Celebrating one hundred years
As Laurier’s 100th anniversary draws nearer, the university’s marketing and communication departments are filled with enthusiasm for the many celebrations taking place in the fall.
Tiffany Bradley, the manager of communications and marketing for the centennial celebration, outlined some of the key events for the fall, which feature a contrasting collection of academic, musical and social events.
A slew of guest speakers will be attending the university to deliver lectures, including interim Liberal party leader and former WLU chancellor Bob Rae on Sept. 22.
“He’s really popular with the students and he’s a great speaker,” said Bradley.
“He’s going to talk about Canada’s political landscape, specifically the changes to Canada’s foreign policy since Wilfrid Laurier’s term ended 100 years ago in 1911.
Bradley expects that most students will want to attend the student centennial celebrations, which will occur during homecoming weekend on Oct. 1.
Laurier’s centennial is also an opportunity to hold unique moments in the school’s history, including a joint meeting between the university’s board of governors and the seminary’s board of governors — an event that happens quite rarely.
“It’s actually a very historic moment,” explained Kevin Crowley, Laurier’s director of communication and public affairs.
“The seminary is an independent college within the university. They have their own board of governors … so they’re going to be having a joint meeting on the 23rd [of September].”
“And the seminary board will also be voting to re-establish its connection with the university,” added Crowley.
Crowley also expressed with great satisfaction that many aspects of the centennial celebrations will be reaching out and involving the greater Waterloo community, as well as increasing Laurier’s visibility.
“We’ve just gotten approval to place some banners on hydro poles along the roads,” Crowley said. “We’re just waiting for that permit to come in right now, but it’s going to look great.”
Though Crowley and Bradley admitted that due to its younger age, Laurier can occasionally be seen as a “spring chicken” compared to other schools. They also expressed optimism that the exposure of the centennial celebrations would raise Laurier’s profile in the greater academic community.
“People are noticing and asking questions,” Bradley affirmed. “I received an email from someone in Australia telling us how great the website looked.”
Since the launch of the centennial website in the fall of 2010, Bradley and Crowley have noted an overwhelming amount of traffic flowing to the website.
“The highest visit was 12,000 unique in one day,” said Bradley, who noted that they run analytics on the site. “So that’s huge.”
“It’s great because these visitors aren’t going to the site for academic information or info for prospective students — it is literally just for our centennial.”