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Caroline and Patrick Valeriote

“I just had a feeling!”

"It's not usually the first thing a couple decides to do together after getting married!” says Caroline Valeriote (Bus Dip ’93), laughing. But enrolling together in the Business Diploma program at Laurier proved to be a great decision for Caroline and her husband Patrick (Bus Dip ’93).

Looking back now, after nearly 30 years of marriage, they both feel a deep affinity and appreciation for Laurier, and for those just starting here.

The Valeriotes grew up in Guelph, but moved to Kitchener when they got married in 1989. Patrick had discovered Laurier a few years earlier when he took some part-time summer electives in business. Caroline was starting out in her field as a dietitian, working at St. Mary’s Hospital. Patrick worked for Budd Automotive.

The newlyweds threw themselves into a vigorous routine of work and study. When Caroline became pregnant near the end of her program, she kicked up the pace a notch further and graduated before giving birth to their first daughter.

Fast forward a few years: Caroline was running a successful private practice, and finding the skills she learned at Laurier invaluable. One day a colleague reached out to her to ask if she’d like to do some part-time consulting work at Laurier’s Student Wellness Centre. Caroline was delighted to come back to Laurier in a professional capacity. She has now been here for 15 years.

“My life has come 360 degrees, full circle, back to Laurier,” says Caroline. “As with taking my Business Diploma, at the time, I didn’t know where it would lead me. I just had a feeling. It was the same coming back to Laurier to work.”

Meanwhile, Patrick also made use of his business courses. While working at Budd, Patrick started his own tax preparation business.

“I always thought of Laurier as a spring board,” he says. “All the small business courses I took helped so much.”

The couple have always been of a philanthropic mindset and have instilled this value in their children. The family gives to a range of organizations and Laurier holds a special place in their hearts.

As Patrick and Caroline advance in their careers, giving becomes even more important to them.

“We want to shout it from the rooftops,” Caroline says. “We want to let other couples of our age and income level realize that there are many ways to give. It doesn’t have to be a big one time donation. Small amounts now help in the future.”

The Valeriotes have found a practical way to give small amounts that will have a bigger impact. They purchased a life insurance policy and simply pay the monthly premiums, all tax deductible.

“I sleep better at night knowing that I’m helping,” says Caroline.

The couple takes their giving impact seriously. They were inspired to give to Wellness at Laurier, not only because Caroline works first-hand with students, but also because of how much they have read in the press about the mental health crisis on campuses across the country.

“We want to support the networks needed to see students successfully through a program,” says Patrick. “What we will provide will open a door to their futures.”


If you are interested in making a bequest to Laurier, please contact Cec Joyal, Development Officer, Individual & Legacy Giving, Development & Alumni Relations 519.498.4168 |

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