Skip to main content
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

UOIT and Durham College salute the dedication of their faculty and staff

OSHAWA, Ont. - About 400 members of the campus community at Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) will gather Thursday evening, Oct. 7, to salute the tremendous contributions made by all faculty and staff, but especially those who have served students for a decade or more.

Staff Appreciation 2004, slated for General Sikorski Hall on Stevenson Drive North in Oshawa, will be an occasion to share special memories, laughter, and a common commitment to excellence in education.

Sixty-seven employees will be honoured for service of 10 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years and 35 years. Among the three employees celebrating their 35-year service anniversaries will be Ralph Sweet, a professor in the School of Business who joined the college in 1969 to teach accounting and finance. "It's been a great place to work," says the native of Saskatchewan, who worked for IBM in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for two years before joining the staff at Durham College.

Sweet says one of the biggest changes he has witnessed over the years is the increasing use of technology. "When I first started, nobody even had hand-held calculators," he recalls. "All calculations had to be done by hand."

As calculators hit the market, their high prices made it difficult for most students to buy them. The college set up calculator rooms, and students were required to book time to use them. Nowadays, Sweet teaches his classes with a laptop computer, and most students have them, too.

John Woodward, Principal of the college's Skills Training Centre in Whitby, joined the college 20 years ago as a faculty member at the Ajax satellite campus. As an administrator for the past 11 years, he has seen tremendous growth in trades training at Durham, precipitated in large part by the opening of the Skills Training Centre in 1993. "That was a major step for apprenticeship programs at the college, and they've grown on a continual basis since then." In fact, only three years after a major expansion, the centre is once again hoping to increase in size.

Looking back over the past two decades, Woodward says he is struck most by the positive, supportive atmosphere that senior leaders have successfully nurtured. "We have our mission statement and our shared values," he says, "and this is an organization that truly follows those."

That's one of the many reasons that Tara Blackburn expects to stay around for another decade or so. The 10-year veteran, who is director of Career + Employment Services for the college and the university, remembers a colleague predicting she would be a "lifer" soon after she completed an early contract and was hired full-time. "I haven't had an urge to look elsewhere," she jokes, "so I guess he was right.

"It's a great place," she adds. "There have always been new challenges and new things to do. And I think we all have a common goal, and that is student success. We all contribute to that in one way or another."

About the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

As the province's newest university, the University of Ontario Institute Of Technology provides a unique combination of academic knowledge, vibrant student life, leading-edge research, and hands-on skills. The university offers career-focused undergraduate degree programs in the fields of business and information technology, health sciences, social science, applied science, the pure sciences, engineering, and education. It is also developing leading-edge research and graduate programs, and is Ontario's first laptop-based university. Sharing selected services with Durham College, UOIT welcomed its first students in September 2003. To find out more, visit or call 1.866.844.8648.

About Durham College

For 37 years, Durham College has been committed to providing job-focused programs, accomplished professors, quality-driven innovation, student success, and superior accountability. More than 5,600 full-time students and 19,000 part-time students are enrolled at Durham College. For more information, visit the Web site at, or call 905.721.2000.

About Ontario Tech University
A modern, forwarding-thinking university, Ontario Tech advances the discovery and application of knowledge to accelerate economic growth, regional development and social innovation. We inspire and equip our students and our graduates to make a positive impact in a tech-focused world. For us, it’s not only about developing the next tech breakthrough. Understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology differentiates us as university. Learn more at

Media contact
John Schofield
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668, ext. 2162