Fanshawe College turns 50 with a Saturday night bash at Budweiser Gardens

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Fanshawe College will mark its 50th anniversary with a bash at Budweiser Gardens this Saturday featuring a performance by Barenaked Ladies. In the run-up to the event, The Free Press is publishing 50 facts about the once-puny school that’s booming as it reaches the half-century mark.

1. Roberto Menegoni attended Fanshawe in the early 1980s to study in the Music Industry Arts program. A decade later, he went on tour as a drum technician for a then-unknown band, Barenaked Ladies. He still tours with them as a drum technician, playback technician and percussionist. He’s also worked with Jann Arden, Crash Test Dummies and Billy Bragg.

42. Fanshawe’s faculty has gone on strike three times, 1984, 1989 and 2006. The school’s support staff went on strike in 1979 and 2011.

43. The school’s well-known Four-F logo was first used in 1981. It was picked from more than 100 entries to a school-symbol contest. A more stylized version of the logo has been in use since 2014.

44. Fanshawe programs were often geared to the surrounding community. In Woodstock, a course called farm business management was offered. In Simcoe, a program like it was developed specifically for tobacco farmers.

45. The St. Thomas-based Railway City Brewing micro-brewery is selling a beer to mark Fanshawe’s anniversary, Legacy Lager.

46. According to the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Asteroid No. 21375 is named ‘Fanshawe.’ The moniker was suggested by a tandem that includes Peter Jedicke, a teacher at the college. (Its orbit is the “main belt.”)

47. School officials say 87% of Fanshawe alumni find work within six months of graduating.

48. It’s hard to imagine Fanshawe’s main campus anywhere else. But before it was built, a spot under consideration was the southeast corner of Commissioners and Wellington roads, which is now home to Parkwood hospital.

49. The number of international students attending Fanshawe has jumped by 178 per cent since 2010.

50. A Distinguished Alumni award was handed in 2015 to Cheryl Hickey, a 1996 graduate of the Broadcast Journalism program. She’s spent the past 12 years as host of Entertainment Tonight Canada.

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