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Historical Highlights


Founding of the University of Sudbury (originally le Collège du Sacré-Coeur, created by the Jesuit Fathers in 1913).



A Provincial Act gives corporate structure to Laurentian University as a bilingual federation with representation from the Roman Catholic, United and Anglican Churches. First meeting of the Board of Governors, with Ralph D. Parker named Chair. Temporary space in downtown Sudbury where the university offered programs in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and the divisions of Engineering, Business Administration and Nursing. Founding of Huntington University by the United Church.



Founding of Thorneloe University by the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Algoma. Establishment of the Centre for Continuing Education, offering off-campus courses and programs with classes in various Northern Ontario communities and distance education courses.



Thorneloe University joins the Laurentian University Federation. Le Collège universitaire de Hearst  affiliates with the university, following affiliation with the University of Sudbury in 1957.



Construction of the original campus is completed; other buildings are added in following years.



Algoma University College in Sault Ste. Marie affiliates with Laurentian University.



Founding of the schools of Nursing, Physical and Health Education, and Social Work.



Founding of the School of Translators and Interpreters.



Founding of the School of Commerce and Administration. School of Graduate Studies begins offering Master’s degree programs, primarily in sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geology, Applied Physics, History, and Child and Development Studies).


Founding of l’École des sciences de l’éducation. Laurentian partners with the local community, industry and government, to launch a grassroots reclamation program to reverse the effects of emissions on lakes and forests (program won a local Government Honours Award by the United Nations at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992).


Faculty of Arts and Science restructured into Faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences and Science; Faculty of Professional Schools is created.



School of Engineering and Faculty of Science join to form the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

The university hosts the first Pan American Junior Track and Field Championship.



Alex Baumann, a Laurentian student, wins two gold medals in swimming at the Summer Olympics in L.A. (200-metre and 400-metre individual medley) and sets world records.



New master’s programs are created (Business Administration, Engineering, Service social, Social Work, Humanities and Sociologie).



The university hosts the second World Junior Championship in Athletics.



Inauguration of the J.N. Desmarais Library tower.



Official opening of the Student Centre.



Start of new Midwifery Education Program, offered jointly by Laurentian, McMaster and Ryerson universities.



Launch of six-year China project. The university receives $3.4 million in funding from the Canadian International Development Agency to create a full-service distance education and off-campus operation at the South West Institute of Technology in Mianyang City, in China’s Sichuan province. Aaron Marsaw, a student of Philosophy and Political Science, becomes Laurentian’s first Rhodes Scholar.



Launch of the Coming of Age Campaign to raise funds for student awards.



The university co-hosts the 28th International Physics Olympiad, attracting some 500 participants from 58 nations.



Official opening of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), with world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking in attendance.



The university creates the position of Vice- President, Academic for Francophone Affairs, while keeping the position of Vice-President, Academic for Anglophone Affairs. Opening of the Sun Microsystems Computer Lab.


The university restructures to form three faculties: Social Sciences and Humanities, Sciences and Engineering, and Professional Schools. Conclusion of the Coming of Age Campaign, which raised more than $15.9 million for student financial aid.



The Province of Ontario announces support for the establishment of a medical school at Laurentian and Lakehead universities. Grand opening of the Brenda Wallace Reading Room and Computer Centre, in the J.N. Desmarais Library. First scientific results are released from SNO, explaining the missing solar neutrinos and revealing new neutrino properties.


CKLU 96.7 FM, the non-profit campus-based community radio station, celebrates the opening of new facilities in the Student Centre.



The first doctoral program is created at Laurentian: a Ph.D. in Mineral Deposits and Precambrian Geology. Laurentian’s new English-language School of Education welcomes its first cohort to the concurrent Bachelor of Education program.



The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, a collaboration with Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, officially opens. Laurentian welcomes a charter class of 26 students to a new building, known as NOSM East Campus. Laurentian establishes a Faculty of Management to house the School of Commerce and Administration as well as the School of Sports Administration.



Opening of the new West Residence, to house 220 upper-year students in air-conditioned apartments.

Start of construction of new building for the School of Education (English language). Start of multi-million dollar expansion of Ben Avery Physical Education Complex.