Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

May 21, 2004

University of Guelph-Humber opening a ‘Celebration of Innovation’

The University of Guelph-Humber held a grand-opening celebration today, highlighting its state-of-the-art $45-million facility and the unique partnership that has made the venture a success.

The only one of its kind, the University of Guelph-Humber enables all of its students to earn a university honours degree and college diploma in four years. It is a joint initiative between the University of Guelph and the Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

“The University of Guelph-Humber has been designed from the start to connect students to the world outside the classroom,” Humber president Robert A. Gordon said while a slate cornerstone was placed in front of the new university, a symbolic completion of the building. Also in attendance were Lincoln Alexander, U of G’s chancellor; Stuart Smith, chair of Humber’s Board of Governors; and Alastair Summerlee, U of G’s president.

“It is the culmination of years of hard work and careful planning, during which the University of Guelph has been a truly dedicated partner,” said Gordon. “We had the never-ending co-operation of our faculty, staff and students.”

The University of Guelph-Humber first began offering classes in the fall of 2002, taught by faculty from both institutions. The Guelph-Humber building opened last fall and has been serving some 850 first- and second-year students. The university plans to have 2,000 students by 2007.

“This is a genuinely unique and successful partnership that has become a model for education in this province,” Summerlee said. “By pooling our talents, we have enhanced opportunities for access and created programs that combine the benefits of both a university and college, balancing the theoretical and the applied. And we do it all in a learning environment that is one of the most innovative in North America.”

The four-storey, 133,130-square-foot Guelph-Humber building was financed by more than $30 million from the Ontario government’s SuperBuild fund. It was designed to complement the university’s commitment to a learner-centred environment. Most classrooms are designed for small groups of between 30 and 65 students, and the entire second floor is devoted to informal learning. There are also computer classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories, an Internet café, and a plant wall biofilter, a “living wall” that improves air quality and creates a natural source of indoor fresh air.

Guelph-Humber offers programs in business, computing, media studies, early childhood, family and community social services and justice studies. Last month, the university announced a unique degree completion program in justice studies, a model program it intends to expand to other areas.

“Our programs have been designed to meet the emerging demands of employers for strategic skills, including critical thinking, communications, computer expertise and leadership,” said David Trick, Guelph-Humber’s Chief Executive Officer. “It’s a winning combination that helps students succeed.”

Media Contacts:
Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Deb Bourk, (416) 675-6622, Ext. 5481,

University of Guelph
Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338,

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