Algoma University, commonly shortened to Algoma U or Algoma, is an undergraduate-only public university with its main campus in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. Established in 1965, Algoma is the smallest undergraduate-only university in Ontario. With a particular focus on the needs of Northern Ontario, Algoma U is a teaching-focused and student-centred post-secondary institution, specializing in liberal arts, sciences, and professional degree programs. Located on the former site of the Shingwauk Indian Residential School, Algoma U has a special mission to provide and cultivate cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal populations and other communities. Algoma U also offers satellite programming in Brampton and Timmins, Ontario.
From its founding in 1965 until June 18, 2008, Algoma U was an affiliated college of Laurentian University in Sudbury and was officially known as Algoma University College. The enabling legislation is the Algoma University Act, 2008.
Shingwauk Hall is currently used to house various classrooms, as well as administrative and faculty offices. It is connected on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd levels by links to the newer East, West and North-West wings that house further classrooms, research space and offices. The second floor of Shingwauk Hall (SH200’s) houses various student services, including Co-Op and Career Services, the Learning Center, Student Advisors and the ESL Program.
In 2009 Algoma received more than $16 million to build a biosciences and technology convergence centre. Ground was broken for the new building in September 2009. Along with state-of-the-art classroom and laboratory space for students and professors, the building is home to various research institutes, including the Health Informatics Research Institute, the Invasive Species Research Institute, the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre and Algoma Games for Health. The building opened its doors to students in September 2011, and was officially named the Essar Convergence Centre in a ceremony including David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, in August, 2012.
The George Leach Centre (GLC), the home of the Algoma Thunderbirds, is located on the university’s campus. Built in 1992, and named after Algoma University’s first Athletics Director, the GLC provides Algoma University students and community members with access to fitness equipment. The GLC also hosts regional, provincial, and national level competitions.
In March 2015, the GLC opened a new 10,000-square foot expansion, in addition to its 39,000-square foot pre-existing structure. This new weight room fitness space features new strength and cardio equipment. These large spaces overlook the campus. One of these studios has also been converted into a Spin Studio with 15 new digital spin bikes.
The gymnasium, or field house, features three regulation court surfaces, which accommodate a wide range of athletic activities such as badminton, basketball, volleyball, and tennis. One court has been specially designed with a dimple surface for better tennis play. The gym area is surrounded by a 1/9th mile indoor walking and jogging track. The GLC also has a sauna, change rooms with lockers, varsity change rooms, and private change rooms for refereeing officials.
Established in 1965 as Algoma College, Algoma University was initially an affiliate of Laurentian University in Sudbury. In 1967, Algoma College began offering classes in portable building located at the Cambrian College site, now Sault College site. Algoma College moved into its current location, the former Shingwauk Residential School building, in 1971.
Former students of the Shingwauk Residential School formed the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and have helped guide the development of education on the Shingwauk site. A provincial trust, the Shingwauk Education Trust, gives ownership of a portion of the site to Anishinaabek people, and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (SKG) has developed as an Anishinaabek institution for university studies on the site. Algoma signed a Covenant (PDF) in 2006 with SKG to work together for the benefit of all students of Algoma and Shingwauk.
In 2008, Algoma University was granted its charter and with the charter, achieved full autonomous university status as Ontario’s 19th University. Algoma University now offers over 30 academic programs in a diverse range of fields and through three faculties: Faculty of Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Humanities.