Trent University is a
liberal arts and science-oriented
institution located along the Otonabee
River in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.
chancellor of Trent University is Tom
and Dr. Steven E.
is the president and
The Symons campus of Trent is approximately , over half of which is
a part of Trent's Nature Areas, an ecologically diverse wild-life
preserve. It is divided into a series of colleges: Champlain
, Catharine Parr
, Otonabee, Peter Gzowski
and Julian Blackburn. Each college has its own residence hall,
dining room, and student government. The exception to this rule is
Julian Blackburn, which is a non-residential college and home to
Trent's 1,700 part time students. The campus plan and the original
colleges were designed by the Canadian architect Ron Thom
. A large portion of the main campus
consists of land that was donated by GE
This donation included a functioning hydroelectric
power plant dating from the
1890s, and which still generates a substantial portion of the
university's electricity; the power plant is being updated and a
second generating plant being considered.
runs a full- and part-time program in Oshawa at the campus of the
University of Ontario Institute of
Technology, with an enrolment of over 800 students.
university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity
by the Trent Excalibur. Some of the more notable specialized
programs at Trent include the Queen's University/Trent concurrent education program, the Trent
University School of Education, a joint program with Fleming College, in which students earn a B.Sc.F.S. in Forensic
Science, as well as a B.Sc.N. program in Nursing.
Trent University came about from public discussion in 1957 about
the possibility of opening a post-secondary
institution in the Trent Valley
.The policy of university education
initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the
belief that higher education was a key to social justice and
economic productivity for individuals and for society.
University is a non-denominational, public institution founded in
Trent University was granted a provincial
university by Trent University Act, 1963 In 1963, the university
opened Rubidge Hall, Traill College, and Peter Robinson College in
1964. The governor general, Georges Vanier officially opened Trent
University in 1964.
The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto
Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university
government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for
academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising
exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority
in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to
provide a link between the 2 bodies and to perform institutional
The first students were admitted in September, 1964. Although Trent
University is predominantly undergraduate, graduate programs are
offered at the master's and doctoral level.
Catharine Parr Traill College
Named after local biologist
and writer Catharine
, this college was one of the first to be opened, in
serves as the base for the Departments of English, Cultural Studies, and Canadian
The college also includes the Alan Wilson reading
room as well as the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies, where the
M.A. and PhD. programs are housed.
Traill College consists of Wallis Hall, Bradburn, Stewart, Langton
and Crawford Houses, which are residential; as well as Scott House
— the original location of Catharine Parr Traill College in its
entirety — Kerr house, and the Principal's Lodge.
By 2004 the University was considering either closing the college
or converting it to some other use. Following prolonged debate the
University decided in 2007 to convert Traillfrom an undergraduate
to a graduate facility.
Located on Symons Campus along the Otonabee River, this college was
opened in 1967. It is named after the early 17th century
explorer Samuel de Champlain,
who explored the Otonabee area in 1615 and founded Quebec City in 1608 and whose sword is featured in the Trent
It originally served as an all-male residence, along
with Peter Robinson College. The college is home to the Political
Studies department and the Trent University Alumni
Lady Eaton College
The fourth college, established in 1968, it is named in honour of
Flora McCrea Eaton, Lady Eaton
, one of
the original sponsors of the university. It contains the offices
for the departments of History, Philosophy, Women's Studies
, and Modern Languages.It did
originally serve as the Female Dorm, and still today has an all
Another view of the Faryon Bridge
(reverse angle from above), connecting the east and west banks of
the Otonabee River.
Otonabee College was founded in 1972. The buildings of Otonabee
range along a cedar ridge overlooking the river
from which the College derives its name
(“fast water” in Nishnaabee). To the east of the College are
located the new buildings of the DNA Cluster and the Forensic
Science program; beyond them a rolling rural landscape with a
magnificent stand of blue spruce. To the west are Peter Gzowski
College and the Science buildings, leading to the Faryon pedestrian
bridge, which provides easy access to the Bata Library, the
Athletics Complex, and the colleges on the West Bank.Eight “houses”
connected by an interior walkway called “the Street,” make up
Otonabee’s residence. The residence is co-educational, although
there are single-sex areas within the houses. Each house contains
single and double study-bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a commons
area. A 2009 re-furnishing of some double rooms made use of loft
beds to convert these into triples. Past “the Link,” (a path
leading to the instructional area of the College which bisects the
residences) are a set of faculty offices, the mailboxes, College
Porter’s office, and the main dining hall looking to the north and
east of the grounds. A large College Commons is located close to
the Food Court/Dining Hall, with large-screen televisions and many
comfortable chairs for relaxing. Daily lunches are offered in a
lounge atmosphere most afternoons.The academic wing is directly
connected with the Science Buildings and houses the School of
Education, the departments of Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology,
and Computing & Information Systems. Teaching facilities
include a 125-seat lecture theatre, various seminar rooms,
laboratories for Anthropology
and Computer Science
, and a Sociology
resource room, offices for faculty in
many of the disciplines in arts and sciences, and the Wenjack
Theatre, which provides a venue for multimedia lecture
presentations as well as theatrical productions by amateur and
professional companies. Nearby are the Archaeology Centre,
Mackenzie House, and a wildlife sanctuary with walks and ski
trails.Students at Otonabee play a major role in organizing and
conducting cultural, social and athletic activities. The student
government (Cabinet) and its committees cooperate with the College
Office and dons in planning and delivering a variety of events for
both its non-resident and resident members: visiting scholars,
artists, musicians, scientists; College dinners and dances; Fall
and Winter College Weekend; and intramural co-educational
competitions in a number of sports. Members of the College also
participate in the wider academic, social, cultural and athletic
activities of the University and the city of Peterborough,
including various forms of community service.
Peter Gzowski College
Founded in 2003, it is the newest of the Trent University colleges.
It is named for CBC
broadcaster Peter Gzowski
, who was Trent's 8th chancellor.
At one point the college had two campuses: on Peterborough's Argyle
Street in buildings leased from the Eastern Pentecostal Bible
, which housed the Teacher Education and Nursing
programs; and the Enweying building on the main Symons campus
("enweying" means "the way we speak together" in the Anishinaabe language
.) Enweying housed the
Indigenous Studies, Economics, Mathematics and Business
Administration programs. Programs at the Argyle location were moved
to Enweying prior to the 2006-2007 academic year.
Peter Robinson College
The first college to open at the university, it is dedicated to
member of the Legislative Assembly of
who oversaw emigration of Irish
settlers to the area in the 1820s.
of Peterborough is also named in his honour.
used to have a residence (apartment style) until its sale to a
private landlord in 2004. The college was shut down by the
university administration, although many Peter Robinson students
and faculty protested the closure.
By referendum in March, 2003, Trent students voted to create and
operate a non-profit educational and cultural student facility, to
be shared with the community as a whole. Chosen to house this new
facility was Sadleir House: one of the original university
buildings at the PR site, it holds special historical significance
for both the Trent and Peterborough communities. Funded by a new
student levy and organized as the P.R. Community and Student Association (PRCSA)
students' offer to purchase the property was accepted by the
current non-university owners. The Trust secured a mortgage for the
property and the students took possession of Sadleir House on 27
February, 2004. Currently, each student pays a levy fee each year
of over $25 to support the mortgage on the house. Among other
things, Sadleir House contains the offices of the Arthur
the Trent student newspaper, and the Sadleir House Alternative
Library. Another building on the premises, housing Trent Radio
headquarters, is also affiliated with the University.
Julian Blackburn College
This college offers programs for part-time
students in Peterborough. It is named after Julian Blackburn
, who was one of the
original professors who helped establish Trent.
Trent in Oshawa
a satellite program in Oshawa at the
campus of the University of Ontario Institute of
Technology and Durham College.
Trent has a history of over 30 years of
offering courses in the Oshawa area. Over 800 students attend Trent
in Oshawa, which is home to a number of tenure-track professors, as
well as to staff who are based at the main campus. Students can
study full- or part-time for degrees in Anthropology, Biology,
Computer Information Systems, Cultural Studies, English,
Environmental & Resource Studies, History, Psychology,
Sociology and Women's Studies.
Trent has a number of graduate
, including Anthropology
M.A. (current focus is in physical
Applications of Modelling in the Natural & Social Sciences
M.A./M.Sc., Canadian Studies
English M.A., History M.A., and Indigenous Studies M.A.
Canadian Studies Ph.D.
, Theory, Culture and Politics
, Indigenous Studies Ph.D.
Environmental and Life Sciences
(formerly known as Watershed Ecosystems) Ph. D / M.Sc, and Materials Sciences
M.Sc. The university's
Indigenous/Native Studies program was the first in Canada, and only
the second in North America. In addition, the Joint Carleton/Trent Canadian Studies Ph.D.
Program was the first
program in Canada. The new Ph.D Program in Cultural Studies
is the first in
Trent University’s First Peoples House of Learning houses the
Indigenous Studies Department and a focus for Indigenous
intellectual and cultural activities on campus. The Indigenous
Studies Department offers undergraduate and PhD programs designed
to meet the needs of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Trent
University offers an innovative program in Indigenous Environmental
Studies in addition to a specialized Indigenous Learning Program
that provides access for people of Indigenous heritage. The First
Peoples House of Learning also houses Nozhem, a First Peoples
- Linwood Barclay, (Journalist)
- Paul Boghossian, (Philosopher)
- Lucie Edwards, (Canadian diplomat,
- David Gill. Head of Public
Affairs, Canadian Embassy, The Hague
- Mani Haghighi, (Filmmaker)
- Maggie Helwig, (Writer)
- Chris Hodgson, (former Ontario
government cabinet minister)
- Yann Martel, (Writer)
- David McGuffin, (CBC News, Africa Correspondent)
- Leah McLaren, (Writer)
- James Motluk, (Filmmaker)
- Paul Nicholas Mason,
- James Orbinski, (Doctors without Borders/Nobel prize)
- David Patterson, CEO and Founder
of Northwater Capital Management
- Nancy Anne Sakovich,
- Andrew Steele,
political activist and writer
- Stephen Stohn, entertainment
lawyer and television producer
- Ian Tamblyn, Juno Award-winning folk music singer-songwriter,
record producer and playwright
- Don Tapscott, (Writer/Futurist)
- Christl Verduyn, Professor of
English Literature and Canadian Studies; recipient of the Governor
General's International Award for Canadian Studies (2006)
- Arthur is a
student-published newspaper at Trent. The paper is distributed on
the Trent campus and around the Peterborough community free of
charge; All students pay a non-refundable levy, currently $9.25, in
their student fees to the Arthur.
- Absynthe Magazine is a
student paper at Trent. It was founded in 1999. It is a
submissions-based publication, reliant
on members of the Trent community to provide content. It is, like
Arthur, distributed free of charge. Absynthe
receives a refundable levy from each full-time student of Trent
- CFFF-FM is the university's community radio (formerly classified as
campus radio) station known as Trent
Radio 92.7 FM; All students pay a levy in their student fees to
support the broadcasting of Trent Radio.
There are many varsity
and intramural sports
at Trent. Trent competes
at the varsity level under the name Excalibur in men's
and women's rugby union
, and soccer
Trent University installed a new artificial turf athletics field in
the summer of 2005. The field was built as part of Trent's bid to
hold the 2007 U19 Women's Lacrosse Championships. There is seating
for 1,000 spectators.
Trent Summer Sports Camp, a sports and leadership camp affiliated
with the university's athletics department, offers a full range of
activities to children 4 to 16 during the summer months. The camp's
director is Julianna Stonehouse.
Trent University takes pride in its rowing club. Each autumn, Trent
in conjunction with the Peterborough Rowing Club
hosts the Head of the Trent rowing regatta, a 5 kilometre
head-style race along the Trent Canal and Otonabee River, finishing
under the Faryon Bridge on the Trent University campus. The
day-long event is open to university, club, and high school crews.
Head of the Trent weekend is also homecoming at Trent University
and includes a wide range of athletic and festive events. The Head
of The Trent is one of the largest events of its kind in the
Trent's lacrosse team went through the 2008 campaign with a perfect
regular season of 10-0 winning the Eastern Championship. However
fell short in the Bagataway Championships to the eventual CUFLA
champions the Guelph Gryphons. All-Canadians included Mack O'Brien,
Josh Wasson and Kalvin Thomas. Thomas was named the league's Most
Out Standing Goalie with Wasson earning an honorable mention for
league MVP. Jesse Thomas and his coaching staff were selected as
Coaching Staff of the Year in 2008 by their peers for leading Trent
to a perfect 10-0 in the regular season and reaching the Baggataway
National Championship Semi Finals in only their second season of
Clubs and Groups
Trent has a variety of clubs and groups including a number of
theatre groups, social interest groups, newspapers, religious
groups, political chapters and academic societies. These groups
include the Peterborough chapter of the Ontario Public Interest
, Anne Shirley Theatre Company
Trent, the Centre for Gender and Social Justice (previously known
as Trent Women's Centre), and Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3908
These groups are showcased during Introductory Seminar Week (ISW)
for the benefit of new students.
Notes and references
- Cole, A. O. C. Trent: The Making of a University, 1957-1987.
Peterborough: Trent University, 1992.
- www.trentu.ca/administration/pdfs/TrentUniversityAct.pdf Trent
University Act, 1963
- Trent University
- Teresa Cheng. "A timeline of Trent’s college system",
- The University of Winnipeg
Histories of the University
- Cole, A.O.C. 'Trent: The Making of a University, 1957-1987.'
Peterborough: Trent University, 1992.
- Hansen, Bertrand L., Brenda McKelvie, and Donald F. Theall.
"Ontario's Trent University: Rational and Different An
Illustrative Case of Selective Government Intervention." In
Readings in Canadian Higher Education, edited by Cecily Watson.
Toronto: OISE Press, 1988.