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  • Hazel McCallion, 3rd Mayor of Mississauga
    McCallion, CM (née Journeaux; born February 14, 1921) is a Canadian politician and businesswoman who served as the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, from 1978 until 2014. She is the first and current Chan...

The Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, previously called Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology, commonly known as Sheridan College, is a diploma and degree granting polytechnic institute in Ontario, with approximately 18,000 full-time students and 35,000 continuing education students. Founded in 1967, the college offers programs in animation and illustration, music theatre, film and design, business, applied computing, engineering technology, community studies, and liberal studies. There are campuses in Oakville, Brampton, and Mississauga.

History

Founding

Sheridan College was established in mid of 1967. The "School of Graphic Design" was located in Brampton, Ontario until 1970, when it moved to the new campus in Oakville, Ontario. The Brampton campus was a converted public high school that had previously been in condemned status until re-fitted for use by Sheridan College. The school and area were subsequently replaced by residential homes. The new Oakville location was still under construction when classes began in the fall of 1970. The classes were held in a large open area under triangular skylights which allowed excellent lighting for the students. The photography department used a well equipped photo studio area and darkrooms for processing film and prints. That building has become merged with many other structures as extensive expansion of the campus has occurred on an ongoing basis. The main courses taught that year were graphic design, fashion design, photography and animation.

Contributions to animation

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Canadian animation industry was little formed and virtually non-existent, excepting animation pioneers of the National Film Board. and such Canadian studios as Crawley Films in Ottawa and The Guest Group in Toronto, a group of creative companies owned and run by Al Guest.

The situation began to change in the late 1960s with Rocket Robin Hood, which was produced by Al Guest and his partner Jean Mathieson. In 1968 President Porter organized the school's first course in classical animation, even though at the time there was little evidence of demand for graduates. The school took advantage of the closing of Al Guest's studio following the production of Rocket Robin Hood and were able to buy up the cameras and animation equipment. Subsequently, Guest and Mathieson served as creative advisors to Sheridan and hired a number of Sheridan graduates as key personnel for their new studio Rainbow Animation.

In 1984, Sheridan student John Minnis created the short animation piece Charade. The five-minute film was animated by Minnis with Pantone markers on paper during a single three-month summer term at Sheridan College. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 57th Academy Awards. As Sheridan's animation department continued to grow, it produced hundreds of animators into Canadian and international studios, at one point in 1996 being called "the Harvard of animation schools" on "a worldwide basis" by animator Michael Hirsh. A significant number of graduates have held key positions at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Don Bluth Productions, Pixar Animation Studios, and DreamWorks Animation, both for traditional and CGI animation. Sheridan graduates include five Academy Award nominees and two winners, and in 2005, animation professor Kaj Pindal won an Emmy Award.

Bid for university status

Former President Dr. Jeff Zabudsky announced in 2012 that Sheridan College would seek to become a university by 2020. The college began implementing several changes to meet the non-binding criteria of a university as set by Universities Canada including: the establishment of an academic senate to set policy, increasing the number of degree-level courses, and increasing the number of instructors with master's and doctoral degrees. The college appointed former Mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion as its first chancellor in 2016. Current President Dr. Mary Preece has stated she aims to keep Sheridan on the path to attaining University status.