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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
April 28, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Sir Wilfrid Laurier


Laurier is at a pivotal point in its history. After celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2011, the university is poised to meet the future with vision, energy and optimism. Armed with a firm belief in the transformative power of education and research, its community of integrated and engaged learners is ready to address the world’s most critical business, economic, social and environmental challenges.

In 1910, the Lutheran Church entered into an agreement to establish a Lutheran Seminary, and Waterloo was selected as its location when its citizens offered a tract of land on the boundary of the town. On Oct. 30, 1911 the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada opened its doors. Waterloo College School was established in 1914 for pre-theological education, and the Waterloo College of Arts was established in 1924 to provide a four-year, post-secondary education program. A year later, the Faculty of Arts, under the name Waterloo College, affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.

Waterloo College’s affiliation with the University of Western Ontario ended in 1960 when the Seminary obtained a revised charter that gave degree-granting rights to both the seminary and the university, and the university became Waterloo Lutheran University. On Nov. 1, 1973, Waterloo Lutheran University became a provincially funded university under the name Wilfrid Laurier University.

"As for you who stand today on the threshold of life, with a long horizon open before you for a long career of usefulness to your native land, if you will permit me, after a long life, I shall remind you that already many problems rise before you: problems of race division, problems of creed differences, problems of economic conflict, problems of national duty and national aspiration.

"Let me tell you that for the solution of these problems you have a safe guide, an unfailing light if you remember that faith is better than doubt and love is better than hate. Banish hate and doubt from your life. Let your souls be ever open to the promptings of faith and the gentle influence of brotherly love. Be adamant against the haughty, be gentle and kind to the weak. Let your aim and purpose, in good report or ill, in victory or defeat, be so to live, so to strive, so to serve as to do your part to raise even higher the standard of life and living..."

- Sir Wilfrid Laurier