College celebrates 50th anniversary

Sam Odrowski

Confederation College’s Fort Frances campus welcomed staff, students, alumni, and their family members for its 50th anniversary celebration last Wednesday night.
Past students had a chance to connect with each other and reminisce about the school’s history.
Over the past 50 years, the college has been responsible for the education of many as it approaches its 50,000th post-secondary graduate.
When you add in the short programs, dual credits, and contract training, the number of people receiving their education is many times that amount, Confederation College president Jim Madder noted.
“I think a huge accomplishment is the way we’ve influenced the learning employment opportunities and life-learning opportunities in Northwestern Ontario,” he remarked when reflecting on the college’s achievements over the past half-century.
Madder also is proud of the diverse range of programs the college has to offer, noting the school covers everything from health, social service, and business programs to technical and technical engineering programs.
“We have 58 post-secondary programs and they very much reflect the needs of our communities,” he noted.
“If you look at the program mix, it’s dynamic and doesn’t stay the same, which is what our communities need.”
Madder also is very proud of the college’s athletic abilities over the past 50 years.
“We’ve won more then 50 provincial sports championships, at a college level, particularly around curling,” he noted.
Through the years, the college also has worked hard to develop programs that fit the needs of aboriginal communities in the northwest.
In the early 1970s, for instance, Confederation College introduced specific programs for indigenous leaners.
These evolved over the years and now indigenous education is incorporated into all of the school’s programs.
“I think the major trend here was to embed indigenous knowledge and indigenous learning across all of our 58 programs, which I’m very proud,” said Madder.
“It’s unique.”
The indigenous education also is embedded in a way that relates to the course’s curriculum, he added.
Madder is very proud of the school’s accomplishments and looks forward to providing more people with an education across the northwest.