Fonds SCA229 - Joseph Gerald Hagey family fonds.

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Joseph Gerald Hagey family fonds.

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SCA229

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(1904-1988)

Biographical history

Joseph Gerald “Gerry” Hagey (September 28, 1904-October 26, 1988) was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario by Menno Hagey and Esther Cornell. Hagey’s great-grandfather was Mennonite Bishop Joseph B. Hagey, an early settler to the Waterloo area from Pennsylvania. Hagey attended Waterloo College (later Wilfred Laurier University) completing his high school and University education there. After graduating he took a position as a sales clerk with B.F. Goodrich in Kitchener. After working for B.F. Goodrich for many years, he eventually rose to the position of National Advertising Director by the 1950’s. Throughout this time he was still actively involved with the affairs of Waterloo College, then a small church college affiliated with the University of Western Ontario. After sitting on the board, he was asked to be the president of Waterloo College in 1953.
During his time at B.F. Goodrich, he had become interested in the idea of students working in their respective industries while studying believing that it would provide experience and revenue for the students, revenue for the college, and assistance for the company. Although a controversial idea, in four years Hagey and his supporters had established a co-operative school of engineering. In the summer of 1957 the Waterloo College Associated Faculties opened, with Hagey as the president. In 1959 Hagey decided to resign his position with Waterloo College and devote his time to the Associate Faculties, which separated from Waterloo College and incorporated as the University of Waterloo. Hagey spent the next ten years developing Waterloo from a two portable school with 75 students to a multimillion dollar university with over 9,000 enrollments.
In 1969 Hagey retired from the University of Waterloo due to a battle with cancer that resulted in the removal of his larynx. In his later years he re-taught himself to speak after his surgery, and was awarded numerous awards and honorary degrees including the Order of Canada in 1986. Hagey died of pneumonia on October 26, 1988.

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