New to Nipissing? Curious about your new school’s history, reputation and if they’ve ever had any famous alumni? Then you’re in the right place! This article will walk you through a brief history of the school, traditions and greek life as well as some notable alumni that have graced the campus.

Nipissing University was officially formed in 1967 to address the needs of the northern Ontario communities but had to start as an affiliate of Laurentian University to ensure funding where it became known as Nipissing College. Although, the school’s roots date back much further than that with the opening of the North Bay Normal school in 1909. The school was used to train teachers and ‘normal’ refers to the fact that this style of teaching would become the norm in education. In 1992, Nipissing College received its charter and became an independent university. Nipissing University is a primarily undergraduate school and is considered the most nursing-intensive university with four distinct nursing programs. Some other programs Nipissing is known for are: teacher education, arts, science and professional programs. While Nipissing is one of Canada’s newest universities, it’s continued focus on student satisfaction has made it one of the top ranking universities in student success and experiences. Nipissing also prides itself on the growing enrollment of full-time first generation students, students with disabilities and indigenous students. 

For more information, click here and here

Now that you’ve had a brief introduction to Nipissing, here are some notable alumni that attended this school: 

  1. RUSH – the rock band, with members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, received an honorary degree in 2014 from Nipissing University. Click here for more information. 
  2. Colin Simpson – received an honorary doctorate from Nipissing for his work in the fields of electronics, industrial automation and robotics education. He is also the author of the best-selling textbook, Principles of Electronics, and has developed a simulation software that allows students to study topics such as electromechanics and automation through distance learning. 
  3. Hon. Victor Fedeli – Victor received a degree in Business Administration and Management from Nipissing University. He is now Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. He was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Media in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his contributions to Canada. In 2011, he was also Ontario’s MPP for the riding of Nipissing. 
  4. Sean Kelly – received a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing in 1995. Sean is a canadian music director, artist coach, recording artist and guitarist. He is also the founder of the Toronto-based band, Crash Kelly, and a bass guitarist for Helix. He has also played guitar for Nelly Furtado! 

Some traditions and greek life at Nipissing that you should know about are: 

  •  Nipissing and Canadore Relay for Life – This fundraiser is a partnership between Canadore College and Nipissing that raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society. This overnight event starts in the evening and ends the next morning. Interested students can participate in teams of 10. 
  • Alpha Gamma Phi – This sorority promotes friendship with it;s care values; truth, honour and duty. They frequently engage in philanthropic events for organizations such as the North Bay Humane Society and various cancer awareness charities. 
  • Alpha Phi Sigma – This is an international academic honour society for Criminal Justice students. They have a selective admission process and only students meeting the criteria will be invited to join. 
  • Orientation week “O-Week” – There’s a separate orientation for international, mature and transfer students. O-week offers students a wide range of activities to engage, make new friends and get familiar with their new community. 

Lastly, here are some things that nipissing is known for aside from its academic programs and services.

  • Narcity’s Top Ten Party Schools List

A little known fact about Nipisisng is it’s huge party scene. Nipissing ranked at #6 for two years in a row on the Narcity list. In a survey conducted, students said they spent an average of 4.77 hours a week partying. For more information, click here and here  

  • The Wall 

Nipissing’s continuous presence on the party schools list is probably also due to the fact that the campus is home to The Wall. This pub is deemed to be one of the best drinking holes across all Canadian campuses. 

  • Lakers homecoming hockey game

Nipissing students have some of the best school spirit despite Nipissing being one the newer canadian universities with a growing, but still relatively small, student population. The Lakers hockey games actually have some of the biggest and best turnouts in Canadian university hockey. For more information, click here.  

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Published on August 4, 2022

About Kariscia Ramjag

Kariscia is a biology student at Carleton University that is passionate about science communications and nature restoration. She is an aspiring ocean conservationist, avid product reviewer, and Canva addict. She loves science puns, reading mysteries, and designing her own cups & t-shirts.