Peter Gzowski College History
Peter Gzowski College History
Born in Toronto on July 1934, Peter John Gzowski was one of Canada’s best and most beloved broadcasters; as well as being a prominent reporter and writer. He started writing for the student newspaper The Varsity during his time at the University of Toronto. Although he never graduated, he was later awarded 11 honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto. He went on to write for the Timmins Daily Press, the Moose-Jaw Times-Herald, the Chatham Daily News, and eventually started working at Maclean’s magazine, becoming the youngest managing editor. During his flourishing career, he also became entertainment editor for the Toronto Star.
In 1971, Peter Gzowski became host of CBC Radio’s hit “This Country in the Morning”, which was later renamed “Morningside”. Peter became a national icon through “Morningside”, interviewing guests ranging from Canadian Prime Ministers to leading actors including Robin Williams.
During his lifetime, Peter Gzowski was awarded many honours including a Governor General’s Award for the Performing Arts, The International Peabody Award for broadcasting, as well as being appointed Chancellor of Trent University in 1999; a position he held until his death in 2002. In 2003, Peter Gzowski College was opened at Trent University in his honour.
The official opening of the college was held in October 2004. This was also the official opening for the building that houses the college, named "Enwayaang," and for the First Peoples House of Learning, also housed in Enwayaang. Professor Edna Manitowabi, member of Trent's Native Studies faculty, led the participants in a traditional prayer. Special performances included the Chippewa Travellers and the Otonabee Women's Hand Drum Singers. The event concluded with a tree planting ceremony organized by the Peter Gzowski College student cabinet. The building also opened with a commitment to displaying artwork by indigenous artists, something that continues throughout the building, today.
Then-president Bonnie Patterson noted that Peter Gzowski "would have been thrilled with the college that now bears his name, an exceptionally unique living and learning environment that incorporates several important Aboriginal components." Professor David Newhouse, first to head the College, stated that the official opening of Peter Gzowski College and the Enwayaang building would "provide opportunities to create something new within Trent's traditional college system. What is unique about this college is the blending of the college structure with the First Peoples House of Learning and the dialogue that will emerge to promote new opportunities for teaching and learning."
Gzowski College celebrated its 10th anniversary in the 2014/15 academic year, with members of Peter Gzowski's family joining other distinguished guests to celebrate all that has been accomplished and all that we can still do, to promote collaborative dialogue and partnerships within our community. As the youngest college, we are fulfilling the vision set out in 2003 and at the official opening in 2004, We continue to honour the spirit of collaboration and curiosity that was Peter Gzowski's gift to Canadian broadcasting and to our Enwayaang community.