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Welcome to Arthur’s coverage of Trent’s 50th anniversary

Co-written with Pat Reddick

In preparing this issue, and in particular this pullout section, we had the opportunity to pour over numerous volumes of Arthur in search of sources, photographs, stories, and anecdotes that could enrich our coverage and provide unique and interesting perspectives on Trent’s past.

In doing this, we were able to discover just how rich a resource this newspaper has become for telling the many stories of this school.

From its beginning as the Trent Trends in 1964 (see page two for our earliest masthead), on through the tumultuous ‘80s and ‘90s, and now into Trent’s sixth decade, Arthur has occupied many important roles for this university. As editors, we feel immensely privileged to be the ones compiling Arthur’s 49th volume in this, Trent University’s 50th year.

With this special anniversary pullout, our goal was to share some of these stories in a way that is both historically compelling and relevant to the Trent community. Above all, we wanted not only to showcase where Trent has been but also to question where it is going.

As Trent’s new president, Dr. Leo Groake, states in his interview (pages 18&19), the fact that Trent has reached its 50th birthday is cause for great celebration. However, this anniversary should also be a time for the Trent community to pause, reflect, and discuss the path that brought us to this moment, and, more importantly, the paths that lie in front of us now.

Trent University is at a crossroads. Born from a profound educational idealism that was in many ways before its time, this school has both enjoyed many benefits of being different from its peers and suffered through the drawbacks.

When Tom Symons announced his vision for Trent University from the podium at Rubidge Hall fifty years ago, his words were embedded into the emotional and psychological fabric of this community.

In that same way, the many important decisions that will be made over the coming months and years will be crucial in deciding the kind of university Trent will become over its next fifty years.

With the provincial government currently pressuring Trent and other universities to pursue particular directions with regards to institutional programming, pedagogy, and make-up, Trent must decide if it will reassert itself as a truly unique educational institution and push back against the tide of professionalization, corporatization, homogenization, and centralization that is sweeping the higher education systems across Canada.

Whether or not Trent chooses to pursue this path, rest assured you will able to read all about about it in the pages of Arthur.

View all of our Trent at 50 coverage here!

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