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Dawson Timeline of Events

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New branding

After 31 years, Dawson unveiled a new, refreshed and rejuvenated brand identity for application throughout the College in electronic and print formats for everything from signage, merchandising, official documents, letterhead, among many other uses.

December 2021
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Living Campus named #1

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) recognized Dawson College as the top performer in the category of associate colleges around the world and called the Monarch Butterfly Nursery project an institutional highlight.

November 2021
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15th anniversary of tragedy solemnly observed

Although pandemic protocols limited opportunities for large gatherings, the community was nonetheless invited to participate in quiet reflection individually or in small groups outdoors in the Peace Garden.

September 13, 2021
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New Environmental and Sustainability Certificate

Students in any program can develop the knowledge and skills for addressing environmental and societal challenges.

September 2021
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Dawson re-opens

Dawson College reopens to in-person teaching and learning activities for all students and teachers, and for staff providing services for the first time in 17 months since the pandemic was declared.

August 2021
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Supporting healthy cities

Dawson named as one of 10 institutions selected to participate in projects as part of a $4.95 million grant from the Canadian government.

July 2021
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Robert Cassidy is named Academic Dean

A new Academic Dean is named who is set to begin a five-year term in August, succeeding Diane Gauvin who took office as Director General in January.

June 2021
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Dawson is sustainable gold!

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) names Dawson College as a Gold-level leader in sustainability, the first CEGEP in Quebec and the sixth college in Canada to achieve this high level of leadership in sustainability.

December 2020
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Speaking up for a Dawson education

Students laud their college experience as representatives of various cultures, languages and ethnicities in answer to questions raised about the high demand for English-language college education.

December 2020
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Diane Gauvin is named Dawson’s new Director General

She takes office on January 1, 2021 for a five-year term, replacing Richard Filion who would retire in December. She is only the College’s second woman at the helm, preceded by Sarah Paltiel (1981-1984).

November 2020
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Virtual Open House

Dawson holds its first-ever Virtual Open House with the presentation of 46 new videos to tell visitors about the programs and services the College offers prospective students.

October 2020
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COVID-19 postpones Convocation

The ceremony normally celebrated in June at Place des Arts was instead held as an intimate and socially distanced Awards Ceremony on August 12 for some 35 graduate award recipients, representing the Class of 2020’s 2,600 graduates who persevered through a pandemic.

August 2020
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Dawson fast tracks nursing education among graduating students in the Nursing program to help area hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.

April 2020
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AI community of practice

Dawson College institutes a multidisciplinary team of faculty members to develop pedagogical material on AI-related themes and to present new AI developments to the larger Dawson community.

March 2020
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Global pandemic shuts Dawson

As a worldwide pandemic is declared, Dawson announces the closure of the College and all academic activities “for two weeks”; although classes resumed online two weeks later, the College building was closed for 17 months to all but essential services.

March 2020
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Dawson celebrates 50 years of Women’s/Gender Studies.

March 2020
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Faculty Hub launches

The Office of Academic Development (OAD) launches the Faculty Hub, an online professional development and support space for Dawson faculty, a one-stop shop for help with course design, student engagement, assessment, tools, technology, and more.

January 2020
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Dawson College students, teachers and staff take part in environmental workshops before joining activist Greta Thunberg at the Sept. 27 Global Climate Strike march in Montreal.

September 2019
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Dawson celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first day of classes in 1969!

September 2019
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Cégep Vert gives Dawson special recognition for its pledge to be Carbon Neutral as well as a mention d’excellence.

September 2019
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Raising awareness for the North

Dawson student Hannah Tooktoo from Kuujjuaq ended her cross-country bike journey near the College after starting out from Victoria, BC in June. Raising awareness about the high suicide rate in Nunavik landed her Personality of the Year recognition by La Presse.

August 2019
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Dawson makes significant investment in a comprehensive Artificial Intelligence initiative, the largest investment in an AI project by a Quebec CEGEP.

June 2019
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Dawson declares itself “Carbon Neutral Forever” through its ambitious program to offset the College’s carbon emissions.

February 2019
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Sustainable Dawson deposits the College’s first five-year sustainability plan.

April 2018
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4 new inductees in CCAE Hall of Fame from Dawson community

Four members of the Dawson community are named to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Hall of Fame: retired Athletics Director John Davidson in the category of Builder, Dawson graduates Varouj Gurunlian and Julieth Lewis in the category of Athlete, and one of the winningest basketball coaches in CCAA history, Olga Hrycak.

April 2018
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Learning spaces benefit from major new technology installations

Dawson students benefit from two new additions in technological advances, one in the form of a motion-capture studio and the other in the installation of 56 feet or just over 17 metres of digital workspace in an active learning classroom. This unique configuration is the largest and the first of its kind in the world.

March 2018
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Entire Dawson campus goes smoke-free

Dawson adopts a smoke-free policy for the entire campus, including all College grounds extending to the sidewalks that bound the property on de Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke, Atwater and Wood.

January 2018
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The Peace Centre bestows certificates on the first 25 graduates in the Peace Studies Certificate.

May 2017
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Dawson College hosts the Harvard World Model UN in Montreal.

March 2017
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Dawson College adopts its third Strategic Plan to cover the five-year period to 2021.

For the first time in 30 years, a newly worded Mission Statement is adopted.

October 2016
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Three Sisters Garden is place of gathering

After just one growing season, the Three Sisters Garden becomes place for indigenous students to gather, to participate in nature and to harvest traditional foods, providing a bridge between indigenous and non-indigenous students.

October 2016
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10th anniversary of tragedy brings community together

The tenth anniversary commemorations of the tragedy at Dawson brings together the community of students, teachers and staff, as well as the greater Montreal community in the presence of special guests including the De Sousa Family, survivors and their families, the police service, hospital personnel, emergency services and representation by all levels of government.

September 13, 2016
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First Peoples’ Initiative committed to Indigenous learners

Dawson establishes the First Peoples’ Initiative to support Indigenous students and to integrate Indigenous issues across the curriculum and cultural life of the College. The initiative leads to the creation of the First Peoples’ Centre to provide First Nations, Inuit and Métis students with academic and para-academic services and the development of the one-year Journeys bridging program to help Indigenous students prepare for college studies.

August 2015
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Dawson Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship launches pilot project in Old Montreal

Graduating students have access to workshops to help them start their own companies in the creative and cultural industries.

May 2015
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First Dawson students head off to Mexico to participate in sustainability internships.

April 2015
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Two Dawson graduates awarded Fulbright Scholarships

Stephanie Broos and Hayley Laxer named the Canadian recipients of Killam Fellowships for 2014-2015 (also known as Fulbright Scholarships).

November 2014
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Director General Richard Filion receives a third mandate for a period of five years.

October 2014
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Peace Centre Dedicated

Dawson inaugurates the Centre for Peace Education through which the Peace Studies Certificate will be offered for the first time

September 12, 2014
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Diane Gauvin becomes Academic Dean

July 2014
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Quebec colleges to receive $5 million to improve services for students with special needs

December 2013
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First EWeek Event

Led by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education, Dawson holds its first edition of EWeek, a huge success

February 2012
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Conference: The Role of Education in Peace and Nonviolence

Dawson hosts an international conference on the role of education in peace and nonviolence, in partnership with Association of Canadian Community Colleges as part of commemorative events

October 2011
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Inauguration of Ecological Peace Garden as living memorial

The 5th anniversary of the tragedy at Dawson is marked by the inauguration of the Ecological Peace Garden in the presence of the community, hospital and police service partners, and families most affected by the tragic events

September 13, 2011
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Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education

The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education is established to provide resources and pedagogical tools to support entrepreneurial education for students and graduates

September 2011
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College Education for First Nations

The KIUNA Centre for College Studies is inaugurated in partnership with Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the Council for First Nations Education to offer college education in the social sciences to First Nations students

August 2011
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First CCTT awarded

A College Centre for Technology Transfer in Innovative Social Practices (CCTT-PSN) is awarded to Dawson in partnership with Cégep du Vieux-Montréal to further develop expertise in research and services for the integration of persons with disabilities into study and work environments

August 2011
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Strategic Plan 2010-2015 is adopted

October 2010
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The Graduate Profile defined

At the heart of the Strategic Plan lies the Graduate Profile, an approach that aims to teach students inside and outside the classroom to graduate as informed, responsible, and fully engaged individuals

October 2010
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Huge demand for college education

Application demand at on-island colleges reaches peak; Dawson accepts 300 more students over the threshold for the largest enrollment in its history

August 2010
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SPACE: Cross-disciplinary project

S.P.A.C.E. (Science Participating with Arts in Culture and Education) is launched, an innovative project that encourages students to contribute their talents and skills to exploring common ground across the disciplines

October 2008
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Dawson celebrates 40 years!

In the celebration of 40 years since receiving its letters patent, Dawson recognizes the pioneers of the CEGEP system, including a good many who continue to serve as teachers, professionals, support staff and managers

September 2008
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Sustainable Dawson is born

A bold initiative to set objectives and implement measures to reduce the impact of the College on its environment is launched

September 2008
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New Theatre and expanded Atrium

After many years at the Dome theatre on Notre-Dame, and to create more space for students in the Upper Atrium, new construction is completed and celebrated with an official opening ceremony

November 29, 2007
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Confucius Institute in Quebec

Dawson inaugurates the Confucius Institute in Quebec with partner Beijing Normal University

October 4, 2007
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Marking first anniversary of tragedy

Commemorations of first anniversary of tragic events include a tree-planting on the site of the future Peace Garden, and a commitment to the ideals of peace and nonviolence

September 13, 2007
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Robert Kavanagh is appointed Academic Dean

November 2006
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Tragedy at Dawson

An heavily armed assailant lays siege to the building entrance on De Maisonneuve, and in the Upper Atrium, killing first semester student Anastasia De Sousa, 18, and injuring 16 others

September 13, 2006
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Dawson responds to need for more student space and facilities

Construction of new Theatre and expansion of Upper Atrium begins

June 2006
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Neville Gurudata steps down as Academic Dean after 14 years

June 2006
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Professional development for faculty

To enhance opportunities for faculty to participate in professsional development activities, Dawson creates he Office of Instructional Development

June 2005
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New Office of Program Services

The Office of Program Services is created, regrouping program evaluation, program revision and program development; International Development is also added to the portfolio

June 2005
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Richard Filion named Director General

January 2005
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Dawson’s first strategic plan is adopted, covering the period 2004-2009

June 2004
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Second generation Student Success Action Plan

Included in the Strategic Plan is Dawson’s revised Student Success Action Plan with the aim to raise graduation rates, improve pass and retention rates, job and university placement rates, and support to new students

June 2004
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Patrick Woodsworth steps down as Director General after 13 years

September 2004
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New art gallery to showcase work of students, graduates, faculty and guest artists

The Warren G. Flowers Art Gallery is inaugurated, named for a longstanding Chair of the Board of Governors and longtime supporter of Dawson's visual and applied arts programs

March 14, 2002
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Selby campus sold, ending the chapter on Dawson’s multi-campus history

September 2001
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Office of Institutional Research established

Dawson creates unit to coordinate the collection and dissemination of statistical information for both internal and external reporting purposes with the ability to conduct targeted research

June 2000
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The first Student Success Action Plan is adopted by the Board of Governors

September 2000
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F & H wings opens on Atwater Campus

Completion of F and H wings to house Business Technologies, Social Service and Community Recreation Leadership Training; Selby campus is closed

September 1996
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Neville Gurudata is appointed Academic Dean

June 1, 1993
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Patrick Woodsworth is appointed Director General

September 1991
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The G wing opens on Atwater Campus

The first phase of construction to expand the building at Sherbrooke and Atwater is completed and now houses the visual arts programs

August 1991
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New Dawson campus opens on Sherbrooke Street West at Atwater

Fall 1988
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Gerrard Kelly is appointed as Director General

August 15, 1988
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Career Council created

Career Council is established to share and strategize on issues pertaining to career/technical programs

August 1986
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Patrick Woodsworth is named Academic Dean

May 1, 1986
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A revised Mission Statement is adopted by the Board

April 7, 1986
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Robert Lavery named Director General

July 1, 1984
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Liberal Arts program approved by Senate

September 30, 1982
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Dawson closer to long-held dream of a single campus

The agreement to acquire the property on Sherbrooke and Atwater that belongs to the Sisters of the Congrégation-de-Notre-Dame is signed

August 11, 1982
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Sarah Paltiel appointed Director General

July 1981
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Julia Newell appointed Academic Dean

March 1, 1981
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Dawson adopts first Mission Statement

April 1978
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Ross Paul is named Academic Dean

August 1977
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Dawson Institute of Photography opens, offering courses at 4333 Ste-Catherine campus

Fall 1976
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Grant Brown appointed Academic Dean

August 18, 1975
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Lease for 485 McGill Street signed to serve as Victoria campus

June 25, 1975
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Robert A. (Squee) Gordon is named Director General

January 27, 1975
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Visual arts programs move into newly leased De Lorimier campus

September 1974
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First production at Dome Theatre

April 17, 1974
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First meeting of Senate

November 8, 1973
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New School established, taking up residence at McGregor building

September 1973
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Richelieu and Lafontaine added to Dawson’s campuses

August 1973
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Dome Theatre becomes new home of drama classes

August 1972
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Showmart at Berri turned into Dawson’s gym facilities

May 1972
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4333 Ste. Catherine leased to house Continuing Education

June 1971
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Robert A. (Squee) Gordon is appointed Academic Dean

June 1, 1971
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Academic Council (today’s Senate) meets for the first time

March 31, 1971
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The second incoming class more than doubles in size to 3,513 with 285 full-time teachers

September 28, 1970
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Dawson adds Viger Campus

Dawson signs lease on its second campus on Viger Street, formerly an Hautes Études Commerciales property

June 1970
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Dawson welcomes its first incoming class of 1,655 students with 111 full-time faculty

September 23, 1969
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Dawson gains membership in the Fédération des cégeps

July 1969
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Dawson gets its first campus, on Selby Street in lower Westmount, formerly the Charles E. Frosst building

July 1, 1969
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Louis Sontra is appointed the first Academic Dean of Dawson College

June 23, 1969
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Charles G. Southmayd is named Chair of the Board of Governors

1968
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Paul Gallagher is appointed the first Director General of Dawson College

November 25, 1968
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Frank McLaughlin serves as Chair of the Board of Governors during preparatory phase

1968
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Letters patent granted to create Dawson College

September 3, 1968
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Quebec government passes legislation to create the CEGEP system

1967
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