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I Remember Laurier

Reflections by Retirees on Life at WLU

Harold Remus

Publication Year: 2011

Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vii

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Preface: Recalling Life and Livelihoods at WLU

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pp. ix-xi

This is the story—actually, many stories—of the little university that could. It is told by some of those who devoted themselves to making “Last Chance U,” first, a superb small liberal arts college committed to its students and to teaching and, then, to the growth, diversification, research, partnerships, and publications that ...

Part One: Foundations

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1. Money: Counting It and Making It Count

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pp. 3-9

On March 9, 2011, Robert Alexander interviewed Tamara Giesbrecht, with assistance from her husband Roy Warren. Tamara Giesbrecht came to WLU at the point in its history when Waterloo University College ended thirtyfive years of affiliation with the University of Western Ontario and became ...

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2. Waterloo College Student to University Lawyer: On the Legal Side of Things

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pp. 10-14

I arrived in Waterloo in September 1948 ready to embark on a new adventure: post-secondary education at a small institution called Waterloo College. The college was the Faculty of Arts and Science of the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada, which had been established by the Lutheran church in 1911. The seminary did not possess ...

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3. The Bookstore Grows Up

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pp. 15-18

In the Willison Hall days of the late 1950s the bookstore was almost literally a “closet” operation, open for only the few weeks of the year when books for courses had to be purchased. Then it moved to the original student union building, where it was managed by Elsie Fisher, who divided her time between the bookstore and the student ...

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4. Odyssey: Waterloo College, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, WLU

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pp. 19-25

Waterloo College and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary became part of my life as early as 1931, when I was twelve years of age. My uncle Otto came from Hanover in his Dodge sedan to our fifty-acre farm near Neustadt to give us a ride to Waterloo. This was a rare and special event in the Dirty Thirties. Upon arriving in Waterloo we ...

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5. An R.C. Comes to WLU: Early Days of Social Work and a Threefold Maturation Process

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pp. 26-30

The opening of the graduate school of social work at Waterloo Lutheran in 1966 was an historic event for the university, for the profession, and for me personally. Although at the time we did not realize it, in those heady early days we were all making history as we moved from a small church-related university to a full-fledged institution ...

Part Two: Getting Started

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6. From Two to Four and More—Early Days in Chemistry at WLU

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pp. 33-36

In the late 1950s, the Ontario government entered into an arrangement to use Waterloo College, operated for many years by the Lutheran church, as the nucleus for the development of a full-spectrum provincially supported university. As part of this plan, some-thing called the Associate Faculties was established to offer science and engineering programs. But the plan collapsed (with a certain degree of...

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7. The Best Job I Ever Had

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pp. 37-40

Before coming to WLU Ralph served in the RCAF during World War II, was financial editor of The Globe and Mail, and worked in public relations for Massey Ferguson. The following is based on excerpts from a recording of an interview conducted by John McCutcheon in 1995 for the School of Business and Economics ...

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8. Spatial Memories, Mostly Geographical, Mostly of the Sixties and Seventies

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pp. 41-45

I began teaching at Waterloo Lutheran University in the Department of Geography, Geology, and Planning in September of 1965. I’d been interviewed by the department chair, John McMurry, at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers in the spring of the year, then came to Waterloo, where I met with Dean Lloyd ...

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9. In the Beginning: Life at Biology—and Off Campus

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pp. 46-48

I came to Waterloo Lutheran University and the biology department in 1965. The department was founded by Dr. Duncan MacLulich, famous for his discovery of cycles in the size of animal populations. In those days we were affiliated with the Lutheran church and received only federal operating grants, which meant money was ...

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10. Physics, Administration, Astronomy—and Music

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pp. 49-55

My very first contact with WLU came via Ray Koenig. At the time I had no idea how much Ray would become part of my life or how much of my life would be devoted to Laurier; in fact, at the time of this writing that connection has yet to reach a natural ...

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11. Community Psychology, Community Building, and Social Justice

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pp. 56-59

My professional identity is as a community psychologist. In the wider context, I have been a social justice worker in the classroom and community for almost five decades. I have worked to improve transactions between people and their environments and to promote community well-being. Values have been at the ....

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12. Our Home on Native Land: Digging Up a Pre-Contact Site (and Beyond)

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pp. 60-65

How did a member of the waterloo lutheran seminary faculty, teaching liturgics (worship) and preaching, become involved in pre-contact archaeology anyway? Well, it was like this. In the 1960s an expansionist climate permeated the new Waterloo Lutheran University that had replaced Waterloo College at the start of that ...

Part Three: “Lutheran” to “Laurier”

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13. Putting a New University on the Map

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pp. 69-75

An interview by Robert Alexander with Arthur Stephen on April 4, 2011. Arthur Stephen joined Laurier in 1974 as a junior admissions officer. Over the next twenty years he served as director of liaison, as director of institutional relations, and in his last fifteen years as vice-president: advancement responsible for recruitment, public affairs, alumni, and development. He retired in ...

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14. The Perks and Perils of a University Photographer

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pp. 76-79

I began my career at WLU on September 1, 1977. I was overjoyed to finally have a job as a professional photographer. I was hired by Willi Nassau and Dr. Flora Roy. My title was University Photographer and I maintained that title until retirement two years ago in 2009. In the early days they were so worried that I would not have enough ...

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15. A University Press Comes into Being

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pp. 80-85

Wilfrid Laurier University press owes its existence to Norman E. Wagner, whose vision set in motion the events that led to the establishing of the Press in 1974 and who served as its first director.1 In 1973 I was a stay-at-home mom who was quite contented to earn some pocket money by typing term papers, theses, and dissertations for ...

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16. Procurement: A New Day

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pp. 86-89

In February 1976 a new department came into being at Wilfrid Laurier University. In an upstairs back bedroom of a house on Bricker Street, over offices of the Physical Plant and Planning Department, a new purchasing department became a reality. I was in the purchasing department at the University of Waterloo at ...

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17. The Library—Growing with a Growing University

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pp. 90-95

As an alumnus of Waterloo Lutheran University (1964), it was something of a homecoming to join the library in 1967 after earning my B.L.S. from the University of Toronto. As a student, and later as a librarian, I was privileged to be part of the library’s expansion, serving as head of information services, of collections management, and ...

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18. The Computer Comes to WLU: Honeywell 316, Xerox Sigma 7—and Great People

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pp. 96-98

In the 1960s electronic computing became an important component on many university campuses, especially at researchintensive institutions. The development and standardization of the simple computer language FORTRAN—the name a contraction of FORmula TRANslation—made it relatively easy to program the machines. FORTRAN was ...

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19. Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover (Or, Peeling the Onion)

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pp. 99-101

It was summer and I wasn’t teaching any courses. but John Banks had to be away, so he asked if I’d cover his third-year organizational behaviour class for him. The topic was role-casting and how our stereotypes and expectations affect how we deal with people. I’d never seen this class before, so I thought I would use their unfamiliarity ...

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20. Making Canadian History

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pp. 102-107

I arrived in Waterloo in 1972 on the same day that the NDP swept into power in British Columbia. It was a propitious moment in my passage. I knew of Kitchener-Waterloo only by reputation, my pianist mother recommending the musical creativity of my destination highly. The financial stability of the region and its diversity in the ...

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21. From Poverty to War: An Historian’s Odyssey

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pp. 109-112

My association with Wilfrid Laurier University began in the spring of 1975 when I accepted an appointment as associate professor in the Department of History. The decision to leave Montreal, where I had grown up, gone to school and university, and begun a teaching career at McGill and Concordia was not made lightly. My ...

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22. Multiculturalism at WLU: Opening to the Wider World

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pp. 113-117

Marriage to James Leslie, a Torontonian whom I had met when we were both graduate students at the University of Illinois– Urbana-Champaign, brought me to Waterloo, first to St. Jerome’s College in 1964 and then to Waterloo Lutheran University in 1969, and to teaching and research that went quite beyond what I had ever envisaged ...

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23. Reflections: One Person’s Perspective

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pp. 118-120

I came to Waterloo Lutheran University in 1970 as a lecturer in the Department of Economics, School of Business and Economics, and retired in 2009 as a professor in that same department in what had become Wilfrid Laurier University. Over almost four decades I have seen as well as participated in many changes at the “old” and the “new” ...

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24. Old English, Old Norse, Dr. Roy (and Bishop Berkeley): Fifty Years at WLU

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pp. 121-127

W–L–U: for what I would estimate to be a minuscule minority the initials still stand for Waterloo Lutheran University, even though now nearly forty years have passed since that name became history, and even though the institution remained under that name for a mere thirteen years. In 1962, the third year after ...

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25. Laurier Looks Abroad: Waterloo, Marburg, and Laurier International

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pp. 128-132

On december 14, 1984, President John Weir of Wilfrid Laurier University and President Walter Kröll of Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, signed a cooperative agreement for the annual exchange of four students from each university. This was Laurier’s first international cooperative agreement. The exchange students would pay tuition fees ...

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26. The Golden Hawks Take Flight

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pp. 133-138

Sports have been a part of the history of WLU and its predecessors since the 1920s, but my recollections start in the 1960s just as we became Waterloo Lutheran. Along the way there were trials and tribulations. I will note them, give credit to those persons instrumental in our growth and successes, and point out some of the milestones ...

Part Four: Quotidian: The Day-to-Day (Or, Keeping the Wheels Turning)

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27. Getting Everyone and Everything Just Right

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pp. 141-147

I drove my dad’s 1959 Studebaker with three friends from Barrie to Albert Street and parked in a lot marked “Reserved” at what was then Waterloo College. That was the beginning of a wonderful journey that changed not only my life but also the lives of too many to contemplate. A “Preliminary Year” option ...

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28. Five Years as University Secretary

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pp. 148-152

I had finished two terms as chair of the department of Economics and was on sabbatical at the University of Portsmouth in England in 1994 when President Lorna Marsden called and asked if I would take on the job of university secretary, then vacant, when I returned to campus. The call was a complete surprise. When I left on sabbatical ...

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29. On Students and Deaning

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pp. 153-157

In the fall of 1963 Marlene and I arrived on campus with our family of three young boys aged one, three, and five. We rented a house on Bricker Street owned by the university. Our home soon became the place to be for various students, on Wednesday nights for just talk and on Saturday nights for Hockey Night in Canada—so long as ...

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30. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words—AV and Beyond

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pp. 158-161

To justify the title of this essay, it should really be composed of images—but perhaps around “a thousand words” might be permitted. How did I get together with good old WLU? More basically, how did I get to Canada from Vienna? After finishing high school in Vienna, I studied fine arts and photography ...

Part Five: I Came to WLU (Where’s That?)

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31. How I Almost Got a Job at a New University Down the Street and Instead Found a Career at WLU

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pp. 165-170

In september 1956 I passed the oral examination for my M.A. in Slavonic Studies at the University of British Columbia. My subject was the political thought of Maxim Gorki, the brilliant Russian novelist and revolutionary political activist. I was now determined to pursue a career in teaching, research, and writing about the history and ...

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32. One Job One Job One Job = A Job

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pp. 171-176

Nineteen-seventy-four. US involvement in the Vietnam War had ended and with that also the protests and teach-ins in which I had taken some part. There had been some kind of break-in at a place called Watergate in Washington, D.C., leading to high drama in the capital and the media. At home I was still using pencil and paper and ...

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33. French House: A First, and Then Some

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pp. 177-180

It is January 1964. I am into my second term of coursework toward a master’s degree in French at McMaster University. Though I have yet to finish the term and to write my thesis, the need to be looking for work in the fall strikes even a twenty-three-year-old. My professors mention casually to me that Waterloo Lutheran University is ...

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34. Peripatetic Peregrinations

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pp. 181-186

“That’s the strange little place that Ken Hewitt went to,” remarked Carmel Schrire, a Rutgers archaeologist, when I told her that I’d be leaving New Jersey for Canada. “So you think they’re going to pay you real dollars,” exclaimed another colleague, Robin Fox, at a party in my honour. “They’re going to pay you LIRE—Canadian ...

Part Six: Arts and Culture

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35. Voices from the “Scales House”: Music at WLU 1965–76

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pp. 189-194

It was an early spring evening in Oxford, chilly and damp, as would be expected. I had played for an international Lutheran conference in the Chapel of Mansfield College. Stepping out onto the Quad I noticed a slight gentleman wandering about rather forlornly. “I was looking for someplace to eat,” he said (not an easy thing to find after ...

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36. The First Four Years: Foundations for the Next Thirty-Three

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pp. 194-201

Looking back on my 37 years at Laurier, I realize that much took shape during my first four years—1974–78—just after Waterloo Lutheran had become Wilfrid Laurier. There was much talk about new directions and new visions—and much energy. Growing up in Kitchener during ...

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37. Remembering Maureen Forrester

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pp. 202-204

The circumstances that prompted WLU to invite Maureen Forrester to assume the role of university chancellor in the 1980s had much to do with Dr. John Weir’s vision of the university. He was an economist by training and the former chair of Economics in the School of Business and Economics; but when he became vice-president: academic ...

About the Editors and Contributors

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pp. 205-210

I Remember Laurier: Photo Album

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pp. 211-222

E-ISBN-13: 9781554584116
E-ISBN-10: 1554584116
Print-ISBN-13: 9781554583836
Print-ISBN-10: 1554583837

Publication Year: 2011

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Wilfrid Laurier University--Faculty--Biography.
  • Wilfrid Laurier University--Employees--Biography.
  • Wilfrid Laurier University--History.
  • Retirees--Canada--Biography.
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