Wilfrid Laurier University

Coordinates: 43°28′31.21″N 80°31′38.08″W / 43.4753361°N 80.5272444°W / 43.4753361; -80.5272444

Wilfrid Laurier University
Former names
Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada (1911), Waterloo College of Arts (1925), Waterloo Lutheran University (1960)
Motto Veritas Omnia Vincit
Motto in English
Truth conquers all
Type Public
Established 1911
Endowment $71.6 million
Chancellor Eileen Mercier
President Max Blouw
Academic staff
Undergraduates 17,000 full-time,
1,541 part-time [2]
Postgraduates 1,000 full-time,
610 part-time
Location Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Colours Purple and gold          
Nickname Golden Hawks
Mascot The Golden Hawk
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, COU, AACSB ACU, CIS, CUSID, Fields Institute, OUA, CBIE, CUP
Website www.wlu.ca

Wilfrid Laurier University (commonly referred to as Laurier or WLU) is a Canadian public research university located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Laurier has several other campuses, including in Toronto, Ontario, Brantford, Ontario, Kitchener, Ontario and an office in Chongqing, China.[3] It is named in honour of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the seventh Prime Minister of Canada. The University offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields, with more than 17,000 full-time undergraduate students. [4]

The campus in Waterloo sits in the heart of Canada's Technology Triangle and within the Waterloo-Toronto corridor, often referred to as Silicon Valley of the North, in recognition of its vibrant start-up ecosystem. [5] The twin cities of Kitchener, Ontario and Waterloo, Ontario ("KW") have the largest concentration of tech companies in North America apart from California.[6][7]

Laurier landmark sign, at the corner of King Street North and Bricker Avenue
Laurier Food Court
Laurier Central Garden with Sir Wilfrid Laurier statue


In 1910, the Lutheran Synod established a seminary, which opened to students in 1911, as the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary of Canada.[8] In 1914 the seminary developed non-theological courses under the name "the Waterloo College School". In 1924, the Waterloo College of Arts was established. [9] Waterloo College of Arts became affiliated with the University of Western Ontario ("Western") in 1925 and soon began to offer honours degree programs in the arts.[10] In 1960, the Lutheran church relinquished its sponsorship of Waterloo College. The seminary obtained a revised charter changing the name of the institution to Waterloo Lutheran University. On November 1, 1973, Wilfrid Laurier University was established with Royal Assent by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Ross Macdonald, who later served as Laurier's Chancellor.[11]

Laurier's school colours, purple and gold, extend from its early affiliation with Western; originally maroon and gold, the school adopted purple in lieu of maroon to honour its link with Western, whose colours were purple and white. While Laurier's colours remain, it ended its affiliation with Western in 1960.

The main campus in Waterloo

Laurier opened a second campus, in Brantford, Ontario, in 1999, and in 2006 the Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work moved from the Waterloo campus to a campus in downtown Kitchener. The Brantford campus is centred on a number of historic properties in the downtown area which have been restored for university use. They include a former Carnegie library, Brantford's 1880 post office, and 1870 mansion, and a 1950 Odeon Theatre. The Kitchener campus is located in the historic and fully renovated former St. Jerome's high school building.


University rankings
Global rankings
Canadian rankings
Maclean's Comprehensive[12] 10

The university has enrollment of about 17,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate students, 781 full-time and part-time graduate students, and has and over 500 in faculty and staff.[13] Laurier has been transitioning from a primarily undergraduate university to a mid-size research university. In the 2016 Maclean's magazine survey of Canadian universities, Laurier was ranked 10th out of 15 comprehensive universities in Canada. [14] Among Ontario universities, Laurier was behind Waterloo, Guelph, York, and Ryerson but ahead of Windsor and Brock.

Home of Faculty of Social Work, downtown Kitchener. Formerly St. Jerome's high school.

The Registrar's Report for Winter 2016 indicates that the six most popular majors at Laurier, across the entire university, were (in order): Business, Communications Studies, Psychology, Criminology, Economics, and Biology.[15]

The internationally renowned Faculty of Music at Laurier is considered one of the best in the country, with programs in performance, music education, composition, music history, church music, theory and music therapy. In addition, Laurier is home to the Penderecki String Quartet - an internationally recognised group playing largely new compositions. The music faculty boasts two performance spaces, the Theatre Auditorium and the Maureen Forrester Recital Hall (named after the famous contralto and former chancellor of Laurier). The faculty also attracts a greater percentage of students from outside Ontario than any other faculty at Laurier. Laurier's Music program offers the only master's degree in Music Therapy. Laurier's strength in "music and business education" had been identified as one of the reasons that Waterloo Region is a "powerful educational hub" by former University of Waterloo president, and now Governor-General of Canada, David Johnston.[16]

Laurier is the headquarters of the Academic Council of the United Nations System (ACUNS) which has been hosted by Yale, Brown and Dartmouth. The ACUNS' goal is to strengthen the study of international organizations and to create strong ties between the academic community and diplomats within international organizations.

Laurier is also a prominent partner in the new Balsillie School of International Affairs, opened in Uptown Waterloo in 2008. The school offers three programs: a masters in arts in global governance, a masters in international public policy and a PhD program in global governance.[17]

Laurier Library

The Laurier Library holds more than 965,000 print items, more than 240,000 electronic books, more than 25,000 full text electronic journals and databases, thousands of media titles (about 5,000 including streaming and DVDs). In addition, the library is a member of the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University), through which access to a combined information collection in excess of seven million print items is available.

The library, in conjunction with Wilfrid Laurier University Press, hosts Scholars Commons @ Laurier, an institutional repository that aims to support open scholarly communication, collaboration, and lasting visibility and recognition for Laurier scholarship. It houses faculty scholarship, theses, dissertations, online journals, and an archival collection of The Cord dating back to 1926.


Waterloo campus

Laurier's Waterloo Campus is located in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. The majority of the University's faculties reside at the Waterloo Campus, including Business, Arts, Science, Music, and Health. Altogether, approximately 15,000 students attend classes at the Waterloo campus.


King Street Residence

Laurier Waterloo operates one all female residence (Conrad Hall), one all male residence (Little House), and ten co-ed student residences: Bouckaert Hall, Bricker Residence, Euler Residence, Hickory St. Apartments, King’s Court Residence, King Street Residence, Leupold Residence, Macdonald House, Marshall Street Apartments, Regina Residence, Spruce Street Apartments, University Place Residence, Waterloo College Hall, and Willison Hall. Together, these residences house approximately 2,780 men and women, with 2,664 beds reserved for undergraduate first-year students.[19]

When applying to residences, students can choose to be a part of a Residence Learning Community, a themed residence environment where all members share a common interest, major, or coursework. These communities are designed to extend opportunities for learning and development beyond the classroom, mainly through networking opportunities with peers, faculty, and staff. Residence Life currently operates the following communities: Glocal: Thinking Global, Acting Local, Innovation: Entrepreneurship, Languages and Literatures, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science, Singer and Songwriter, The Reel World: English and Film Studies, and Vimy Hall: War, Memory and the Canadian Military Experience.[20]

Brantford campus

Laurier's Brantford Campus is located in Brantford, Ontario, approximately 50 km south of the campus in Waterloo. The campus opened its doors in 1999 with a total of 39 students in its inaugural year. As of January 2015, there were 2,625 full-time students, and an unstated number of part-time students, enrolled at the school.


(all of which are apartment style)

Kitchener campus

In the Fall of 2006 the Faculty of Social Work (previously on the Waterloo campus) moved to downtown Kitchener. Located on Duke St. it moved into the old St. Jerome's High School which was designated a heritage site by the City of Kitchener. This move allowed the students to be closer to the community and social service agencies with which they are partnered. Also in an effort to partner better with the community and make the building more welcoming, faculty and staff held such events as the Political Coffee House Series, several all-candidates debates and the Expressions of Social Justice Festival

Proposed Milton campus

The Town of Milton, Ontario and Laurier have been working together since 2008 to develop a 150-acre campus in Milton within the Milton Education Village (MEV).[21][22] The town donated 60 hectares (150 acres) to Laurier worth $50 million. In 2015, the Milton Velodrome was opened in the MEV as a venue for the 2015 Pan American and Para Pan Am Games.

In May 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities turned down Laurier's request to fund its proposed Milton campus. The ministry says there will be a second call for proposals in spring 2016, for a campus in the Peel and Halton region — which includes Milton. Laurier has confirmed it will re-submit its proposal.[23]

On October 26, 2016, the Ontario government announced that it is seeking expressions of interests from universities to build post-secondary campuses in both Milton and Brampton. The announcement specified the new campuses will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.[24]


The university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks.

The history of the team name (Golden Hawks) dates back to the 1961. For many years, the Waterloo College teams were called simply the Waterloo College teams, although sometimes they were called the Purple and Gold and other times the Waterloons. In 1950, the college's newspaper mused that a name was needed, and in December 1951 a new name was tested: the Mules.[25]

Subsequently, the hockey team became the Ice Mules and the women's basketball and volleyball teams were known as the Mulettes.

In 1960, with the shift from college to university status, the university student newspaper again lobbied for change. At a meeting that year, somebody suggested Golden Hawks and that was the name adopted. A headline in the January 16, 1961 issue of the newspaper read "From 'Jackass' to 'Bird of Prey'".[26]

On November 13, 2004, the Golden Hawks football team won the Yates Cup against the McMaster Marauders at University Stadium in front of a record crowd of 8,175. It was the sixth Yates Cup victory for Laurier in its history. The game also ended McMaster's four-year Ontario championship winning streak. The men's football team scored a second successive Yates Cup victory in November, 2005, followed by a victory in the Uteck Bowl against Acadia. The Hawks then defeated the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 24–23 to win the 2005 Vanier Cup, their first since 1991.

Laurier's first female national championship was won in 1992 by the women's soccer team, which followed that up with their second CIS title in 1995. The men's soccer team claimed back-to-back national championships in 2000 & 2001.[27]

In 2007 the women's lacrosse team achieved a dynasty status by winning their fifth OUA Ontario University Athletics gold medal in a row. In February 2008, the women's hockey team claimed its fifth gold medal in as many years and seventh since 1998. The women's hockey team won its first CIS national championship in 2005. Both teams have since won sixth consecutive championships in their respective sports, furthering their dynasties.

In 2008 both the men's and women's curling teams won the inaugural CIS Championships and represented Canada in China at the 2009 World University Games. The women's team repeated as CIS Champion's in 2009 in Montreal and went on to represent Canada in the Karuizawa International Curling championships where they claimed first place.[28]


The athletic facilities at Wilfrid Laurier University include an Athletic Complex, a Football Stadium and an outdoor multi-purpose fieldturf field. The Athletic Complex houses three Gyms, two squash courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a rock-climbing Wall, and Aerobics/Weight Rooms. University Stadium includes a fieldturf football field and a large indoor gymnasium.[29]

Students' Union

The Wilfrid Laurier University Students' Union (WLUSU) is funded by undergraduate student fees, and all students are automatically members. Their mission is to enhance the holistic student experience at Wilfrid University by providing innovative resources and effective representation within a safe and empowering campus community.[30] The Students' Union provides a number of services for students, including bus passes, Direct2U Prescription, emergency response team, food bank, foot patrol, health and dental insurance coverage, the member card, peer-help line, student life line, and tech share.[31] The Wilfrid Laurier University Students' Union Clubs and Associations department supports over 130 clubs and associations involving over 3,000 students. Clubs and Associations supports all clubs by offering resources and financial support as well as acting as a liaison to the Students' Union and University administration.[32]


Laurier has over 88,000 graduates from 85 countries.[2]


Laurier has the oldest business co-op program in English-speaking Canada and largest business co-op program in Canada.[2] There are hundreds of co-op opportunities with dozens of companies, including KPMG, Ernst and Young, PepsiCo, Scotiabank, Unilever, Manulife Financial, and many others.[33]

Greek Life

Wilfrid Laurier is home to a vibrant and growing Greek life, with each group having a large focus on philanthropic endeavours.



University people

See also


  1. http://cudo.ouac.on.ca/api/get-data.php?table=17&univ=33&year=2012&header=1
  2. 1 2 3 http://legacy.wlu.ca/page.php?grp_id=12015&p=14901
  3. http://wlu.ca/about/campuses-locations-maps/index.html
  4. no by-line.--> (2015). "Prospective Faculty". http://legacy.wlu.ca/page.php?grp_id=317&p=3141. Wilfrid Laurier University, Office of the VP: Academic & Provost. External link in |website= (help)
  5. Barrenechea, Mark J (May 16, 2014). "Why Ontario is the Silicon Valley of the North". Globe and Mail. Toronto, Canada. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  6. http://business.financialpost.com/2013/05/15/why-three-innovators-are-running-their-companies-in-waterloo-instead-of-silicon-valley/?__lsa=1c55-851b
  7. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/canadian-university-report/do-employers-recruit-from-your-school/article4620590/
  8. http://www.wlu.ca/~wwwsem/index.shtml
  9. "Wilfrid Laurier University". The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  10. http://library-old.wlu.ca/specialcollections/findingaid/3372
  11. http://www.wlu.ca/page.php?grp_id=158&p=2235 Wilfrid Laurier University Act.
  12. "University Rankings 2016: Comprehensive". Maclean's. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  13. http://www.wlu.ca/page.php?grp_id=12015&p=14901
  14. "Introducing the 2016 Maclean's University Rankings". Macleans.ca. Retrieved 2016-02-27.
  15. "table_a6". web.wlu.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
  16. https://www.cigionline.org/articles/2006/09/ten-goals-regions-success
  17. http://www.balsillieschool.ca/
  18. http://www.dsai.ca/projects/global-innovation-exchange-building
  19. http://waterloo.mylaurier.ca/residence/info/resbldgs/wluresidences.htm
  20. http://waterloo.mylaurier.ca/reslife/info/residence_learning_communities.htm
  21. http://www.milton.ca/en/News/index.aspx?newsId=d7d4cdb8-2861-48ec-91ab-4eb7c4156899
  22. http://www.milton.ca/en/townhall/miltoneducationvillage.asp?_mid_=25007
  23. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/wilfrid-laurier-s-pitch-for-milton-campus-rejected-by-province-1.3080464
  24. http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6932124-laurier-gets-another-chance-at-milton-campus/
  25. "Laurier Trivia Challenge". The Cord Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-02-20. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  26. "The Golden Hawk - How Laurier's official mascot came to be". Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  27. "Championships captured". Retrieved 2010-03-03.
  28. "Women's Curling claims gold in Japan". Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  29. "Facilities". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  30. http://www.wlusu.com/aboutus-section/what-is-the-students-union
  31. http://www.wlusu.com/services/
  32. http://www.wlusu.com/blog-section/about-clubs
  33. https://navigator.wlu.ca/content/documents/Link/Laurier%20Co-op%20Brochure%202013.pdf
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