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Wilfrid Laurier University is a university located in Waterloo, Ontariomarker, Canadamarker. It also has campuses in Brantford, Ontariomarker, and Kitchener, Ontariomarker. It is named in honour of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the seventh Prime Minister of Canada.

Laurier offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields. Laurier is one of the fastest-growing universities in Canada (enrolment more than doubled from 1997 to 2006). The main campus is located in Waterloo. The City of Waterloo is home to both Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloomarker.


The history of Wilfrid Laurier University, a non-denominational university at Waterloo, Ontariomarker dates from 1911, when the Waterloo Lutheran Seminarymarker of Canada [349903] opened its doors to students. Waterloo was selected as the location of the seminary for two main reasons, the first being that land was offered by the citizens of Waterloo on the edge of town, and the second being that most of the Lutherans in Canada at the time resided in the Waterloo and Berlin (now known as Kitchenermarker) area.

In 1914 the Seminary developed non-theological courses under the name of the Waterloo College School. Waterloo College of Arts became affiliated with Western in 1925. Today Wilfrid Laurier University emphasizes liberal arts.

In 1924 the Waterloo College of Arts was established, offering post-secondary three-year programs.

Laurier's school colours of purple and gold originated in 1927: maroon and gold were the colours of Waterloo College, but to honour the link with the University of Western Ontario, whose colours were purple and white, maroon was discarded in favour of purple.
The main campus in Waterloo

The University of Waterloomarker was originally conceived in 1955 as the Waterloo College Associate Faculties (WCAF), a semi-autonomous entity within Waterloo College (now Wilfrid Laurier University).

It became Waterloo Lutheran University in 1959 and Wilfrid Laurier University in 1973.

In 1960, Lutheran church relinquished its sponsorship of the Wilfrid Laurier University. The Lutheran church maintained control of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, which federated with Wilfrid Laurier University.

Waterloo College ended its affiliation with Western and became a university in its own right: Waterloo Lutheran University. Wilfrid Laurier University was established by Wilfrid Laurier University Act 1973, which was amended in 2001. As a church-affiliated institution, Waterloo Lutheran was ineligible for capital funding from the province, and the Lutheran church was in no position to invest heavily in the university. On November 1, 1973, Waterloo Lutheran University dropped its church affiliation and became a public institution, Wilfrid Laurier University.

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.

In October 2008, the University was named one of Waterloo Area's Top Employers and featured in the Waterloo Region Record and Guelph Mercury newspapers.

Waterloo Lutheran Seminarymarker continues to operate in affiliation with the University and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.


When Waterloo Lutheran Universitymarker became a public university, a new name was needed. There were 94 proposed names, among them were Beaver University, Louis Riel University and the Iroquois University of Waterloo. Eventually Wilfrid Laurier University was selected in 1973, but not without controversy, as some students at the time charged that Wilfrid Laurier was a politician of "questionable reputation" who had no connection to the school or the region of Waterloo. There has been speculation over the years that the name Wilfrid Laurier University was chosen mainly to preserve the initials as WLU.

Book publishing

The Wilfrid Laurier University Press, which was founded in 1974, deals with archaeology, military history and sociology/anthropology.


The University is home to 11,689 full-time and part-time undergraduate students, 729 full-time and part-time graduate students and almost 500 in faculty and staff, although comparatively small, the university has consistently ranked among Canada's top schools in its category, an honour which is regularly confirmed by Maclean's magazine's annual rankings. The 2008 Macleans rankings placed Laurier fifth overall (first in Ontario) of the 21 Canadian universities in its category, and rose to first in terms of "highest quality." [349904]
Home of Faculty of Social Work, downtown Kitchener.
Formerly St. Jerome's high school.

In 2008, for undergrad programs, the minimum entering average was 80.3% for the arts, 80.8% for science, and 86.3% for business.

The Laurier School of Business & Economics is the largest faculty within the university with over 4,500 enrolled students and is a strong proponent of co-operative education programs.

The university is also home to the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy, the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies, the Cold Regions Research Centre, and several other research centres.

Laurier is the current headquarters of the Academic Council of the United Nations System (ACUNS) which was previously 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, scheduled to open in Waterloo in 2008.

Laurier Library

The Laurier Library holds nearly 1.8 million books and journals in hard copy or microform, and provides access to over 6,000 electronic reference tools and full text electronic journals. In addition, the library is a member of the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (University of Waterloomarker, University of Guelphmarker, Wilfrid Laurier University), through which access to a combined information collection in excess of 6 million print items is available.


Laurier offers a variety of different programs through its 6 faculties as well as affiliated colleges: Arts, Science, Education, Music, Social Work, International Affairs, Business, and Economics.


Kitchener CampusIn 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 they partnered with. 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.

Waterloo campus

Laurier's primary campus ("The 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, Education, and Health. Altogether, approximately 11,689 students attend classes at the Waterloo campus.


Women’s Residences:

  • Bouckaert Hall (Dormitory-style)
  • Clara Conrad Hall (Dormitory-style)

Men’s Residences:

  • C.H. Little House (Dormitory-style)

Co-ed Residences:

  • Bricker Residence (Apartment-style)
  • Euler Residence (Alternative Study Environment, Dormitory-style)
  • King Street Residence (Dormitory-style)
  • Laurier Place Residence (Apartment-style) (Conestogo House, Heidelberg House, St. Agatha House, St. Clements House, and St. Jacobs House)
  • Leupold Residence (Alternative Study Environment, Dormitory-style)
  • Macdonald House (Dormitory-style)
  • University Place Residence (Apartment-style)
  • Waterloo College Hall (Dormitory-style)
  • Willison Hall (Dormitory-style)

Brantford campus

Laurier's secondary campus ("The Laurier Brantford Campus") is located in the Single-tier Municipality of Brantford.The campus opened its doors in 1999 with a total of 39 students in its inaugural year. As of 2009, over 2,200 students were enrolled at the school.


  • Grand River Hall
  • Post House
  • Rizzo Building
  • Wilkes House
  • Lawyer's Hall
  • Lucy Marco Place
  • Imperial Hall


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.

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'".

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.

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 Acadiamarker. The Hawks then defeated the University of Saskatchewan Huskies 24-23 to win the 2005 Vanier Cup, their first since 1991.

In 2008 both the men's and women's curling teams won the inaugural CIS Championships and will represent Canada in China at the World University Games.

Fight song

The original Wilfrid Laurier University fight song was composed by M.A. Magee (BA 1938), with words by W.H. Johns, as "Waterloo We'll Praise Thee Ever" - in reference to Laurier's origins as Waterloo College. It was re-released in 2005 with "Laurier" replacing "Waterloo" in the lyrics to avoid confusion with neighbouring University of Waterloomarker. The modern lyrics are as follows:

Laurier we'll praise thee ever
as in the days of old,
We will always keep on high,
The purple and the gold, the gold
Ever will thy sons and daughters
praise thee day by day
We will always hold thy name in rev'rence

We will battle on to victory
As the years roll by,
Carrying thy standard bravely
Holding it on high,
Ever will we sing thy praises
Praise thee every day
No one e'er shall bring thy name dishonour

University people

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