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Ron Thom

Otonabee furniture

Ron Thom Renewal

Trent master planner Ron Thom and his team of designers, architects and engineers shaped Trent’s distinct identity through their bold work. From the harmony of original light fixtures, tables and chairs, to the stunning rubble aggregate of Bata Library and Champlain College, and the sweeping elegance of the Faryon Bridge, they left an extraordinary design and architectural legacy.

“The physical character of a university must reflect its philosophical idea….” Ron Thom, Letter, 1963

Thom was given the challenge of designing a campus that was “a place of aesthetic as well as of intellectual excitement.” The result was a visual and experiential masterpiece of mid-century modernism that continues to inspire alumni and students today.

Through careful investment, these remarkable buildings and furnishings will continue to attract students and stimulate aesthetic and intellectual engagement.


Help us unleash the potential!








Ron ThomAs the university arrives at its 50th Anniversary, time and usage have certainly taken their toll. Thankfully, the legacy of Ron Thom and his young design team is starting to be renewed, under the leadership of alumni and donors. A special initiative during the Anniversary year, led by alumnus Rob Tuckerman ’73, and supported by a number of inspired donors, will renew furnishings and the space occupied by the student-run Seasoned Spoon in the former Champlain College common room.

"The 1960s were a time of incredible creative energy in the arts," says alumnus Rob Tuckerman. "It was the golden age of design and Canada was a design leader. Canada's west coast modernists, like Ron Thom, Arthur Erickson and Fred Hollingsworth, were creating some of the most interesting architecture in the world. Ron Thom's architecture and design is what drew me to Trent's campus."

Future efforts aim to renew and celebrate the Great Hall, the Bata Library, and other signature Ron Thom spaces. Join the effort to revitalize and share the legacy of the “Madmen on the Otonabee” with a new generation of students! 

Click here to support Trent's design heritage.