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Stewart and Erin Wong grin at the camera along with their two children Clara and Charlie in an outdoor setting.
Erin and Stewart celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary at Kariya Park in Mississauga, with their children Clara and Charlie

Follow your passion: How the Laurier experience helped Stewart (BA '98) and Erin Wong (BBA '98) find joy and purpose

As the 25th anniversary of their graduation approaches, Stewart (BA ’98) and Erin Wong (BBA ’98) reflect on their time at Laurier and how their university experience has inspired their personal and professional lives as alumni.

The couple, who were introduced through a network of friends in their third year, both value the personal relationships, the fulfilling careers and the giving philosophy that they say can be traced directly back to their time at Laurier.

“If I’m reflecting on the 25 years I’m thinking about my friends that I met along the way, and the experiences that I was able to take advantage of,” says Stewart. “Erin and I met there, we started our life together there.”

Erin expresses her gratitude for the opportunities her academic experience in the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program provided, saying the quality of her education inspired her to pursue a career in the tech sector, supporting growing companies with an entrepreneurial vision.

“I really appreciated the experience that I had, the professors that I had, and how I was so incredibly well set up for success in my career,” she says.

In contrast to Erin, Stewart focused more on student activities and leadership. He was heavily involved in student life at Laurier, first as an ambassador and then as Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union (WLUSU) president in 1997/98. 

“For me, it was more about the journey with everything outside academics – the Students’ Union, Foot Patrol, Orientation Week, being an ambassador and getting involved in the community – that set me up in a different way for my own career,” he says. These were Stewart’s happiest and most fulfilling experiences, and they inspired him to pursue a career in serving non-profit organizations. He is currently vice-president of communications, strategy and sustainability at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Erin and Stewart Wong grin at the camera in formal attire
Erin and Stewart Wong attend the 1997 Charity Ball at the Turret

Both Erin and Stewart are committed to giving back to their communities through monetary donations and volunteering their time to causes and initiatives that resonate with them. They are both passionate about education, mentoring the next generation of business leaders and supporting student success.

In 2021, Stewart and Erin created the Wong Family Bursary, a bursary supporting Laurier students in good academic standing who demonstrate financial need and volunteer in the community or contribute to student life. The bursary awards $1,000 to one student per year over a period of five years.

For Erin, setting up the bursary was a great way to feel the impact of a donation that is manageable.

“A lot of the giving that we do tends to be donations to non-profits, so our money is going into a big pool of funds and that organization decides what they do with the funds,” Erin says. “This is a very different kind of giving, because it goes directly to an individual.”

So far, the bursary has been given out to two students who have written notes to the Wongs to thank them for the support, and to tell the story of the impact the bursary has made on their lives.

“Having an individualized impact was a driving factor,” Stewart says. “We knew that if we put $5,000 in, then five people are going to get the bursary and it will be more personalized and we’ll be able to see the impact a little bit more. And the thank-you notes have been wonderful.”

As Stewart explains, the main goal of the bursary is to help someone get their degree. But an additional purpose is to give recipients the opportunity to take part in all aspects of university life.

“Maybe instead of taking another shift at their job, they can do some other extra-curricular thing that’s more fulfilling for the student experience.”

Although she admits that she isn’t as sentimental about the past as Stewart, Erin is very proud of her Laurier roots.

“I took our son to campus last November to show him where Stew and I had gone to school,” she says. While some parts of Laurier’s Waterloo campus haven’t changed in 25 years, she was thrilled to see the new Lazaridis School of Business and Economics building on University Avenue.

“I’m certainly biased towards the business program,” she jokes. “But I was just so thrilled that the school had that reputation and could raise the funds to construct this beautiful building and continue to invest in the program and produce world-class graduates. I was really, really excited to see that.”

Stewart encourages other Class of ’98 alumni to take the opportunity to attend the 25th anniversary reunion at the Turret on September 23, 2023.

“It’s one of those milestone years,” he says. “I think people should go see their friends, see how campus has evolved and reflect on everything they’ve accomplished since they left 25 years ago. Seeing people and rehashing some memories in person, I don’t think you can replace that.”


To learn more about establishing your own student financial award at Laurier, please email us at

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