4 alumni of oac with arms around each other

Alumni of the Ontario Agricultural College

OAC alumni represent the strength and purpose of the college.

Over 30,000 strong, our alumni contribute to the agriculture, food, environmental and community development sectors locally, nationally and internationally. Our alumni are also strong supporters of the college. 

There are many ways you can re-engage and contribute to the impact of OAC's community.

How to get involved

oac alumni at a curling club, with arms around each other

Connect with fellow alumni

Alumni groups within the OAC foster life-long connections amongst fellow alumni. Connect with the OAC's Alumni Association, Alumni Foundation and the Landscape Architecture Alumni Association and reconnect with your alma-matter.

johnston hall in the summertime

Support our impact

Donors are an essential part in advancing teaching, research, and the student experience in OAC. A philanthropic donation helps its students and researchers in helping OAC achieve its mission to Improve Life.

a photo of a class reunion in front of creelman hall

Alumni reunions

Reunions are a popular way of re-connecting with former classmates and we encourage alumni to plan on-campus reunions when possible. Many classes choose to host their reunions during Alumni & Reunion Week which is held every June. It is an exciting time to hold a reunion and celebrate milestone anniversaries.

Aerial image of Johnston Hall

OAC's 150th Anniversary Celebrations.

Your Legacy. Our Future. 

Since opening our doors in May 1874, we've become internationally renowned for our research, teaching and knowledge extension in the broad areas of food, agriculture, communities and the environment. We are proud of our legacy and can't wait to kick off our celebrations in May 2024.

David Gabric standing outside in a garden
As with most students who went through the turf diploma program I would have to say my favourite memory of U of G was when we carried on the tradition of sodding the cannon. It was always funny to see the reactions of my fellow students and professors when they’d see it for the first time.

David Gabric , Alumni
OAC Alumnus
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Julia Romagnoli headshot
In my last year at U of G, I had the chance to be president of College Royal. Getting to lead that team was a huge highlight for me in the OAC. Seeing everything come together on that open house weekend and connecting with everyone throughout the year. 

Julia Romagnoli, Alumni
OAC Alumnus
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There are many other ways to reconnect with OAC and your fellow alumni. Below are just a few ways to re-engage, friend-raise and give back:

Recognizing Excellence of OAC Alumni

Established in 1960, the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame honours and celebrates Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to the Agriculture and Food industries. Many OAC alumni have been the recipients of this national honour:

Year    Name & Graduating Class
1961    Robert W. Wade 1905
1962    Robert M. Holtby 1886
1962    Walter D. Jackson 1909
1962    William R. Motherwell 1881
1963    Herbert H. Hannam 1926
1963    Percy H. Moore 1910
1964    G.S. Horace Barton 1907
1964    George E. Day 1893
1966    William J. Rutherford 1903
1967    John J.E. McCague 1921
1971    Ernest Charles Drury 1900
1971    William P. Watson 1928
1972    John Arthur Carroll 1914
1972    William Robert Reek 1910
1973    Erle Kitchen 1910
1974    Charles A. Zavitz 1888
1975    William R. Graham 1894
1976    George E. Raithby 1922
1977    Leonard H. Newman 1903
1978    Helen May McKercher 1930
1983    Frederick M. Campbell 1938
1984    Edward T. McLaughlin 1937
1986    F.W. Presant 1923
1990    G.F. Townsend 1938
1991    J. Clarence Rennie 1947
1993    Everett Biggs 1948
1996    Robert Hardy Shore 1951
1998    Clayton Switzer 1951
1999    George R. McLaughlin 1946
2001    Charles Gracey 1958
2004    John E. Moles 1936
2005    Byron E. Beeler 1963
2006    Peter Hannam 1962
2009    Robb Gowe 1945
2010    Bertram Stewart 1954
2010    Hon. Lyle Vanclief 1966
2013    John Wise 1956A
2013    Donald Ziraldo 1971

On a provincial level, the Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame opened June 1st, 1980 with the induction of nine pioneer agriculturists, three of them graduates from OAC. Since that time, many more OAC alumni have been presented with this honour in recognition of their significant contributions to the welfare and improvement of Ontario agriculture.

Year    Name & Graduating Class
1980    Stewart A. Brown 1947
1980    James A. Garner 1923
1980    Herbert H. Hannam 1926
1981    David A. Jones 1966
1982    William H. Bell 1915
1982    George I. Christie 1902
1982    Douglas H. Hart 1922
1983    T. Richard Hilliard 1940
1983    Joseph E. Johnson 1919
1983    Alexander R. Stewart 1899
1984    Watson H. Porter 1911
1984    George E. Raithby 1922
1986    William Graham 1894
1986    Alexander McKinney IV 1961
1986    Edmund F. Palmer 1913
1986    Alma J. Wagg 1900
1988    Helen May McKercher 1930
1988    George N. Runke 1923
1989    Ernest C. Drury 1900
1990    John J. E. McCague 1921
1991    Elliot Irwin McLoughry 1922
1991    Osborne L. Sager 1925
1991    Harold W.M Smith 1916
1992    John A. Dalrymple 1935
1993    Lawrence McKay Kerr 1929
1994    George Stuart Atkins 1939
1994    George A. McCague 1928
1996    James Ross Cavers 1929
1998    Arthur H. K. Musgrave 1920
1998    Douglas Lyle Parks 1940
1999    A. Mac Cuddy 1942
2001    Ken Lantz 1945
2002    Gordon Bennett 1943
2002    Oliver Bradt 1938
2002    Rick Richards 1938
2002    George Early 1960 (Ridgetown)
2002    Donald M. Shaver 1995
2003    George McLaughlin 1946
2004    Tom E. Chudleigh 1963
2004    Alex F. Henry 1951
2004    Donald N. Huntley 1941
2004    Francis Redelmeier 1941, 1945
2005    Brian S. Ellsworth 1959
2005    Murray Gaunt 1956
2005    Garnet A. Ralph 1947 (Kemptville)
2005    Clayton M. Switzer 1951
2006    Harvey J. Brown 1963
2006    Keith R. Collver 1949
2006    Ross W. Irwin 1951
2006    George E. Jones 1950
2006    J. Stanley Knapp 1914
2006    W. Stanley Young 1949
2008    Paul Ekstein 1954A
2013    Arthur Bennett 1951
2013    John (Jack) James 1972
2013    John Oliver 1961
2014    Art Bolton 1955
2014    Gordon Surgeoner 1971, 1973
2015    D. Murray Brown 1951, 1953
2015    Peter Hannam 1962
2015    Peter M. Lindley 1957
2015    Donald W. Lobb 1960 (Ridgetown)
2016    William (Bill) L. Campbell 1955
2016    Bruce Christie 1958A
2016    Graeme W. Hedley 1964
2016    Tom Sawyer 1959A, 1964
2017    John (Jack) Riddell 1952A, 1957
2017    John (Jack) Charles Steckley 1906A, 1911
2020    John Curtis, BSA ’59 and M.Sc. ’65
2020    Murray Mills, BSA ’55
2020    Brian Little, ADA ’67, B.Sc.(Agr.) ’72, M.Sc. ’78
2021    Peter Sikkema

OAC alumni have served as Ministers of Agriculture at both the federal and provincial levels.
 
William R. Motherwell Class of 1881
Minister of Agriculture (Canada) 1921 — 1931

Fletcher S. Thomas Class of '22
Minister of Agriculture (Ontario) 1953 — 1956

William Newman Class of '51
Minister of Agriculture (Ontario) 1975 — 1979

John Wise Class of '56
Minister of Agriculture (Canada) 1979 — 1980 and 1984 — 1988

Philip Andrewes Class of '65
Minister of Agriculture (Ontario) 1985

Ross Stevenson Class of '65
Minister of Agriculture (Ontario) 1985

Jack Riddel Class of '65
Minister of Agriculture (Ontario) 1985 — 1990

Lyle VanClief Class of '66
Minister of Agriculture (Canada) 1997 — 2003

For more information contact:

Morag Stewart,
Director of Advancement (OAC),
519-824-4120, Ext. 56236
moragst@uoguelph.ca


About OAC

Established in 1874, the Ontario Agricultural College is one of seven colleges that make up the University of Guelph. OAC is a globally recognized leader in education and research in agriculture, food, environmental sciences, and community development. The OAC provides a wide range of academic programs at the diploma, undergraduate, graduate, and certificate levels.