Lakehead University is a public research university with campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Lakehead University, shortened to 'Lakehead U', or 'LU', is non-denominational and provincially supported. It has undergraduate programs, graduate programs and is home to the western campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
Lakehead Technical Institute was established in 1946 in response to a brief outlining the need for an institution of higher education in northwestern Ontario. Lakehead University evolved from Lakehead Technical Institute (founded 1946) and Lakehead College of Arts, Science, and Technology (founded 1957). Lakehead Technical Institute was established on June 4, 1946, by an Order-in-Council of the Province of Ontario. Classes commenced in January 1948, in temporary rented quarters in downtown Port Arthur.
In September of that same year, the first university courses were added to the curriculum. The school has more than 45,000 alumni. The main campus in Thunder Bay has more than 7,900 students. As of September 2006, a new permanent extension campus in Orillia, located about 150 km north of Toronto, has more than 1,100 students.