Dates of existence
July 9, 2008-
Name and status of Renison College changed on July 9. 2008 by an act passed by the Ontario Legislature. In 2005 the College added a fourth building named the Academic Centre, followed by the east side expansion in 2013 and a new building for the English Language Centre in 2015. In addition to Social Development Studies, East Asian Studies, Religious Studies and a Bachelor's of Social Work degree, Renison University College also offers an online health focused Master's of Social Work degree.
University of Waterloo
Charter under the Ontario Corporations Act., 1953.
University of Waterloo Act,1972
Functions, occupations and activities
University teaching and research
Credit and non-credit English as a second language instruction
Non-credit language instruction
Co-ed university residence.
Anglican Chaplaincy for UW/WLU
Mandates/sources of authority
University of Waterloo Act,1972
Corporations Act (Ontario), s. 300
Renison University College is affiliated with the University of Waterloo. The Chancellor is Mr.Manfred Conrad, founder of the Cora Group Inc., and a founding member of Communitech, as well as a philanthropic leader in the Kitchener Waterloo community. He has held this post since May 7, 2016. Previously the Chancellor was the Rev. Ralph D. Spence. The Chancellor is usually a community leader, a strong supporter of the college and/or is in Episcopal orders. The main governing body is a volunteer Board of Governors, which includes representatives from the University of Waterloo, from the Renison student body, residence, faculty and staff, community members and representatives from the Anglican Dioceses of Niagara and Huron. The Principal reports to and is hired by the Chancellor and the Board of Governors. The Principal is responsible for the academic units (East Asian Studies, English Language Institute, Social Development Studies, School of Social Work, Humanities and institutes and centres (non-credit courses) An Administrative Dean is responsible for administrative and non-academic units (Library, Registrar, Advancement and Alumni Affairs, Residence and Student Life, Finance, Marketing, Chaplaincy and Administration.) Degree granting status is held abeyance to the University of Waterloo with the exception of degrees in theology and religion.
In 1953, Waterloo College (now Wilfred Laurier University) appointed Gerald Hagey as the first lay (non Lutheran Pastor) president. He spent much of his tenure trying to fix the college's financial challenges. As a denominational college, Waterloo College was not eligible to receive public funding from the Province of Ontario which at the same time was investing heavily in post secondary education. Also at this time, there was a increase in the demand for university graduates with education in the sciences and technology and universities in Ontario were trying to meet an increased demand for post secondary education which was anticipated as the first cohort of the post World War II "baby boomers" became old enough to enroll in post secondary education. In step with these occurrences, and following the lead of other denominational colleges at the time, notably McMaster University and Assumption College (a founding college of the University of Windsor), Waterloo College envisioned the "Waterloo College Associate Faculties", a non-denominational science faculty affiliated with Waterloo College. From the beginning Renison College planned to be affiliated with the new institution, along with St. Jerome's College (now St. Jerome's University), and anticipated United Church (St. Paul's College) and Mennonite Church (Conrad Greble College) colleges. Anticipating growth,the Affiliated Faculties purchased a 183 acre plot of land on what is now University Avenue. At the last minute, The Evangelical Lutheran Synod backed out of it's planned affiliation with the Affiliated Faculties, leading to a flurry of activity which lead to the creation of the University of Waterloo as the degree granting institution and Waterloo Lutheran University as a completely separate denominational university in it's original site. Renison College opened in a house at 193 Albert Street. In May 1961, the University of Waterloo offered Renison College 5 acres of land adjacent to the land where it was anticipated that other new church residences and St. Jerome's College would build. In addition the College purchased 1.5 acres against future growth. As part of the affiliation agreement, the college's degree granting abilities would be held in abeyance to the University of Waterloo with the exception of theology and religious studies degrees. During the early years of the college, then principal Wynn Rees anticipated the importance of Renison College moving away from the liberal arts, paving the way for current Renison University College specialties such as Social Work, Social Development Studies and East Asian Studies. In the 1990's the college starting offering English as a second language courses in anticipation of increased need from international students. Due to it's evolving nature, it's name and status changed in July 2008 to Renison University College.