Lakehead University - 50th Anniversary
1946
1946-01-01
Lakehead Technical Institute (LTI) is established and begins to offer classes in mining and forestry in temporary rented quarters on Cumberland Street in downtown Port Arthur.
LTI was established by the provincial government and Dr. Melville W. Bartley was appointed its first principal. By 1957, the Institute had evolved into Lakehead College of Arts, Science and Technology (LCAST) and operated out of a main building on Oliver Road, later named in honour of Dr. Harold S. Braun, LCAST's first Principal.
1959
1959-01-01
Lakehead College of Arts, Science and Technology (LCAST) is granted its Coat of Arms by the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk.
The Latin motto Ad Augusta Per Angusta (Achievement through Effort) was suggested by Carlo Fonda, a Lakehead English professor. It is the password used by the conspirator in Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Ernani," which is based on a drama by Victor Hugo.
1964
1964-01-01
The University Centre opens with a theatre, cafeteria, bookstore, and a 'Great Hall' called the Agora, a Greek word for "marketplace."
The News-Chronicle describes the theatre as the "most modern theatre-lecture hall between London, Ontario, and Winnipeg." To celebrate the opening there is a performance by soprano Lois Marshall and a display of 75 portraits by Yousuf Karsh.
1965
1965-01-01
William G. Tamblyn is appointed President. Senator Norman H. Paterson, Lakehead's first Chancellor, confers degrees and diplomas on the University's first graduating class. Patricia Connor is the first student to receive a degree.
Lakehead's Presidents:
William G. Tamblyn, 1965-1972
Andrew D. Booth, 1972-1978
George A. Harrower, 1978-1984
Robert G. Rosehart, 1984-1997
John H.M. Whitfield (Interim), 1997-1998
Frederick F. Gilbert, 1998-2010
Brian J.R. Stevenson, 2010-present
1966
1966-01-01
The first edition of the student newspaper, The Argus, is published.
In 1965, the first student association is formed and is named the Alma Mater Society. In 1981, a student union is incorporated under the name Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU).
1970
1970-01-01
Gord Garvie is appointed Head Coach of men's wrestling and leads the team in taking first place at the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) for 10 consecutive years. In 1976, he coaches the Canadian Olympic team in Montreal.
In 1988, Coach Francis Clayton leads the Lakehead women's wrestling team to claim the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) women's championship, a feat that is repeated in 2000.
1971
1971-01-01
Justice Bora Laskin is appointed Chancellor of Lakehead University and two years later he becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Lakehead Chancellors:
The Hon. Norman M. Paterson, 1965-1971
R. Hon. Bora Laskin, 1971-1980
Robert J. Prettie, 1980-1987
G. Bernard Weiler, 1987-1991
The Very Rev. The Hon. Lois M. Wilson, 1991-2000
Lorne G. Everett, 2000-2010
Arthur V. Mauro, 2010-2013
Derek H. Burney, 2013-present
1972
1972-01-01
For the first time a mace is used during the Convocation. It is a gift from the Alumni Association designed by Ken Campbell and constructed by John Butler, a senior technician in the Science Workshop.
The head is comprised of four triangular specimens of ore mined in the region: silver, gold, nickel and copper. Below is a handle of silver which leads into a shaft of stainless steel surrounded by fluted bronze. Upon a narrow insert of silver is inscribed the motto of the University. The shaft ends in a boss of nickel-silver with an insert of local amethyst crystal. Each section of the shaft is separated by a small silver ring.
1974
1974-01-01
A two-year Native Teacher Education program (NTEP) receives accreditation and Harold Linklater is appointed Director. Lakehead's program is the first of its kind in Ontario and later evolves into the BA/BEd (Native Education) degree program.
The Native Language Instructor's program (NLIP), the Native Nursing Entry Program (NNEP), and the Native Access Program for Engineering program (NAPE) are established. In 2003-04, the Department of Aboriginal Education is established within the Faculty of Education.
1975
1975-01-01
Harold Linklater, NTEP Director, and Dolores Wawia, first Aboriginal instructor, hired for NTEP.
1979
1979-01-01
A new constitution for the Alumni Association of Lakehead University is approved by the Board of Directors. Lakehead's Alumni office is situated in the Evans House on Oliver Road and is later relocated to the Avila Centre.
The Alumni Association was formed in 1966 under the leadership of Bert Baumann and Jim Foulds, who shared the job of president of the Board of Directors for the first year. They were followed by seven others who served as president during the 1960s and 1970s: Roy Piovesana, Carol Bell, Peter Rusak, Jim Eccles, Gary Kunnas, Diane Allen, and Don Lees.
1980
1980-01-01
The Board of Governors and the Lakehead University Faculty Association (LUFA) sign their first collective agreement. The following September, a collective agreement is signed with the Professional Librarian's Union.
Starting in 1988, an annual award to recognize excellence in teaching is established. The first recipient of the Lakehead University Distinguished Instructor Award is Education Professor Penny Petrone. Other recipients include Chemical Engineering Professor Inderjit Nirdosh in1995, Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism Tom Potter in 2002, Political Science Professor Syed Islam in 2009, and Geology Professor Mary Louise Hill in 2010.
1984
1984-01-01
Thirty-six students, faculty, and staff set out on an epic adventure to mark the bicentennial of Ontario and the Great Northwest Company.
They begin paddling voyageur canoes from Lachine, Quebec, in the spring and arrive at Thunder Bay's Old Fort William in time for Canada Day celebrations. Thirty years later, in July 2014, the group gathers at Fort William Historical Park for a reunion.
1984
1984-01-02
Native Language Instructors Program (NLIP) began.
1985
1985-01-01
Lakehead University Native Student Association (LUNSA) formed.

Norval Morriseau received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
1986
1986-01-01
Native Nurses Entry Program (NNEP) launched with Mae Katt as first coordinator.
1987
1987-01-01
The first group of international students from Gifu Shotoku Gakuan University in Japan arrive at Lakehead to take part for a residence program in Canadian Studies. The program continues on an annual basis for over ten years.
1987-1988
1987-01-02
Native Support Services established (now referred to as Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services) with Beverly Sabourin as first coordinator.

Native Student Centre established with cultural, social and academic supports implemented.

Native Advisory Committee set up.

First pow wow held on campus to honour Aboriginal graduates. Pow wows became an annual event.
1989-1990
1989-01-01
Native Access Program launched.
1990
1990-01-01
John Kim Bell received Honorary Doctor of Music.
1991-1992
1991-01-01
Ontario Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy (AETS) funding began.

Native Advisory Committee evolved to Aboriginal Management Committee (AMC) with representation from Aboriginal organizations.

Richard Charles Lyons received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
1992
1992-01-01
Singer/songwriter Neil Young receives an honorary degree and attends Convocation with his father Scott (Photo credit: Chronicle-Journal).
Many celebrated Canadians have received honorary degrees from Lakehead University including: Douglas Cardinal (2000), Gordon Pinsent, (2008), Margaret Atwood (1998), Paul Shaffer (1988), Maude Barlow (2005), Tom Jackson (2003), Maureen Forrester (1988), William G. (Bill) Davis (2011), Phil Fontaine (2005), Louise Arbour (2002), Jean Crétien (1988), Adrienne Clarkson (1989), Stephen Lewis (1988), and Roberta Bondar (1991).
1992-1993
1992-01-02
Department of Native Studies (now Indigenous Learning) emerged under leadership of Dennis McPherson.

Native Access Program for Engineering (NAPE) in place until 2002.

Native Canadian World Views course first offered.

Native Philosophy Project funded by The Rockefeller Foundation to 2000.

BA/BEd, Hon. BA Indigenous Learning established.

Aboriginal representation began on Lakehead University Board of Governors.
1994
1994-01-01
Biennial Aboriginal Peoples Conferences held in 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2000.

Nellie Cournoyea received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
1996
1996-01-01
Melvin Pervais received Honorary Doctor of Engineering.
1997
1997-01-01
Olive Dickason received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
1998
1998-01-01
Lakehead donates 60 acres of land on Oliver Road to be used for construction of the new Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC), which opens in 2004.
Lakehead University plays a leading role in the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, which is the research arm of TBRHSC. The Institute's goal is to improve healthcare through excellence in patient-centred research focused on three molecular imaging-based platforms.
1998
1998-01-02
The Paleo-DNA Lab receives funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to develop as a university-based enterprise.
Researchers working in the Paleo-DNA Lab confirm the identity of the Titanic's "Unknown Child" buried in a Halifax cemetery. He is Eino Viljami Panula, a 13-month-old child born in Finland. The story attracts international media attention and is the subject of a documentary, Titanic's Ghosts, broadcast on PBS in the United States.
1998
1998-01-03
Roberta L. Jamieson received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
1999
1999-01-01
Construction begins on the six-story Advanced Technology and Academic Centre (ATAC), designed to meet the demand for student spaces created by the “double cohort” when the Province of Ontario phases out Grade 13.
ATAC opens in 2003, adding numerous computer labs, smart classrooms, and videoconferencing facilities. By 2013-14 student enrolment in Thunder Bay has grown to 7,131 students.
2000-2001
2000-01-01
Aboriginal Innovations in Arts, Science and Technology resource handbook developed to highlight Aboriginal contributions in these fields.

Aboriginal Awareness Centre of Lakehead University Student Union created.

Douglas Cardinal received Honorary Doctor of Engineering.

Buffy Sainte-Marie received Honorary Doctor of Letters.

Faculty of Natural Resources Management (then Forestry & the Forest Environment) created faculty position to address Aboriginal issues and natural resources. Peggy Smith hired to fill position.
2001
2001-01-01
After a 16-year hiatus, men's varsity hockey returns to Thunder Bay in the form of the Thunderwolves who play home games in front of thousands of cheering fans at the Fort William Gardens.
The first Lakehead University hockey team was known as the Mustangs. In the fall of 1966, the team changed its name to the Nor’Westers and it remained fierce competitors on the ice until 1985 when the program was disbanded. In 2001-02, after a 16-year hiatus, men’s varsity hockey returned as the Thunderwolves, playing to sold-out crowds at the Fort William Gardens.
2001-2002
2001-01-02
Partnership protocol formalized with Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN).
2002
2002-01-01
Ontario pledges $95.3 million for the creation of a new dual campus medical school at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and Laurentian University in Sudbury.
Dr. Roger Strasser is appointed Founding Dean. In 2005 the School welcomes its charter class with 24 students in Thunder Bay and 32 in Sudbury.
2002-2003
2002-01-02
Department of Aboriginal Education formed.

Associate Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) position created (changed to Vice Provost in 2007-08). Four people have served in this position: Dr. Lauri Gilchrist (2004-2006), Beverly Sabourin, MA (2007-2012), Yolanda Wanakamik (Acting 2012-13), and Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux (2013-present).
2003
2003-01-01
Aboriginal Management Council participated in Lakehead University strategic planning process. The Strategic Plan 2005-2010 adopted a vision that includes serving “Aboriginal and other diverse cultures”. The subsequent Strategic Plan 2013-2018 expanded on Lakehead’s commitment to Aboriginal students and communities.

Tom Jackson received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
2004-2005
2004-01-01
Cultural Protocol Policy approved by Aboriginal Management Council.

Whitefeather Forest Research Cooperative Agreement signed.

Elder retained for Native Nurses Entry Program (Isabelle Mercier first Elder to fill this position).
2005
2005-01-01
Lakehead University's 40th Anniversary is celebrated at a gala dinner featuring Paul Shaffer, Music Director of David Letterman's Late Show.
Paul Shaffer, a former resident of Thunder Bay, makes significant financial contributions to Lakehead University. In 1998, a seminar room in the Department of Music is named in memory of his mother Shirley Shaffer and in 2005 the ATAC Executive Boardroom is named in memory of his father, Bernard Shaffer.
2005-2006
2005-01-02
Northern Ontario School of Medicine opened at Lakehead and Laurentian universities with an Aboriginal Affairs Unit and Advisory Committee.

Four Aboriginal faculty, alumni and leaders chosen for Lakehead University’s 40th anniversary Northern Lights awards: Mae Katt, first graduate of BScN; Harold Linklater, developed NTEP; Richard Lyons, Aboriginal elder, first to provide prayers in Native language at convocation; and Dolores Wawia, first Elder-in-Residence and Assistant Professor.

Sweat lodge erected on campus.

Elders Council and Program formalized by the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives.

Phil Fontaine received Doctor of Letters.

Dr. Ruby Farrell became first Aboriginal person to achieve Full Professor status at Lakehead University.

Judy Iseke appointed Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge and Research.
2006
2006-01-01
A controversial advertising campaign positioning Lakehead University as a smart choice for students attracts worldwide attention from the media and helps to contribute to a 14% increase in first-choice applications from Ontario high schools for the 2007-2008 academic year.
The campaign receives a bronze award in the 2007 Prix d' Excellence awards program organized by the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE). In 2006, Lakehead University receives two CCAE awards: a gold award for its 2004-2005 Annual Report and a silver award for its 40 Northern Lights volunteer recognition program, in celebration of its 40th anniversary in 2005.
2006
2006-01-02
The Orillia campus opens in rented facilities on Colborne Street. In 2010, the Academic Building opens on University Avenue, making the new Orillia campus the first campus in North America designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum standards.
The Academic Building in Orillia is renamed Simcoe Hall in recognition of a significant donation from the County of Simcoe. Two new LEED ® buildings are added to the campus (a Residence and a Bookstore/Cafeteria) and by 2013-14 student enrolment in Orillia has grown to 1,448 students.
2007-2008
2007-01-01
HBEd Program (Aboriginal) launched.

Sandra Wolf, PhD, and Laura Buker, PhD, hired in Aboriginal Education Department.

Aboriginal Management Council appointed representative to the Board of Governors.

Aboriginal Academic Programming and Research Survey conducted.
Short-term Aboriginal Career Advisor intern position created for Aboriginal Initiatives in partnership with Career and Co-operative Education Services.

Indigenous Knowledge Cultural Seminar series initiated—Drew Hayden Taylor first guest speaker.

Promotional DVD “Follow Your Dreams” produced.

Partnership agreement signed with Oshki Pimache-O-Win Training & Education Institute.

Goyce Kakegamic received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
2008
2008-01-01
The Biorefining Research Initiative (BRI) is launched with the appointment of Dr. Robert Dekker, Founding Director and Senior Ontario Research Chair in Biorefining Research.
BRI's mandate is biorefining process development – transforming forest-derived biomass into value-added bioproducts that lead to new opportunities for the bioeconomy.
2008-2009
2008-01-02
First Fall Harvest held on campus, now an annual event.

Tomson Highway, Artist-in-Residence, community cabaret.

Aboriginal Initiatives Communications Strategy developed with Wawatay Native Communications Society to promote non-traditional career options.

Research and Innovation Week featured Aboriginal research, graduate students’ poster display and the first Aboriginal Partnership Research Award, now an annual event.

Nanabijou Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement Program (NAGE) developed to encourage Aboriginal students to pursue graduate studies.

Renewed partnership with Seven Generations Education Institute to continue with the delivery of BA General.

Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer created to improve Aboriginal student recruitment and retention, visits to Orillia First Nation communities and area. Brendon Johnson filled the first position.

Aboriginal Alumni Chapter launched in conjunction with Alumni Relations.
2009-2010
2009-01-01
Inaugural Aboriginal Preview Day held at Lakehead targeting Aboriginal high school students in grades 9 through 12.

Aboriginal Stakeholder Roundtable hosted by the Orillia campus to meet local and regional stakeholders.

Gitchi Kendaasiwin 2010-2013, Aboriginal Initiatives magazine, developed and distributed across province to provide information to the general public and senior administration about Aboriginal initiatives related to teaching, research, and services. Magazine won National Orientation Directors Award for Outstanding General Brochure for Special Populations.

Tomson Highway received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
2010-2011
2010-01-01
Permanent position of Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (currently Aboriginal Outreach & Recruitment Coordinator) established to focus on Aboriginal student recruitment. Yolanda Wanakamik filled this position.

Orillia Aboriginal Liaison position created, staff person seconded from Thunder Bay campus and moved to Orillia. Primary focus to create an awareness of programming opportunities and student supports. April Jones filled this position.

Elders-in-Residence program implemented at the Orillia campus with visiting Elders delivering presentations to faculty and students.
President’s initiative, Team Achieve, established to help children overcome barriers to postsecondary education.

Nisnawbe Aski Nation Symposium on Treaties 5 and 9 held at Lakehead University.

RBC partnership to host Aboriginal Discovery Day, Mentorship Program, Speaker Series and wrap up celebration.

Part-time Nanabijou Aboriginal Graduate Program Coordinator hired to support Aboriginal graduate students and promote graduate studies to undergraduate students. Joan Linklater first to fill this position.

Bruce Beardy hired as Native Language Instructor Program Coordinator.

Raymond Neckoway, PhD, hired in the School of Social Work.

Tony Belcourt received Honorary Doctor of Letters.
2011
2011-01-01
The Civil Engineering Steel Bridge Team takes first place at the 20th annual AISC/ASCE US National Student Steel Bridge Competition, beating 47 other universities from across North America.
The winning team is made up of Damien Ch'ng, Dave Enns, Cory Goulet, Chris Kukkee, and Kristen Myles, along with faculty advisors Dr. Tony Gillies and Dr. Timo Tikka.
2011-2012
2011-01-02
Lakehead signed an MOU with the Metis Nation of Ontario.

Aboriginal Student Counsellor permanent position created (now Aboriginal Transitions Advisor). Carri-Ann Agawa first to fill this position.

Aboriginal Research Facilitator position established as a two-year contract co-supervised by the Office of Research & Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives). Filled by Annette Schroeter.

Aboriginal Initiatives engaged Dr. Cynthia Wesley Esquimaux as Aboriginal Scholar-in-Residence.

In partnership with the Metis Nation of Ontario, a panel and workshop on Metis Recognition and Rights held on the Thunder Bay campus.

In partnership with Ontario Native Women’s Association, “Ayaminaawinan – Having A Voice Conference” held to increase Aboriginal participation in the election process.

Joint NAN and Lakehead visioning exercise held on campus.

Dr. Christopher Mushquash hired as Assistant Professor in Department of Psychology.
2012-2013
2012-01-01
Aboriginal Initiatives and Faculty of Sciences and Environmental Studies established a partnership with the University of Ottawa to create an Aboriginal Mentorship Program between upper year undergraduate students and Aboriginal high school students in science.

Cultural Protocol Policy revised and approved by Ogimaawin-Aboriginal Governance Council and Human Resources.

Recruitment and retention of Aboriginal faculty survey completed on behalf of the Ogimaawin Aboriginal Governance Council.

Aboriginal Initiatives recruitment brochure developed.

Native Nurses Entry Program celebrated 25th anniversary.

Faculty of Education hosted Saami/Mayan Language Delegation.

Karen Drake, LL.M, hired in the Faculty of Law.

Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux appointed as new Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives).
2013
2013-01-01
The Faculty of Law opens in the renovated Port Arthur Collegiate Institute (PACI) building, which Lakehead purchased from the Thunder Bay Public School Board. It is the first new law school in Ontario in 44 years.
Lakehead's program offers specializations in Aboriginal law, natural resources-based law, and small and sole practice law. Its goal is to educate a new generation of lawyers who will advance social justice, bolster economic development, and be leaders in their communities.
2013-2014
2013-01-02
Motion passed at Senate to implement the Academic Plan 2012-2017 commitment for an Indigenous content course requirement for all undergraduate students.

Full-time Aboriginal Transitions Advisor position created. Victoria Bolduc filled the position.

Coordinator of Graduate and External Relations position created and filled by Yolanda Wanakamik.

Aboriginal Initiatives hosted first Graduate Student Writing Retreat with Indigenous scholar Lee Maracle.

Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) appointed to Mexico/Canada Relation Building and Exchanges.

Author Joseph Boyden attended Research & Innovation Week and met with Aboriginal students on campus for a book signing.

Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) extended community outreach with Evergreen A United Neighborhood, the Regional Multicultural Youth Centre, and other organizations to develop student transition pathways.
2014
2014-01-01
At the 50th Convocation in May a new tradition is born: the Alumni Association presents each graduate with a blue and white scarf emblazoned with the Lakehead shield.
The Alumni Association's Board of Directors approves a new tagline: Engage. Celebrate. Share. It is based on a new mission statement approved in 2013: "To provide a supportive Alumni Community where our members have opportunities to engage, celebrate, and share."
2014-2015
2014-01-02
Dr. Allan Downey visited Lakehead as Scholar-in-Residence.

Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities Targeted Initiatives Fund two-year proposal approved and implemented: Aboriginal Mentorship Programs, Northwestern Coordinated Learning Access Network, and On Course Conference.

Maadaadizi 2014, Inaugural Citywide Aboriginal Student orientation, held as part of Northwestern Coordinated Learning Access Network (CLAN).

Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) appointed to Governing Council of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and acted as an Honorary Witness for the TRC.

Richard Wagamese received Honorary Doctor of Letters. Later visited campus to meet students.

In partnership with Nishnawbe Aski Nation, film Survivors Rowe screened; co-produced by Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives).
Aboriginal Cultural & Support Services Coordinator elected as regional representative for the Ontario Native Education Counselling Association.

Dr. Christopher Mushquash, Associate Professor, appointed Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Indigenous Mental Health and Addiction.
Featured Sponsors
Blaze SponsorsA supporter who donated $25,000 or more to the 50th celebration.
Alumni Association of Lakehead University The Alumni Association of Lakehead University is committed to keeping our alumni informed, involved and invested in the alumni community. http://www.lakeheadualumni.ca
Cobalt SponsorsA supporter who donated $10,000 or more to the 50th celebration.