Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

(November 25, 2011 – Orillia, ON) Lakehead University has a positive impact on the people who live, work, and study in Simcoe County and Central Ontario and is focused on its mission as a comprehensive university committed to excellence and innovation.

That was the message delivered today as Lakehead University launched its 2010-2011 Report to the Community at a gathering of friends and supporters at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club in Orillia.

“Our purpose today is to celebrate the enormous contribution Lakehead University is making on the economic, social, and cultural life of our communities,” says Robert Lamb, member of the Lakehead University Advisory Committee.  “It is vital that people who live in Simcoe County and Central Ontario understand the critical role Lakehead plays in creating jobs and improving our quality of life.”

The 2010-2011 Report to the Community consists of a website and brochure that highlight Lakehead’s accomplishments during Brian Stevenson’s first year as President and Vice-Chancellor (  The Report documents the success of Lakehead students, faculty, alumni, and staff. It also features financial statements, strategic directions, honours and awards, and eight performance indicators such as enrolment, graduation, employment rates, and first generation students, defined as students whose mother and/or father has not obtained a university degree.

“Much of Lakehead University’s research at the Orillia campus is focused on environmental sustainability and is often driven by community needs,” says President Brian Stevenson. “The partnerships Lakehead forges with community organizations, donors, and governments, are crucial to its success as a comprehensive university dedicated to excellence and innovation in undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, service, and other scholarly activity.”

Lakehead University Board of Governor member Bruce Waite, Orillia-based lawyer and community leader, says he is extremely pleased with how Dr. Stevenson’s initiatives have been received in the community. “This support and enthusiasm will be a catalyst for the development of an increasing number of economic partnerships in the coming years.”

“This year’s Report to the Community, which includes a link to our audited financial statement, demonstrates that Lakehead is accountable to its stakeholders,” noted Stevenson.

Lakehead is proud of its role as a catalyst for economic, social, and cultural development in Orillia and Simcoe County. Last year, there were 972 students enrolled at Lakehead’s Orillia campus, all of them purchasing goods and services from local businesses. The economic impact of the University’s operating expenses on the City of Orillia totalled $16.5 million.

The 2010-2011 Report to the Community website features eight success stories that detail some of the extraordinary achievements of its students, alumni, faculty, and staff. These include the Lake Simcoe Clean Up Fund project that involves and supports many local partners, and Humanities 101, an innovative access program, which will expand to the Orillia campus this year. Each success story is accompanied by a short video featuring two to three Lakehead researchers, students, employers, staff members, and partners.

Will McGarvey, of Shadowbox Learning Services Inc. of Orillia, is one of the many Lakehead University community partners who attended the launch.

“As a local business person, I understand the need for smart growth in our region. By supporting Lakehead, we are contributing to the kind of growth that benefits the entire region.  As a parent and grandparent, I am helping to create the kind of community I want for my children and grandchildren.”

Dr. Chris Murray, assistant professor, general science, provided a brief overview of some of the interesting research opportunities available for students at the Orillia campus.

“The small class sizes at Lakehead provide unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work one-on-one alongside their professors. Our students are fortunate to be involved in research that is relevant and cutting-edge,” says Murray.

Nikki McBride, a third-year Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science/Bachelor of Education student, also gave her perspective, saying “Lakehead University has provided me with outstanding opportunities for learning and leadership.  “I am thrilled to be able to contribute to the vibrant life of this new University campus and would not be able to accomplish as much without the enthusiastic support of the University and the community.”

Lakehead’s 2010-2011 Report to the Community can be read online at


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