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Ryerson at 60 History of Ryerson


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Ryerson has built its reputation on educating students to meet the needs of society. Please click on one of the following sections to begin exploring.

1850 Egerton Ryerson buys land at Victoria and Gould for province's first school for teachers The Normal School (Click to enlarge this image)

1941 The Normal School is used as a training facility for the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War
1945 The Training and Re-establishment Institute opens to train ex-service personnel
1948 The Ryerson Institute of Technology is founded and named after Egerton Ryerson Statue of Egerton Ryerson (Click to enlarge this image)
  The Ryersonian is launched
1949 Electronics students broadcast "This is Fashion," the first live television show in Canada for a general audience Electronics students (Click to enlarge this image)

1950 First Blue and Gold dance Blue and Gold dance (Click to enlarge this image)
1953 Ryerson musical Brigadoon plays Dec. 2–4
1954 Yonge Street subway line opens; College and Dundas stations straddle Ryerson campus
  Principal Howard Kerr introduces a shirt-and-tie dress code for men
1958 Football team wins Intermediate Intercollegiate Ontario-Quebec Conference championship 1958 Ryerson football team (Click to enlarge this image)

1960 First annual Ryerson picnic in September on the Islands First annual Ryerson picnic (Click to enlarge this image)
  Sam the Record Man opens for business on Yonge Street, adjacent to campus
1963 Name changes to Ryerson Polytechnical Institute
  Kerr Hall opens. Shown is an early construction phase Kerr Hall in an early construction phase (Click to enlarge this image)
1967 The Eyeopener is launched The Eyeopener (Click to enlarge this image)
1968 Ryerson begins participating in Shinerama fundraising campaign Students shining shoes (Click to enlarge this image)

1971 Open College on CJRT begins, offering educational courses over the radio, another innovative attempt to reach out to the community
1972 First degrees. Honorary recipient Ontario Premier Bill Davis is pictured in front, third from the left First degree recipients (Click to enlarge this image)
  David Crombie, previously Ryerson’s Director of Student Services, becomes Mayor of Toronto
1978 More than 1,300 Ryerson students go to Queen's Park to protest government cutbacks to post-secondary institutions Queen's Park protest (Click to enlarge this image)
  Lake Devo opens for the benefit of the campus and the community Students sit by Lake Devo (Click to enlarge this image)
1979 Ryerson Fitness Trail, aka Vita Parcours, opens

1985 Eric McCormack, future star of Will and Grace, completes his Theatre School education Eric McCormack (Click to enlarge this image)
1987 Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC) opens
  First-year O'Keefe House residents dress up as Smurfs for orientation parade
1988 Ryerson students march up Yonge St. to Queen's Park rally protesting high tuition and government underfunding of post-secondary institutions Student protest (Click to enlarge this image)

1990 Engineering students hang a Volkswagen Beetle chassis by a cable from the Victoria St. parking garage wall Engineering students hanging a Volkswagen Beetle chassis by a cable (Click to enlarge this image)
1991 Pitman Hall, the first major co-ed residence, opens
1992 Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar visits Ryerson after her space mission aboard Discovery Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar visits Ryerson (Click to enlarge this image)
  Six Engineering programs earn full professional accreditation
1993 Ryerson is granted full university status by the Ontario government, opening the door for graduate programs and funded research
1996 Shaving cream plays major role in orientation parade and picnic Students at the orientation parade (Click to enlarge this image)
1998 Dressed as the Gateway Arch of St. Louis, third-year Architecture students present a skit during the annual grand review Students dressed as the Gateway Arch of St. Louis (Click to enlarge this image)

2000 Ryerson launches first graduate programs
2001 Nelson Mandela and wife Graça Machel receive Ryerson honorary degrees Nelson Mandela and wife Graa Machel (Click to enlarge this image)
2002 Name changes to Ryerson University
  Filmed on campus and starring Theatre alumna Nia Vardalos, My Big Fat Greek Wedding is released
2003 First doctoral students admitted
2006 Ryerson introduces first MBA programs
2008 Sam the Record Man property acquired by Ryerson for future Student Learning Centre Ryerson President Sheldon Levy and two students in front of the Sam the Record Man property (Click to enlarge this image)
  Faculty research tops $19 million

2010 Digital Media Zone opens at Yonge-Dundas Square