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WLUAA President’s Message

Ryan Smith shares how Laurier's alumni community is supporting students and staying connected during an unprecedented time

As president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, I want to let you know that your alumni association is thinking of you during these challenging times. While we cannot meet in person, the Laurier alumni family remains strong and connected as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters together. I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.

Although we cannot gather in person, our alumni network is here to support you now more than ever and we have ensured that important alumni resources are still accessible to you.

You can stay connected with fellow Golden Hawks through our LinkedIn group or engage in mentorship, career advice and industry insights through our Ten Thousand Coffees platform. If your organization is currently hiring, you can post opportunities with Laurier for students and alumni.

Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

Other resources are also available online: Laurier's Career Centre services are still available, including online appointments, workshops and the Alumni Employment Service. There are also a number of career-related webinars planned for this month. You can check out more at

As Laurier moves into the spring and summer term, the Alumni Association has been particularly concerned with current Laurier students and how they are adapting to a very different end to the semester than anyone predicted. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on today’s Golden Hawks, who may have lost on-campus homes and means of support, whose mental and physical health is even more at risk during this time of stress, and who have the additional strain of adapting to a sudden remote-learning academic environment. 

"I’m truly privileged to lead such a caring, resilient alumni community."

– Ryan Smith

I’m proud to share that your alumni association has donated a leadership-level gift of $50,000 to support the Laurier COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Laurier established this fund to provide direct assistance in three areas of support: providing immediate financial relief to students in need, ensuring that students’ mental and physical health is supported, and investing in teaching and learning technologies to ensure continued student success. Funds raised for this initiative will be put toward helping Laurier respond to urgent needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

I have also made a personal donation to this critical fund as today’s Laurier students have been top of mind. Their needs are immediate and already hundreds of students have applied for support after learning that the university established this emergency fund. At this time, more than $147,000 has been disbursed to more than 300 students, but the requests – and the need – continues.

If you are in a position to do so, I hope you will consider joining me in donating today. There are plenty of other ways to help, too: connect with recent grads, hire students for summer work and find out what other Laurier alumni are doing to help in their communities.

Thank you for all of the different ways you share and show your Golden Hawk pride to your fellow alumni and your communities, especially now. I am truly privileged to lead such a caring, resilient alumni community.

Be well, stay golden, and stay connected.

Ryan Smith (BBA ’98)
President, WLUAA