History Book

Laurentian University: A History


Laurentian University has come a long way over the past fifty years, and its rich and vibrant history has been studied by five Laurentian members of faculty, historians Linda Ambrose, Matt Bray, Sara Burke and Guy Gaudreau, and sociologist Donald Dennie.

The Laurentian University authors launched the new book about the institution’s history over the past 50 years. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater Sudbury community are able to purchase a copy of the book Laurentian University - A History.

Forty-plus years after Laurentian welcomed its first cohorts of students in September 1960, it occurred to several Professors in the department of history that an institutional history would be an appropriate way of celebrating the university’s 50th anniversary. Matt Bray, Linda Ambrose and Sara Burke were approached and colleagues Guy Goudreau and Donald Dennie joined in soon after to help craft the newly launched book.

History professor and author Dr. Sara Burke, says “this book is the first comprehensive history of Laurentian University and the analysis contributes also to a fuller understanding of the post-secondary educational developments, particularly in Ontario, of which Laurentian was the product.”

Apart from introductory chapters that trace Laurentian’s historical roots in Northern Ontario and examine the immediate circumstances of its founding, this history is structured around six principal themes – university governance, academic evolution, bilingualism and biculturalism, students, the faculty association, and the role of women. While by no means all-inclusive, these themes collectively encompass the core elements of the Laurentian experience. No one chronological template perfectly accommodates all but most fit generally into the three time periods adopted for organizational purposes: challenges of the sixties, 1960 to 1972; era of transition, 1972 to 1985; and the modern age, 1985 to the present.

Laurentian University President, Dominic Giroux says “the university’s achievements over this half century, and the impact it has had on so many people is nothing short of remarkable. Thanks to these five incredible faculty members who took the initiative to write about Laurentian’s rich history, this legacy will be forever remembered.”