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Trent University Durham 40th Anniversary: Celebration of Accomplishment, Renewal and Pride

April 13, 2015

Durham alumni unite en masse for the first time at Durham campus to recognize pivotal milestone

Trent University Durham 40th Anniversary: Celebration of Accomplishment, Renewal and Pride

Forty never looked so good. Abundant nostalgia mixed and mingled with confident optimism for the future at a packed-to-the-rafters anniversary party at Trent University Durham on April 10.  

Trent alumni, dignitaries, the local academic community and the public came out in droves to commemorate the University, as the longest operating post-secondary institution in Durham Region.

The official ceremony including a series of speeches and symbolic presentations of certificates recognizing Trent`s valuable academic and social contribution to the local community.  Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne sent her best wishes as did Trent’s founding president Thomas H.B. Symons who thanked all those involved in the remarkable creation of the Durham campus and its many programs.

Trent University Durham began by offering part-time courses in 1974 in Oshawa at Eastdale Collegiate and Vocational Institute. The campus opened its own doors at the new, dedicated Thornton Road campus in 2010 ushering in a new era of collaborative education. 

Joe Muldoon, head of Trent University Durham, is looking to the future with continued partnerships with local institutions and local and regional governments. He is also excited about the continued growth of the campus. “We're planning to expand the campus with new programs,” stated Mr. Muldoon. “We will have twice the students and will be a permanent feature on Thornton Road.”

Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University, states, “I see the fortieth anniversary as a time of renaissance for the Durham campus. Historically we`re tremendously important but I think we’re going to be even more important going forward.”

During his official remarks at the ceremony, Oshawa mayor John Henry thanked Trent University for its commitment to the community, helping to make Oshawa one of the best places in Canada to work play and live. He is proud that Oshawa offers great education and tremendous opportunities. “Trent is a big part of that.” said Mayor Henry.

Associate professor of History Dr. Jennine Hurl-Eamon spearheaded the event along with campus staff, faculty and students. While addressing the crowd she stated, “Our Trent identity comes from people.” 

Alumnus and lawyer Oliver Cooper ’01 spoke on behalf of Trent alumni during the official ceremony. “Despite that the location has changed, the feeling has not changed,” Mr. Cooper said.  “I think those who were part of the previous experience can certainly attest to that.”

Current students and recent graduates also attended to interact with those who have experienced Trent before them and to represent current-day Trent University Durham. Inspired by the event, 2014 graduate Brittney Forester stated, “I know what my four years meant to me. But coming today and hearing of what Trent was before is why I needed to be a part of this and to celebrate.”