Algoma University (AU) is a postsecondary institution in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, offering undergraduate university degrees in more than 25 academic programs. The student population has increased substantially in recent years and Algoma now has about 1200 students.
From its founding in 1967 until June 18, 2008, Algoma was an affiliated college of Laurentian University in Sudbury, and was officially known as Algoma University College. On May 31, 2007, the government of Ontario announced that it would introduce legislation to charter Algoma as a fully independent university. On June 18, 2008 the Algoma University Act was given royal assent by David Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, granting independent university status to Algoma. Nipissing University in North Bay, also formerly an affiliated college of Laurentian, similarly received status as an independent university in 1992.
On the site of a former Anishnabek residential school, Algoma College officially opened in September 1967. Initially its program was limited to the first year of studies for both the Bachelor of Arts, and the Bachelor of Science degree programs. It wasn't until 1972 that the College offered the entire three-year program.
Algoma's independence from Laurentian University was first proposed in 1994. The original proposal would have seen the school renamed Shingwauk University, but was not ultimately pursued by the MTCU. As noted, in the university's new independence plan, Shingwauk will be the name of a new federated institution dedicated to Anishnaabe education.
In 1975 the college purchased Shingwauk Hall, the building that housed the aforementioned residential school, and 37 acres of land including property along the St. Mary's River front. In 1989 the Arthur A. Wishart library opened, followed by expansion in 1992 with the opening of the George Leach Centre. Student residence buildings were constructed in 1995 and later expanded in 2001.
2005 was a significant year for the school, as a $6 million technology wing saw expansion unprecedented in the school's young past. Included in the wing are state-of-the-art technology and computer labs, the 'Great West Life Amphitheatre' (a 250+ seat lecture hall), a new student centre, cafeteria, faculty offices, bookstore/campus shop, and a new pub.