The University of Waterloo, currently celebrating its 60th anniversary, is an academic success story, recognized as one of the most effective and innovative institutions in the Canadian post-secondary landscape. But it has not been celebrated for the quality of its architecture or campus design. Despite several generations of masterplans and some award-winning buildings, the campus does not have a guiding idea or type. It has no clear patterns of internal circulation or public space. In fact, it is a direct reflection of architectural culture and direction in this country over the last half-century. In each phase of its history, the Waterloo campus reflects the changing architectural tastes, practices, themes, contradictions, and crises. Waterloo is also an institution with its character and personalities. The talk will weave architectural history with the institutional history, leading to a critical study of the creation of a unique, Canadian institution.