Carleton community celebrates 75th birthday

Carleton students, faculty and alumni celebrated Carleton’s 75th anniversary at the Fairmont Château Laurier on June 18, the same place and date where the university was founded in 1942.

Mayor Jim Watson—who is a Carleton alumnus himself—presented the university with the City of Ottawa’s highest civic honour, the Key to the City.

Watson discussed the university’s origins as Carleton College, an institution aimed at educating veterans returning from the Second World War.

“[Carleton University] was founded for very noble reasons, and we need to remind ourselves of its history every once in a while so that the next generation understands how special this place is,” he said.

Alicia Hutton, a recent Carleton graduate, thanked Roseann Runte, the university’s president, for her “unique and special ability to lead with graciousness, and generosity, and wisdom.”

Also at the celebration, Raoul Delcorde, the Belgian ambassador, awarded Runte the Order of the Crown. According to a June 6 press release, the award recognized Runte’s “artistic, literary and scientific merit.”

“This award especially recognizes  Runte’s unflagging support for international student and faculty partnerships and exchanges between Belgium and Canada,” the release stated.

“The award is really for the whole university, not just me, and everybody’s worked together so hard,” Runte said. “This is a wonderful celebration of collaboration, community, history, and our future.”

Carleton College educated 1,500 students before becoming Carleton University in 1957, the April 2017 edition of the Glebe Report said.

According to the Report, Carleton moved from First Avenue in the Glebe to its current location in 1960.

Over the course of seven decades, Carleton has produced 140,000 graduates, according to the press release.

“Carleton students, faculty, staff and alumni are motivated by a desire to make their world a better place,” it said.

A special video from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the milestone.

“You’ve [Carleton University] been a leader in higher education, and you’ve helped over 100,000 graduates take their first steps down their paths to success. Carleton puts students first, and always has, for the past 75 years,” Trudeau said.

Chris Carruthers, the chair of Carleton’s Board of Governors, said while the school has changed substantially over 75 years, it still remains true to its roots.

“The story of Carleton is a story of service,” Carruthers said.

“Throughout its 75 years, Carleton students, faculty, researchers, and graduates have had in their hearts a higher mission: a mission to serve the greater good of the city, Ottawa, our province, our country, and today, our world.”

Photo credits: Meagan Casalino