Community Report Highlights Trent’s Contributions and Impact in the Peterborough Region

community-report-whistle stopEach year, Trent University has an estimated economic impact of nearly $500M on the regional economies in which it operates – this is just one of the many facts and stories highlighting the relationship between Trent and the Peterborough region, showcased in Trent University’s 2016 Report to the Community, released at a special event at the Whistle Stop Café.

The report indicates overwhelming contributions from Trent alumni in the both the Peterborough and Durham communities, and across the globe. With over 45,000 alumni living and working in 126 countries, alumni impact spans internationally, while 36,000 live across Canada. In Southern Ontario, 23,500 alumni provide $1.77 billion worth of labour, and over 9,000 alumni live and work in the Peterborough area.

The report also highlights the local economic contributions of Trent students. Each year, students spend more than $100M in the region, generating an estimated $200M in economic impact, while providing approximately 620,000 hours of part-time labour during the academic year.

“We are very proud of the strong, multi-pronged relationships between the region and Trent University. We rely on, and benefit from, a strong community, and the community benefits from a strong Trent,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor, Trent University. “Our Community Report highlights stories our neighbours might not have heard about, like the award-winning research happening right here in Peterborough, or the cultural impact of our students, faculty and staff.”

“The TrentU Card has really marked a change in our business and we’ve seen sales increase as a direct result,” said Peggy Shaughnessy, owner of Whistle Stop Café, one of the inaugural partners of the program, and a Trent Ph.D. student. “The TrentU Card is an excellent partnership between the University and the downtown business community. I’m happy to see the program has been successful and is growing. We all benefit from seeing the students in the community.

Trent’s community impact extends beyond economic development. The newly created Trent Community Leadership Award is presented annually to a faculty member and a staff member who are exceptional leaders and volunteers in the Peterborough and Durham regions. Mary-Jane Pilgrim, coordinator of Trent Online, and Ann MacLeod of the Trent Fleming School of Nursing faculty were recognized earlier this year for their community contributions, after being nominated by members of the Peterborough community.

The Trent Talks: High School Edition is another avenue of community involvement by the University and its faculty. This series of talks in local high schools celebrates the community partnerships that have allowed Trent to grow into the dynamic institution it is today. These talks are a way for the University to give back to our community by sharing Trent’s passion for research, teaching, and learning. Faculty, graduate students and staff have volunteered to attend area schools, partner with a classroom teacher, and engage with students to talk about their research, while contributing to the course’s curriculum. This innovative program was recently recognized with a silver medal for Best Community Initiative at the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education’s 2016 Prix D’Excellence Awards.

In addition to being one of the region’s largest employers, Trent’s faculty, staff and students impact Peterborough culturally and socially. Over the past year, Trent hosted more than 170 lectures and public events through the Trent Idea Exchange, and welcomed 1,600 children to sports and academic camps. Trent staff and faculty volunteer their time and talent to more than 250 local organizations, teams, clubs and groups.

The Community Report is available online here, or can be requested as a hardcopy by emailing

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