Facebook for moms.” The website ( links thousands



of members who use the message boards to ask questions, offer encouragement or simply have discussions with moms who are sharing the same experiences. There are nine chapters in regions across southwestern Ontario, with dozens of events scheduled every month, ranging from themed events for kids to “moms only” nights out. Sitting in her Burlington home while her children Lauren, 3, and Andrew, 1, play nearby, Burton explains the origins of Momstown, which she co-founded with business partner Christi Rasheed in August 2007.

“I grew up in the suburbs and my mom knew every other mom in the neighbourhood,” she says. “We had one car, which my dad took to work, so we were very localized. All the moms and kids getting together was just natural.” Today it is very different, says Burton. More mothers are working, more people commute, and “we tend to sleep in a town rather than live in a town.” Burton says this change in social convention makes it hard for people to connect in a meaningful way, and meeting other moms has become more like dating: someone has to take that first plunge to ask for an email or telephone number. “I could take the kids to the park and hope I run into another mom, or I can go to an organized event where there will be a dozen moms I know,” she says. “It’s fun for the kids, too.”


rue to the classic stay-at-home mom stereotype, Burton has spent the morning baking fresh banana muffins, and preparing coffee and tea, while running upstairs for diaper changes. But then the phone starts ringing. The first call is from her business partner, who is in Kitchener preparing for a new chapter launch. The next call is from her husband. The third call is business again. Burton turns the phone’s ringer off, and returns to cutting up grapes for Andrew. “This is the mom entrepreneur!” she says cheerfully. “Easily switching gears from business to kids — it’s exhausting but it’s a skill that has to be mastered. Just the other day a newspaper reporter called wanting to do an interview right that moment, so I hid out in our laundry room and answered questions while throwing mini marshmallows into Lauren’s mouth to keep her occupied. When I finally got off the phone I thought, ‘How many mini marshmallows have I just fed my child?’ This is not what I signed up for two years ago, but would I change it? No.” Being a stay-at-home mom or an entrepreneur — let alone both at once — is far from how Burton saw herself a decade ago. As a student at Laurier, she was very active. She wrote for The Cord, volunteered with Foot Patrol and BACCHUS, and was a student ambassador, residence life don and Laurier liaison officer. She was an English and communication studies major, but always knew she wanted to go into business and work for a large corporation. “I was in the co-op program, but none of the arts placements interested me, so I applied to a local tech company. I was the only non-business student who applied, and I ended up getting the job!” That placement was the first step in Burton’s journey into the corporate world. After graduating

and marrying — she met husband Michael Burton (BA ’97) while at Laurier — she landed a job in Toronto at Unilever, an international consumer packaged goods company. She loved her work in sales, marketing and shopper research. After several years as young, urban Torontonians, the Burtons had their first child. The decision to quit her job and be a stay-at-home mom was a hard one — Burton cried in the elevator on her way to hand in her resignation letter. Big changes followed, including a move to the suburbs. “My world completely flipped,” she says. “It was very unexpected, but you fall in love with your child and suddenly want to be there for everything.”


wasn’t overtly looking to start a business venture,” says Burton of her foray into entrepreneurship. “I was looking for a way to become more fulfilled while on the mommy track and my new path happened to come in an entrepreneurial package. I still consider myself a full-time mom because I work from home and I get to parent the way I want to.” Burton and Rasheed’s initial goal was to create a small moms’ group to help combat the occasional stay-at-home blues and earn a little extra money. It felt like the perfect fit; a midway point between the two worlds of home life and corporate life. The small group is now a successful business that employs a staff of 22 and generates revenues through a $45 annual membership fee and advertising. “When Momstown was still small we didn’t know how we were going to attract advertisers — I mean, how do you make a presentation to Pampers with two kids on your arms?” says Burton. Burton’s Laurier ties provided the answer when she happened to reconnect with university friend Duke McKenzie (BBA ’98), president of an independent online advertising representation company. “You graduate university with a degree, but it’s all that other stuff you do while you’re there that really counts,” says Burton. “The benefit of learning in an environment like Laurier, which promotes volunteerism, is the ability to connect with people and create an invaluable network.” When she was a residence don, Burton focused on encouraging her students — who used to call her “the mom” — to participate in extracurricular activities. She knew the more they engaged, the more they would get out of their university experience. She likens that philosophy to motherhood. “The more you participate, the greater the rewards,” she says. “At the end of the day, moms need to get out of the house and have interpersonal interactions with other moms.” ❖ LAURIER CAMPUS Summer 2009


Keeping in touch

Fulfilling a lifelong dream When Bharati Sethi (BA ’07, MSW ’09) immigrated to Canada from Mumbai, India as a 19-year-old student, she had big aspirations. “It was my lifelong dream to attain a PhD and someday teach at a university,” she says. Fourteen years later, she’s a Canadian citizen and on the verge of making her dream a reality. “Completing my undergraduate degree in psychology from a Canadian university (Laurier Brantford) gave me my first ray of hope,” she says. After graduating in June with her master’s degree, Sethi, 34, is now a PhD student in Laurier’s Faculty of Social Work, drawing on her personal experiences to study immigrant women and mental heath. It’s a topic that’s close to her heart. Settling in small-town Ontario, she faced many obstacles as a newcomer. Her degree from Mumbai University didn’t carry any weight and she was



dependant on her employer for immigration sponsorship. It took six years for her to become a landed immigrant. “I never gave up, even when I cleaned houses and worked for years as a waitress bound by my immigration status,” says Sethi. “Many of my employers laughed at my dream. My immigration status went through many transformations and even as a nonstatus individual in Canada I kept my focus on my goal.” Her research and commitment to social justice has not gone unnoticed. Earlier this year she was recognized with an inaugural Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Government of Canada, valued at $50,000 per year for up to three years. The award will help fund her research “It means financial stability for the first time since I’ve been in Canada,” says Sethi, who has worked several jobs and relied on scholarship money to fund her education. “But more than that, it will help me make my lifelong dream come true.” — Stacey Morrison

Keeping in touch

1960s Walter Ens (BA ’67) owns and operates a 164-bed, long-term care facility in Midland, Ontario. The original 100-bed facility has been in operation for about 30 years, with a 64-bed addition completed in December 2008. Garry Calvert (BBA ’67) enjoyed a spring mini-reunion with Brian Watson (BA ’66), Mike Foley (BA ’67) and Peter Miller (BBA ’68). The foursome took a trip down memory lane with a drive through Waterloo and a tour of the Laurier campus. Garry says: “Driving through Kitchener-Waterloo, it seemed like the Walper Hotel was the only building that hadn’t changed after 40 years. We were pleased to see Angie’s diner (the alternative when the campus cafeteria was closed on Sundays) was doing well. The Harmony Grill (when you returned to dorm, everyone knew where you’d been) has grown. They have installed a vent hood over the grill, so it’s not quite the same. And speaking of not quite the same, our walking tour of the WLU campus was awe-inspiring — there are so many new buildings and changes.

Even the West Hall, East Hall and South Hall names are now part of history. We then took a short drive to the Heidelberg Hotel (ah, those cold Thursday nights), where the special is still pigtails, ribs, sauerkraut, beer and shuffleboard. We looked at all those fine pictures in an old Keystone yearbook and wished everyone was doing well.”

1970s Terry Smith (BBA ’79), CGA, was named chief financial and operating officer of kidsLink (the operating name of Notre Dame of St. Agatha Inc.) in St. Agatha, Ont. He lives in Waterloo with his wife, Brenda McDonald, and their five children, Graeme, Heather, Hailey, Alanna and Braedan.

1980s Julie (Pellizzari) Morrill (BBA ’82), and her husband, Brent, are pleased to announce that their son Andrew recently graduated from Laurier with his BBA degree. Their daughter Jessica is in her third year

Your donations have done a great deal. Laurier students, faculty, staff, researchers, and the broader community thank you for your support

University Development

(519) 884-0710 ext. 3170 l-r: Peter Miller, Brian Watson and Garry Calvert tour their old stomping grounds.


Photo: Mike Foley

in 2008.



Keeping in touch



Keeping in touch

of Durham College’s graphic design program. Doris (Zuzan) Etienne (BA ’87) recently had her first young adult mystery novel, The Jewels of Sofia Tate, published. More information about Doris can be found on her website Fred Hrkac (BBA ’88) was appointed president, Europe, Middle East/Asia for Boston Scientific. He is based in Paris, France. Friends can contact him at fredhrkac@

1990s Rob Manger (BBA ’96) is happy to announce the birth of his daughter, Jessalynne Apple Manger, on March 10, 2009.

2000s Kara (Young) Heald (BBA ’00) and her husband, Andrew, are happy to announce the birth of their second daughter, Emily Josephine Heald, born March 10, 2009. Christopher Lemieux (BA ’00) has decided to close his pencil case after a 25-year scholastic career. After graduating from Laurier, he earned his PhD in geography from the University of Waterloo in 2008. It was with great regret that Chris took down his

Rob Watson (BBA ’84), was recently promoted to associate portfolio manager at National Bank Financial. In April the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce named him Business Professional of the Year. Rob works at the company alongside wife Kellie (DIPL ’84, BA ’97), an investment advisor and financial planner, and son Adam (BBA ’07), an associate investment advisor, who recently obtained his Financial Management Advisor (FMA) designation. Rob has been busy guiding clients through these troubled economic times, but he still finds time to volunteer in his community with the Chatham Rotary Club and Doctor Recruitment. In addition to their son, the couple has two daughters, Julie, 21, and Jaclyn, 19, who recently returned from Kenya where they helped build a school with Leaders Today and Free the Children. Rob and Kellie took part in the alumni and friends ski trip to Vail and had a great time. They would love to hear from friends at krwatson@

Send your news and photos to!

continued on page 37 continued from page 35

Kurt Cobain poster and said goodbye to student life, but he is looking forward to his new career as a part-time environmental modeller in Laurier’s geography department.



Keeping in touch

Ecology at work Mike Morrice (BBA, BSc ’08) has always been a firm believer in social change. As a student at Laurier, he lobbied for the university’s Dining Hall to switch to cage-free eggs as a more sustainable food option. “As a vegetarian, it was a cause that really meant something to me,” says Morrice, who is also passionate about environmental issues. “But it was also important because it showed students they can enact change on campus. It was exciting to see how willing Laurier’s administration was to listen to student concerns.” Today Morrice is putting his passions to work as executive director of Sustainable Waterloo, a not-for-profit organization that guides technology-related companies in Waterloo Region toward a more environmentally friendly future, with an initial focus on reducing carbon emissions. The organization, which he co-founded with Chris DePaul (BBA ‘08), measures companies’ carbon emissions, helps them reach reduction targets and recognizes those companies that do well. The idea for Sustainable Waterloo first emerged while Morrice was studying carbon emission policies for an independent study project during his final year at Laurier. He was further inspired by Sustainable Silicon Valley, a comparable organization in California that has reduced carbon emissions by 851,000 tonnes since 1990 — the equivalent of taking 140,000 cars off the road. “I realized that after graduating I could really make a living doing what I am passionate about,” says Morrice, who started the organization after receiving funding from founding partners in the region, including Laurier’s CMA Centre for Responsible Organizations. He spent a year working with local business leaders and academic experts to create a measurable and realistic CO2 reduction target framework for participating companies before officially launching in June. “This is a very important time for the world with respect to environmental issues,” says Morrice. “I am deeply concerned with the way our culture operates, but at the same time excited about this environmental movement that’s really coming to a head right now. There is a lot of awareness that we’re not living a sustainable lifestyle and this provides a special opportunity to bring about collaborative and innovative solutions to the challenge of global climate change.” — Mallory O’Brien

Is there a Laurier grad that you think should be profiled in

As a student, Mike Morrice, top, campaigned for cage-free eggs in Laurier’s Dining Hall, above left. Now he’s focusing on the environment.

Keeping in Touch Email us at



Keeping in touch

Michael Pan (BBA ’03) and Shelly Pan (BBA ’03) are happy to announce the birth of their first child, Nathan Justin Pan, born on February 6, 2009. Erin (Davidson) Ridpath (BBA ’03) and Mark Ridpath (BBA ’03) welcomed their second child, Lincoln Mark Aldon on May 13, 2009. He is a younger brother for Eden, who just turned five. Dr. Kelly Schoonderwoerd (BA ’03) attended the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto before completing her degree at Laurier. She now has her own clinical practice in Ajax, Ont., and enjoys living by Lake Ontario.

Danielle Japal (BA ’07) has returned home to Grand Cayman in the Caribbean where she is working for the Ministry of Education as a research analyst and secretary to the Education Council. She has fond memories of living in Bouckaert Hall and still counts her floor-mates as some of her closest friends. Of her decision to return south, Danielle says: “The Cayman Islands is the most multicultural country in the Caribbean, which ultimately makes for an interesting lifestyle when you get to meet people from all over the world. I am thoroughly enjoying my career in Grand Cayman!”

In memoriam


2009 HOME GAMES Battle of Waterloo Sept. 19 vs. Waterloo, 1:00 p.m. Homecoming Oct. 3 vs. Ottawa, 1:00 p.m. Future Stars of Football Oct. 10 vs. Windsor, 1:00 p.m. Honouring Those Who Serve Oct. 24 vs. Queen’s, 1:00 p.m. Support the Purple and Gold and get your tickets for the 2009 season! To purchase Season Passes/Parking Passes and Multi-Game Packs, check out today!

HALLof FAME Friday, October 2, 2009 Senate and Board Chamber Wilfrid Laurier University Reception: 6:00 p.m. Dinner & Induction Ceremony: 7:00 p.m. Tickets: $65 per person

To purchase your ticket, please visit Or for more information, contact Heather Ferris: 519-884-0710 ext. 3289



Keeping in touch


Award of Merit Scholarships


THREE AWARDS of $1,000 EACH are provided annually by the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association. Students who are siblings or children of Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo Lutheran University, or Waterloo College alumni, and are entering the University having met all entrance requirements are invited to apply.



Applications are available at and must be received in the Student Award Office before Friday, September 30, 2009.



Keeping in touch Thomas Freure (BBA ’62) passed away on October 25, 2008 at the age of 74. Tom attended Laurier when it was known as Waterloo College and was among the first to graduate when the school became independent of the University of Western Ontario and changed its name to Waterloo Lutheran University. He was also the first university student president. Upon graduation, Tom worked in the stocks and commodities markets for many years before retiring at 54. His later years were spent at his home in Gananoque, in which he took great pride. He is survived by his son Russell, daughter Liisa, and several grandchildren and family members.

Do you have a special achievement or life experience you’d like to share with fellow alumni? Tell us about your interesting job, travels, studies or personal milestone. Don’t be shy – send your news and high-resolution photos to Laurier Campus and give us the scoop!

Rice Boy Stratford Festival and meet author Sunil Kuruvilla (BA ’87) August 30

Alumni Oktoberfest Tour October 16

Robin Hood St. Jacobs Country Playhouse December 12

For more information and to register for these events visit:




Photo: Wilfrid Laurier University Archives.

The Boar’s Head dinner is an annual university tradition that started in the late 1960s. Modelled on a similar event that started more than 600 years ago at Oxford University in England, each December Laurier students celebrate with a festive evening of food and fun. The earlier dinners included a procession, guest speaker, a delicious Christmas feast and the singing of Christmas carols. More recent dinners have added unique entertainment acts, a talent show and silent auction. This year will mark event’s 60th anniversary, and it is still one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Do you know the students in this photo? Let us know!



Do you have a photo of your Laurier days? Email a high-resolution image to and it could appear in Flashback.






BA ‘08 When Leah Verouden was a student at Laurier she was an enthusiastic participant in student activities and campus life. Leah understood the value of being involved with the school, most notably as president of the Laurier Student Association (LSA) from 2005-2008. Leah encourages all graduating students to stay connected to the university. In addition to attending Homecoming and Laurier Alumni Chapter events, she also benefits from WLUAA’s partner programs. One of those programs is the Laurier Mosaik Mastercard, which Leah has had since 2004. She uses her Mosaik card for daily purchases, from her morning coffee to gas and groceries. And Leah always uses her card for larger purchases such as new clothes, furniture and entertainment. With the points collected, Leah redeems for such things as magazines and gift certificates. All the while, she knows that her participation in the program is helping Laurier.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED in the next edition of Laurier Campus magazine, describing how you benefited from one of Laurier Alumni’s 17 Affinity programs? Please send your story to For more information about this and other alumni affinity programs, visit





W W W . L A U R I E R A L U M N I . C A / B E N E F I T S

PUBL-04-0621-08-448 - Summer ‘09 09.06.09

The Laurier Mosaik MasterCard is just one of the 17 products and services being used by more than 7,000 alumni today. Laurier partner programs provide great deals on such things as insurance, financial planning, mortgages and more. A portion of the proceeds generated through these programs helps support university and alumni programs, building on the great traditions we all enjoyed as students.

chal a l enge a noun, an invitation or call to action to part icipate i n something meaningful.

t i r o f p ? u u o y A re

Your friends are.

They’re changing the world one Laurier grad at a time. Now it’s your turn.

If you would like to get involved, please contact us at: 519.884.0710 ext. 3172 or 2752 or


If you graduated between 1998 and 2008, visit

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