Durham College remembers when…

On June 18, the history books were reopened for almost 100 founding faculty, staff and alumni at the Founders Appreciation Day, hosted by the Durham College Retirees Association (DCRA). Positive energy filled the room as old friends were reunited and stories and memories were shared by the ones that were there when the foundation of the college was established.

The event transported individuals back to 1967 where it all began. Durham College officially opened on September 18, 1967 with 16 portable classrooms and 205 students, offering courses in applied arts, business and technology. “We used to make bets on how many students would show up,” said Lister Robinson, Durham College dean in 1967.

“There was no building, we were brand new. We had no money for advertising and there were no buses that came to the school.”

Current Durham College President Don Lovisa thanked those in attendance for starting the dream with only 14 faculty and staff members – an energetic and determined group who made it happen.

Reg Smith, who was the second employee hired in 1967 also shared his memories. “What made it possible was the good fortune to have a wise and strong founding board, and to have successive boards with a deep and sincere interest in the welfare of students who enrolled at Durham College,” he said.

Through events like this, it is evident that putting the student experience first was and still is Durham College’s mission.