March 11, 2019Print | PDF
We are here today to mark the contributions of the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund to infrastructure projects at Laurier.
This significant investment in Laurier’s infrastructure helped turn the dream of Lazaridis Hall into a reality and refurbish the Peters Building to house our new Teaching and Learning Commons.
These projects are the result of the most ambitious fundraising effort in Laurier’s history. Catalyst: The Campaign for Wilfrid Laurier University.
Through this campaign, we have achieved our $130-million fundraising target, in addition to $137 million in government funding, of which the Strategic Investment Fund was a part.
This building we are standing in today is proof of the power of partnership among private citizens, industry, and the government.
At Laurier, we have created hubs of innovation that will drive our economy, inspire bold ideas and cultivate the next generation of thinkers and entrepreneurs.
In addition to academic departments for business, economics and mathematics, Lazaridis Hall is home to the Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises and the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation.
These facilities provide our students with opportunities to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to finding solutions for businesses, creating new services, or solving pressing problems in our community.
Additionally, the Lazaridis School boasts the largest business co-op program in Canada. Our commitment to experiential learning ensures our students are career-ready the minute they graduate.
We also provide business expertise to start-up companies through the Lazaridis Scale-Up program.
Now in our fourth cohort, there are many success stories to share.
One example is Kitchener-based Dozr, a platform that enables owners of construction equipment to earn money from their idle equipment by renting it out.
Following their enrolment in the Scale-Up program, Dozr won a 1-million dollar prize in the VentureClash contest last March.
Dozr is using these funds to hire more software developers specializing in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Investment in universities and our facilities is what fosters this kind of innovation and economic opportunity.
Across the street, our new Teaching and Learning Commons provides resources such as accessible learning options, writing supports, and study skills and learning strategy support.
Additionally, our faculty can access resources to improve their own pedagogy, enhancing the experience for all of our students.
It’s no wonder we’ve been ranked – for three years in a row – Number One in Student Satisfaction for comprehensive universities in the Maclean’s University Rankings.
As Rob stated, the real impact is not the buildings, but rather, what happens within these walls.
The Strategic Investment Fund provides the support to create environments that inspire collaboration, discovery, and opportunity for our students.
This is truly an investment in the future of our community and Canada.
Thank you once again to the Government of Canada for this investment and thank you to Minister Chagger and MP Tabbara for being here today to celebrate with us.