Lakehead University

Lakehead University

Infobox University
name = Lakehead University
native_name =

image_size = 120px
caption =
latin_name =
motto = "Ad Augusta per Angusta"
(Achievement through effort)
tagline =
established = 1946 Lakehead Technical Institute. Later renamed Lakehead College of Arts, Science and Technology; Lakehead University (July 1,1965-present)
vision =
type = Public
affiliation =
calendar =
endowment = $30.6 million
debt =
rector =
chairman =
chancellor = Lorne Everett
president = Frederick Gilbert
vice-president =
superintendent =
provost =
vice_chancellor =
principal =
dean =
director =
head_label =
head =
faculty = 290 (full time)
staff = 2250
students = 7,644
undergrad = 7,043
postgrad = 601
doctoral =
divinity =
residents =
other =
profess =
alumni =
city = Thunder Bay
state =
province = Ontario
country = Canada
address = 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1
coordinates = coord|48|25|17|N|89|15|38|W|display=inline,title
campus = Rural/Suburban
free_label =
free =
sports = Lakehead Thunderwolves
colors = Royal blue, gold color box|#084C9E color box|#FFCC00
colours =
nickname = LU
mascot = The Thunderwolf
fightsong =
athletics =
affiliations = AUCC, IAU, COU,CIS, UArctic, ACU, CUSID, OUA, AUFSC, Ontario Network of Women in engineering,
nobel_laureates =
website = []

publictransit =
footnotes =

Lakehead University (LU) is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It is the only university in Northwestern Ontario. Lakehead University attracts many students from across Canada as well as international students. Lakehead offers a broad range of degree and diploma programs within nine faculties. The diverse learning environment contributes to over 41,000 alumni in 67 different countries. In October 2006, Lakehead University was named 'Research University Of The Year' (Undergraduate Category) by Research Infosource, achieving No.1 rank for both research income growth in Canada, and research intensity in its category.


Lakehead University is a non-denominational arts, education, and science university in Thunder Bay, Ontario with master's-level graduate programs. Lakehead University evolved from Lakehead Technical Institute (founded 1946) and Lakehead College of Arts, Science, and Technology (founded 1957). [ Lakehead University ] ]

"Lakehead Technical Institute" was established on June 4, 1946, by an Order-in-Council of the Province of Ontario. Classes commenced in January, 1948, in temporary rented quarters in downtown Port Arthur. In September of that same year, the first university courses were added to the curriculum.

"Lakehead College of Arts, Science and Technology" was established by an Act of the Ontario Legislature assented to on March 28, 1956, and proclaimed on August 1, 1957. The present university site, donated by Mike and Ann Biloski of Port Arthur, was occupied on October 2, 1957. [ Thunder Bay Online - Family Histories Biloski] ]

Second-year Arts courses were added in 1960-61, and on March 3, 1962, the original Lakehead College of Arts, Science and Technology Act was amended to give the college the authority to establish new faculties, and confer degrees in arts and sciences. The college gained university status in 1962. The College granted its first degrees on May 5, 1965. It was officially given the name Lakehead University in 1965. The Lakehead University Act, 1965, was given royal assent on June 22, 1965, and came into force on July 1, 1965. The "Lakehead College of Arts, Science and Technology", thereafter known as "Lakehead University," was continued under this new charter.

Lakehead is a university with a dual role. It is a university in the north with the responsibility of bringing to Northwestern Ontario an understanding of a broad range of the basic academic disciplines as well as knowledge of the province, nation, and world. It is also a university for the north with the responsibility of gathering knowledge about the region for use in social, economic, and cultural development and for transmittal to the rest of the province, nation, and world.

In adapting to its environment over the years, Lakehead University's character and dual role have made it distinctive in the Ontario university system. Lakehead began as a university in the north where basic arts and science disciplines predominated.The university then steadily added other programs that were of significance and relevance specifically to Northwestern Ontario. In addition, through extensive offerings by continuing education, the university has expanded its focus to many of the region's smaller rural communities as well.

Economic Impact

LU has an annual expenditure over $117 million. The university itself (with 2250 staff and faculty) has a major economic impact on the city of Thunder Bay and on the region. Seventy-five per cent of Lakehead’s students come from outside the local commuting area, and new money brought into the city annually by these students is estimated to be approximately $59 million. Lakehead’s total economic impact on the city of Thunder Bay alone is approximately $251 million yearly. In 2004, the university along with Laurentian University formed the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. The addition of the new medical school is expected to boost bio-tech research and economic development in Northern Ontario.

Academic Organization

The university is made up of the following nine faculties: Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Forestry and the Forest Environment, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Science and Environmental Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities, Medicine, and Graduate Studies.

Each faculty, under the jurisdiction of a dean, is divided into various departments and schools, which are headed by a chair/director. By student enrolment, the Social Sciences & Humanities is the largest faculty at Lakehead 32.1%, followed by Professional Schools 20.1%, Science & Environmental Studies 15.3%, Engineering 11.3%, Education 11.2%, Business Administration 7.2%, Forestry & the Forest Environment 1.9%, Medicine 0.9%.

* Lakehead's engineering program is unique in Canada, combining a Diploma of Technology with a post-diploma Bachelor of Engineering degree. Students may choose to specialize in disciplines like Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering [ [] ]
* The Lakehead University Faculty of Forestry & the Forest Environment is part of the AUFSC and has accredited baccalaureate of science and environmental studies programs: Forest Conservation; Forestry Four year non-coop and five year co-op program. The Faculty of Forestry & the Forest Environment offers the only nationally-accredited forestry program in the Province of Ontario. The new Lakehead University Nutrient Ecology (LUNE) laboratory supports cutting-edge research to study how different land use practices impact water quality and flow in forest operating areas, and to identify environmentally sustainable harvesting methods, as well as compare different forest management scenarios. Major forestry/environmental research projects had attracted funding and support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the private sector.

* Over 100 different concurrent programs are offered by the Faculty of Education, allowing for the acquisition of a BEd degree along with another bachelor's degree.

* The Northern Ontario School of Medicine established in 2005, is the first new Canadian medical school to open in 35 years.


In 2006, Lakehead University was named "Research University of The Year" by Research Infosource and ranked #1 for research income growth and research intensity in the Undergraduate Category. Maclean's magazine, in 4 of the past 5 years, has listed Lakehead #1 in Canada for "Value Added" which measures incoming grades, and several indicators of student achievement. In the 2006 Globe and Mail Report Card, students graded Lakehead "A" for Class sizes, Faculty knowledge of subjects, and Sense of personal safety/security. An "A-" grade was awarded for Overall quality of education, Overall university atmosphere, and Computer accessibility on campus.Lakehead was one of 26 Canadian universities that withdrew their participation from the 2006 Maclean's survey citing concerns over methodology.

Student Competitions

*Lakehead ranks among the best performing universities in Canada at the country's premiere collegiate business competition. In 2006, Lakehead business students placed 3rd overall in the final rounds of the Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (ICBC) hosted by Queen's University at Kingston. [ Lakehead University News Release, January 26, 2006, ] In 2003/2004, Lakehead was among the top six teams in Canada at the ICBC, with eight students qualifying for the final round in 4 of 8 competition categories. [ ICBC 2004 Finalists List ] The ICBC is the largest and oldest student business competition in Canada. This was the 23rd year that Lakehead students had participated in this competition, and they had frequently performed among the top undergraduate business schools in Canada.

*In 2005, a team of Lakehead Electrical Engineering students won 1st place and received $10,000 cash as part of the Innovation Award from Telus and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for their award winning design- a control system for an inverted pendulum. [The Institute, Nov 4, 2005, Lakehead Students Win Canadian Design Competition [] ] [Press release,, Lakehead U Electrical Engineering Students Win $10,000 Prize in National Competition [] ] Lakehead students were also among the top three teams at the 2006 Ontario Engineering Competition, securing 1st, 2nd and 3rd place wins in half of the competition categories. [ Lakehead University News Release, February 8, 2006,] . The team later went on to the 2006 Canadian Engineering Competition and took 1st place in the Engineering Communications Category. [ Lakehead University News Release, April 5, 2006,]

*Lakehead Civil Engineering students had consistently placed among the top ranking teams at the U.S. National Steel Bridge Competition sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction. Each year, an estimated 200 universities participate in this prestigious event with the top 50 regional finalist teams competing for top honours at the U.S. national competition. Lakehead has qualified for the U.S. national finals every year since 1999, and had finished in the top five spots in 4 of the 5 years between 2002 and 2007. [ Lakehead University News Release, May 31, 2006, ] [ Lakehead University News Release June 6, 2007, ] In 2002, Lakehead placed 2nd overall, with an all-female team- a first in the competition's history. [American Society of Civil Engineers News Release June 24, 2002 ]

On Campus

The original college site comprised some 32 hectares of land in south-west Port Arthur, Ontario donated by Mike and Anna Biloski of Port Arthur. The Biloski's had sent a son away to University, and when he came back within a few months, Mr. Biloski in a discussion with Dr. Tamblyn agreed to give him his farming property if he built a local University for those of the city. From 1962 to 1965, an additional 87 hectares of adjoining land were purchased in anticipation of future expansion.

The first college building, was formally opened on October 2, 1957. This building which was initially called the Main Building, underwent six separate extensions from 1960 - 1967 to develop into its present form. A new library wing was added in March, 1960, and in the fall of 1969, two extensions providing additional lecture rooms and laboratory space were opened.

From 1964 to 1969, the campus saw the addition of the University Centre (which had a 325-seat lecture theatre and cafeteria), a new library building, an athletic centre gymnasium and the Centennial Building (now known as Tamblyn Building) which houses the science and technology laboratories, classrooms, and faculty offices.

At the centre of the campus is a man-made lake. Its creation was planned with the regional conservation authorities as an important flood control project for the McIntyre River which runs through the campus.

A new academic building, named in memory of dean Tim Ryan, was dedicated on November 18, 1972. An extension to the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse, which houses an olympic length swimming pool, additional office space, classrooms, and instructional gym, was officially opened on January 12, 1973.

On May 29, 1982, the Faculty of Education Building was named the Bora Laskin Building in honour of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the chancellor of Lakehead University from 1971 to 1980.

A Student Centre events hall, built through the efforts of the Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) and funded entirely through student support, opened in September 1991. Operated entirely by the student union, with a management agreement between the union and the university, the Centre's campus pub- The Outpost, boasts a full service kitchen and a hall licensed for more than 700 people.

By 1995 Lakehead University completed construction of a Rural Family Resource Centre in Oliver Paipoonge for the Department of Social Work. The university and Thunder Bay Regional Hospital in 1998, entered into a partnership involving the transfer of 60 acres (or 24.24 hectares) of land for the purpose of building and operating a new acute care hospital.

In 2003 the university celebrated the opening of the $44-million Advanced Technology & Academic Centre (ATAC), a high-tech teaching and learning centre, that provides 1,400 new student spaces. The building, funded by Ontario's SuperBuild Growth Fund, corporate sponsors and private donations, contains "smart classrooms", GIS labs, enhanced distance education facilities, and computer teaching and research labs. Later that year, Lakehead University was the recipient of the Hogarth Plantations, a 44-hectare property located on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, that will be used by the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment for teaching and research. The property was a gift by Dr. Walter Hogarth to the Lakehead University Foundation.

In a campus-wide referendum held in 2004, students, faculty, and staff voted 68% in favor of a smoke-free campus.

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) was established in 2005 as a joint initiative between Lakehead University and Laurentian University in Sudbury. NOSM is organised within the Faculty of Medicine of both Laurentian and Lakehead. Its mission is to contribute to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario by advancing the highest quality of medical practice, learning, teaching and research. With main campuses in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, NOSM has multiple teaching and research sites distributed across Northern Ontario, including large and small communities.

In March 2005, Lakehead opened a new convert|55000|sqft|m2|sing=on athletics centre called The Hangar. The $6-million facility features an indoor track and multipurpose field with artificial turf, an aerobics/yoga studio, a weight room and fitness centre, and a sports medicine clinic.

Lakehead University's physical plant now consists of 39 buildings and 116 hectares of property including 40 hectares of landscaped and maintained grounds. The current value of land and property holdings is estimated to be well over $150,000,000.

In 2006, Lakehead University has submitted a proposal to open a new Law School. The proposal is currently under review.


A men's residence, including recreational and dining facilities for 52 students and a resident staff member, was opened in September, 1962. In 1966, 32 additional double bedrooms were added to the residence and a section of the new structure was made available as a residence for women. In 1968, a new $2,750,000 residence village comprising 10 new buildings and providing residence for 520 students was completed. The village is situated on the banks of the McIntyre River within easy walking distance of all university buildings and athletic facilities.

In the fall of 1989, a complex of 36 townhouses marked the newest addition to the residence facility. This venture provides housing for 142 students in 4 bedroom townhouses. A second townhouse complex providing an additional 144 beds, including units accessible to the physically challenged, was opened in September 1991. A third townhouse complex providing 32 four bedroom townhouses and 8 two bedroom apartments opened in September 1992. Prior to the start of the 1993 term, Avila Centre was purchased from the Roman Catholic Church for the purpose of providing an additional 100 bedrooms for women and quarters for the alumni offices and Avila Music School.

In September 2003 construction was completed on two new residences behind the Avila Centre, adding a total of 288 beds.

The university residence has a total accommodation of 1,282 beds as of 2005/2006

Orillia Campus

In September 2006, Lakehead University opened a new campus in downtown Orillia, Ontario. The convert|14000|sqft|m2|sing=on facility at Heritage Place currently supports unique multidisciplinary undergraduate programs that combine arts/science studies with Concurrent Education in both honours and non-honours degree options (HBASc/BEd, BASc/BEd). In addition, a college transfer program in Business Administration enables 3-year diploma graduates to complete a B.Admin degree in one year. Other programs being offered at the Orillia campus include a Master of Management (M.Mgt) and a 1-year post-graduate degree in Social Work (HBSW).

The Orillia Campus currently has over 300 students enrolled, and at its current location can accommodate up to 500 students. The campus is a technology enabled learning environment that includes science and computer laboratories, library facilities, offices, and meeting areas. The enrolment trend suggests Lakehead-Orillia may soon outgrow its present location. Various options are under consideration for the location of the permanent campus.


Lakehead University developed governing board and senate policies as well asAboriginal governed councils within the university structure. At Lakehead University Aboriginal staff, particularly in academic positions, signal the institution’s commitment to success for Aboriginal students. Lakehead University, for example has a Vice-Provost of Aboriginal Initiatives. Lakehead University provides special first-year bridging programs for Aboriginal students. Dedicated tutoring services are available within the Lakehead University’s Native Nursing Access Program. Lakehead University reaches into Aboriginal communities to talk to potential students at a much younger age through traveling to remote First Nations to deliver its Superior Science Program. [ [ The University of Winnipeg ] ] Lakehead U is home to Canada's "only" Department of Aboriginal Education to foster Native Language instruction and prepare teachers to meet the needs of Aboriginal students and communities. By percentage of total student population, Lakehead University has one of the largest aboriginal student communities in Canada.

tudent life

Lakehead's campus radio station is CILU-FM 102.7. The station also broadcasts on the Internet. The student newspaper is The Argus. Students can also participate in various activities in numerous clubs ranging from student government to multi-cultural and athletics. The campus pub, The Outpost, and The Study Coffeehouse serve as gathering places for many campus community activities and as performance venues.

For outdoor enthusiasts, popular summer activities include kayaking, hiking, camping and rock climbing. In the winter, hockey, snowboarding, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling are among students' favorites.

The university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

Facts and Stats

*The majority 50.8% of Lakehead students are from Northwestern Ontario. Out of province and international students account for 5.7% and 2.3% respectively. The remaining 41.2% come from other parts of Ontario.

*Lakehead is a small-medium size university with 80% of classes having less than 50 students and 50% of classes less than 25.

* Lakehead University is home to one of the top Ancient-DNA laboratories in the world. The Paleo-DNA Laboratory was the first University affiliated laboratory in Canada to become accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) for forensic DNA testing. Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Laboratory has gained recognition for work done in its state-of-the-art facility on a wide array of subjects, such as the remains from Titanic victims, and most recently the DNA samples used in the documentary “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.”

* Between 1989 and 1993, Lakehead University students and the University's School of Outdoor Recreation garnered national attention for mounting the 5-year Sir Alexander Mackenzie Canada Sea-to-Sea Bicentennial Expeditions.

* The majority of the international students at Lakehead are from China, India, and the United States.


In early 2006, LU President Fred Gilbert made international news when he curbed expansion of the campus wi-fi network, citing concerns over potential long term health effects. The controversial move had sparked outrage with students on campus and among Internet tech-bloggers. [ ars technica news article,] Gilbert (a biologist and zoologist) maintained that "the jury is still out on the long term effects of electromagnetic waves on human physiology". [ CBC News, In Depth-Reality Check,] In the fall of 2007, however, the student operated campus pub was allowed to maintain its wireless network on the principle that entering the facility was a choice. [Town Hall Meeting on WiFi] Student wi-fi advocates hope that wi-fi coverage would eventually be extended to other locations on campus.

In August 2006, Lakehead University initiated a multi-phase student recruitment campaign that featured posters, and an Internet website showing an image of the current U.S. President George W. Bush with the caption which read, "Yale Shmale...Graduating from an Ivy League University doesn't necessarily mean you're smart." Some 60 poster ads were distributed around the downtown Toronto core. The website has drawn national and international attention and was defended by the university chancellor and president, Frederick Gilbert, as "a tongue-in-cheek way of getting attention." Some visitors to the website, outside observers, alumni, and students, including the president of Lakehead University's student union, however, have been critical of the appropriateness of the recruitment campaign, which appeared to mock a foreign head of state and another university for recruitment purposes. [] A CTV poll conducted a week into the Yale Shmale campaign showed public response was almost evenly split, but a slim majority voted in favour of it. [] As a side note, Thunder Bay's remoteness from Toronto, has some people perceiving Lakehead as a 'backwater' universityFact|date=October 2007, a perception the Yale Shmale campaign attempted to address by raising awareness of the university among prospective students living in Southern Ontario.

Coat of Arms

"Barry wavy of six Argent and Azure on a Chief Gules in front of a rising Sun issuant from the base of the Chief Or between two Candles inflamed proper each surmounted of an open Book also proper edged and bound Gold a Portcullis chained Sable." Crest:"On a Wreath Or and Azure on Water Barry wavy Argent and Azure in front of a Rock growing therefrom a Pine Tree a Canoe paddled by an Indian Brave and Canadian Trapper."

Motto:"Ad augusta per angusta"(Achievement through effort)

Notable Alumni

* Steve Ashton - Minister of Water Stewardship/MLA Thompson, Government of Manitoba
* Ronald J. Duhamel - Former Member of Parliament, Senator
* Stephen Low - IMAX film maker, director
* Lyn McLeod - Canadian Politician
* E.J. Dusty Miller - Member of Order of Ontario, Former Thunder Bay Mayor,
* Gary Polonsky - Founding President & Vice -Chancellor, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
* Diane Schoemperlen - Governor General’s Award-Winning Author

Distinguished Researchers and Instructors

* Graham Borradaile; Ken Brown; Alan Day; Said M. Easa; Kim Fedderson; Laurie Garred;Ron Harpelle; W.G. (Bill) Heath; David Holah; Frederick M. Holmes; Alan N. Hughes; Manfred M. Kehlenbeck; Stephen Kinrade; Peggy H. Knowles; Murry Lankester; Jeanette Lynes; Azim Mallik; Margaret McKee; S. Ali Mirza; Roger H. Mitchell; Doug Morris; Inderjit Nirdosh; Umed S. Panu; Vireshwar V. Paranjape; S. Penny Petrone; Tom Potter; Rao Puttagunta; Mike Richardson; Ken Rotenberg; Victor C. Smith; Bruce Strang; Darlene Steven; Jane Talyor; Neil Weir;


External links

* [ Lakehead University Official Site]
* [ Lakehead University Student Union Official Site]
* [ Lakehead Thunderwolves Official Site]
* [ Ontario Plaques - Lakehead University]
* [ BBC on Controversy]
* [ Town Hall Meeting on WiFi]
* [ Contact North]
* [ Lakehead University Library]
* [ Lakehead University Library (catalogue-web)]
* [ Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada profile] "See also:" List of Ontario universities

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