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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

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Visiting St. Paul’s College, University of Waterloo

— Last month I had the great pleasure of visiting St. Paul’s College at the University of Waterloo as a guest of the college’s principal, Dr. Graham Brown. I gave a talk about the residential college movement and met with a number of students, faculty, and trustees of St. Paul’s who are charting the college’s future. I also enjoyed several walks along the Waterloo Backs in the beautiful fall weather, and met members of Waterloo’s other three colleges: Renison, St. Joseph’s, and Conrad Grebel. I hope my hosts got as much from the visit as I did, and I look forward to an opportunity to visit again in the future.

St. Paul’s and its neighbor colleges are relatively small, but they are all independent colleges in the Oxbridge sense, each owning its own buildings and grounds and functioning as an independent corporation. St. Paul’s is constructing some new residential space for graduate students within the college, and I am confident that this will have a very positive effect on the life of the college. Its neighbor, Conrad Grebel College, is building an attractive new dining area and outdoor plaza which overlooks the college grounds. All the Waterloo colleges have church affiliations but they all accept students without regard to church membership or academic interest. One of the most wonderful features of the college district of the campus, alluded to above, is the way the row of four colleges all back up against Laurel Creek, a willow-lined waterway running through the Waterloo campus. The configuration is very similar to the famous “Backs” of Cambridge University along the Cam, and is certainly an area that the Waterloo colleges could collectively enhance and make famous in its own right. (The naturalist in me always notices such things.) You can learn more about the Waterloo colleges by following the links in the Canada section of my directory of residential colleges around the world. You can also view some informal photos of the Waterloo colleges taken on my visit.

Many thanks again to Dr. Brown for his kind invitation to visit St. Paul’s and to all his colleagues for the generous hospitality they showed me while I was there.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021