Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 1 - Chapter XVI Schools and Education
The principal State
institutions of education in Alberta are the Public Schools, the Normal
Schools, the Provincial University, the Schools of Agriculture and the
Institute of Technology.
The first educational
institutions of the Province of Alberta, as well as of the North West
Territories, were the mission schools of the Roman Catholic Church and
the various denominational schools of the Protestant Churches. For many
years these schools, always situated in unorganized districts, were
granted $100 per quarter by the Territorial Government. The organization
of the North West Territories gave an opportunity to the people to raise
a demand for public schools. As pointed out before in these pages, there
was a constitutional barrier that the North-West Council had no power to
impose direct taxation except in electoral districts. Consequently, upon
petition of the North-West Council, the Federal Government by
Order-in-Council November 4, 1879, granted $4,000 in aid of schools in
the North West Territories. This money was distributed as follows:
One-half the teacher's salary was paid in every school that had a
minimum daily attendance of fifteen pupils, and the balance was given
towards the erection of school buildings. According to the Lieutenant-
Governor's report for 1884, there were seventeen Protestant and eleven
Roman Catholic schools receiving aid in this way.
In 1884 the North-Wet
Council passed the first School Ordinance of the North West Territories,
and established the basic structure of our public school system. A bill
to establish Public and separate schools was introduced during the
session of 1883 by Mr. Frank Oliver, of Edmonton, but (lid not reach its
final stage before the prorogation of the Council. The Act of 1884 was
drawn along the same lines as Mr. Oliver's Bill of 1883. It provided for
the erection of a school district by proclamation of the
Lieutenant-Governor upon receipt of returns showing that a majority of
the qualified voters in any area of not more than thirty-six square
miles voted in favor of establishing a school therein. Immediately there
was a great increase in the number of schools, the Lieutenant-Governor's
report for 1885 showing that there were forty-eight Protestant public
schools, ten Roman Catholic schools and one Roman Catholic separate
school in the North West Territories
This Ordinance was
repealed in 1885, and a new one passed providing for a Board of
Education to administer the school law. The new Ordinance went into
effect April 1, 1886. The Board of Education consisted of two Protestant
and two Roman Catholic members, presided over by the Lieutenant-Governor
of the North West Territories. The first Board consisted of Hon. Edgar
Dewdney, Chairman; Mr. John Secord and Mr. Charles Marshailsay, of the
North-West Council, Protestant members, and Mr. Chas. B. Rouleau,
stipendiary magistrate and ex-officio member of the North-West Council
and Mr. A. E. Forget, Roman Catholic members. Mr. James Brown was the
first Secretary and held the position for many years. Mr. Forget was
succeeded a few months after his appointment by Rev. Father Albert
Lacombe, O. M. I.
Regular meetings of the
Board were held twice a year at Regina, the first being held March 11,
1886. Under this Ordinance there were actually two classes of schools,
Protestant and Roman Catholic schools, with two classes of inspectors
and two different sets of textbooks. In many districts the inspectors
were clergymen of the various religious denominations. Within the
boundaries of Alberta the following inspectors were appointed at the
first meeting of the Board of Education: Rev. John McLean for the
Protestant schools of Calgary and Macleod Districts; Mr. J. W. Costello
for the Roman Catholic schools of Calgary and Macleod Districts; Rev. A.
B. Baird for the Protestant schools of the Edmonton District and Rev.
Father Lestanc for the Roman Catholic schools of the Edmonton District.
Before the Board, as constituted under this Ordinance, was abolished in
1892, the following members served terms at different periods: The Right
Rev. Cyprian Pinkham, Bishop of the Anglican diocese of Calgary; Hon. E.
L. Wetmore of the Supreme Court of the North West Territories; Rev. A.
B. Baird, Presbyterian Minister, Edmonton; Rev. John McLean, Methodist
minister, Macleod; Rev. Father Leduc, O. M. I., Edmonton.
Among the inspectors
were: Rev. Henry Grandin, O. M. I., afterwards Bishop of the Roman
Catholic diocese of St. Albert; Rev. Charles McKillop, Presbyterian
minister, Lethbridge; and Rev. D. G. McQueen, Presbyterian minister,
The new Board quickly
addressed itself to the problems of higher education and training
schools for teachers. In 1886 and 1887 requests were forwarded through
the Lieutenant-Governor to the federal government for grants towards
high schools and a central training school. The reply of the federal
government was that it was undesirable to make such grants until the
wants of the common schools were met. In 1889 the Board pressed upon the
attention of the federal government the necessity for university land
grants in each of the provisional districts of Alberta, Assiniboia and
Saskatchewan, but nothing came of the suggestion. The difficulty in the
way of establishing high schools and training schools was met by the
organization of union schools; that is, where there were two or more
adjacent schools with an aggregate daily attendance of 60 pupils, where
not less than three teachers were employed, and where not less than 15
pupils from such schools had passed the High School Entrance
Examination, the trustees were to furnish accommodation and apparatus
for a high school course and the Board of Education might thereupon
authorize the establishment of a Normal department. The principals of
the union schools were assisted in the Normal teaching by the
The first examination for
teachers was held at various places in the Territories in January, 1887.
Thirty-five candidates presented themselves, of whom twelve were granted
certificates. The first Board of Examiners were Rev. F. W. Pedley, St.
John's College, Qu'Appelle, and Rev. Father Hugonard, Industrial School,
The Board of Education
always kept before it the necessity of a University and in January,
1891, invited all the graduates residing in the North West Territories
to meet at Regina to consider the advisability of organizing a
University, drafting an Ordinance to give effect to the project.
In 1892 the Board of
Education was replaced by the Council of Public Instruction, composed of
the members of the Executive Committee of the Legislative Assembly with
four appointed members, two Protestant and two Roman Catholic members to
act in an advisory capacity only. The appointed members were: His
Lordship the Bishop of Saskatchewan and Calgary; Rev. Father Caron,
Regina; Mr. A. E. Forget, Regina; and Principal Smith of Moosomin.
In 1893 Dr. Goggin,
formerly principal of Manitoba Normal School, was appointed
Superintendent of Education for the North West Territories and principal
of the new Normal school at Regina. Under the new superintendent the
school system of the Territories rapidly expanded and improved,
comparing favorably with the standards of the older Provinces of the
Dominion. During the next ten years the number of schools increased from
262 to 917, and the number of pupils from 8,200 to 41,000.
More advanced legislation
was embodied in the School Ordinance, the School Assessment Ordinance,
and the School Grants Ordinance of 1901. The Council of Public
Instruction was superseded by the Educational Council, presided over by
a Commissioner, who was a member of the Executive Council, consisting of
five persons, two of whom were to be Roman Catholics. The first
Commissioner of Education was Hon. F. W. G. Haultab. The Council had
control, subject to the legislature, of regulations respecting
inspection of schools, training of teachers, licensing of teachers,
courses of study, textbooks and similar matters. These Ordinances with
amendments made thereto from time to time, prior and subsequent to the
formation of the Province of Alberta, constitute the school law at the
While the organization of
school districts is, as a rule, taken upon the initiative of the
residents of the districts, provision is made whereby the Minister of
Education may, under certain conditions and on his own initiative,
establish a school district. In this way, school facilities may be
provided where required, even in the face of any indifference or open
opposition which may exist with respect to school organization. The
central authority may even go further, and in case of the failure of a
district to elect trustees, or in the case of failure of the trustees so
elected to provide for the operation of a school, as required by the
School Act and Regulations, the Minister may appoint an official trustee
who immediately assumes all the authority of a School Board and its
officers, and carries on the affairs of the district under the direction
of the Department of Education. Such a course, however, is almost
unknown in practice, as the people of the Province, with rare
exceptions, are most enthusiastic in support of the best educational
facilities that can be procured. In support of this statement it may be
stated that though the School Ordinances have always provided for a poll
on debenture by-laws when demanded, over 99 per cent of the amount
raised by debentures for school buildings have been authorized without
the formality of a poll.
The schools are
maintained by a revenue derived partly from a moderate self-imposed tax
and partly by liberal legislative grants made from the School Lands Fund
and from the Provincial revenues. The basis upon which grants are
calculated are such as to encourage the engagement of the highest grade
of teachers, to encourage the regularity of the attendance of pupils
throughout the year, and to encourage the operation of our schools
throughout the entire school year. Additional grants are based on the
grading made by the inspectors with regard to school grounds, buildings,
equipment and progress. At least half of this additional grant must be
expended in the purchase of books for school libraries, such books to be
selected from a catalogue authorized and furnished by the Department. As
a result the nucleus of a school library may be found in the most remote
rural school, and a very creditable library will be found in every
school which has been some years in operation.
In the Alberta school
system all grades, both primary and secondary, are included under the
term "Public Schools." Thus the same Board of Trustees controls the
primary and secondary schools. The course of studies is so formulated as
to give the child whose education ends with the elementary school
grades, an equipment for life as practical and complete as possible. It
also provides, however, that those proceeding to the secondary grades do
so almost unconsciously, the Public School Leaving being merely a
promotion from Grade VIIIthe highest grade in the primary schoolsto
Grade IXthe beginners' class in the secondary schools.
Attendance at the public
school is compulsory upon all children of school age. Formerly the age
limit in this respect was 14 years, but in 1918 the School Law was
amended, raising the compulsory age limit to 15 years.
Under the existing school
law there is a provision whereby the minority of the ratepayers in an
established school district, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, may
establish a separate school, the boundaries of which must coincide with
the boundaries of the Public school district within which it is
established. The school operated by such minority is maintained by such
assessments as they impose upon themselves, together with the
legislative grant estimated on the same basis as in the case of the
public schools. The regulations, however, provide for uniformity in the
system of inspection of schools and examination, training and licensing
of teachers. Separate schools in Alberta are not denominational schools.
Provision was made in the North West Territories' Act of 1875 for
separate schools. But, as pointed out in a previous chapter, these
privileges enjoyed by the Roman Catholic minority were restricted by the
Ordinances of the Legislative Assembly in 192 and 1901 and every vestige
of ecclesiasticism was eleminated from the school system of the North
During the last few years
there has grown up within the Province a strong popular demand for
advancement in education. Such a demand or movement is one of the
numerous results of the war, but it is also due to the increase of
wealth and comfort among the people as well as the growing conviction
that the progress and good government of the state depends upon an
educated body of citizens. It is expressed in a rapid increase increase
in the number of pupils in the secondary, or high schools, in new forms
of organization of rural schools, in the extension of high school
facilities to rural districts, and in the establishment of schools for
vocational and higher technical instruction. The school program under
the influence of the movement to make the education of the child a
development of mind and body has been extended to include medical and
health services by means of school and public health nurses, school
clinics, night schools in rural districts, continuation classes,
accelerated classes for unusually bright pupils, sub-normal classes for
tardy pupils, and other special activities to supplement the
fundamentals of a complete elementary education. These new activities
have developed rapidly in the city schools of the Province, which have
reached a high state of efficiency in Art, Manual Training, Music,
Physical Training and Household Arts. The counterpart of this work in
the country is the School Fair, which is doing much to inculcate an
appreciation of the beauty, dignity and importance of rural life.
About 1912 the Department
of Education of Alberta began to foster the organization of Consolidated
Schools, and at the present time there are 69 Consolidated School
Districts in the Province, which have included 219 original public
school districts within their respective boundaries. New legislation in
1912 under the Secondary Consolidated School Act provided for the union
of several rural public school districts for High School purposes only,
no provision being made for the conveyance of pupils. Under this law
special grants are made to these schools to assist in meeting the extra
cost of operation. Since 1920 the Government has encouraged the erection
of two-roomed schools in rural districts where the enrolment exceeds
sixty pupils, giving a grant of $3.00 per day for the senior room, and
if high school subjects are taught, $3.50 per day, as well as the usual
$1.00 per day for the junior room.
One of the big problems
of the Department of Education for the past years has been finding a
supply of Properly trained teachers for rural schools. In 1906 a Normal
School was established at Calgary and a second in 1912 at Camrose.
Notwithstanding such facilities it was impossible to find sufficient
teachers to take charge of all the schools.
For the first ten years
after the creation of the Province, the number of school districts
increased from 716 to 2,478. Owing to favorable econornic conditions
incident to the rapid expansion in a new country, the ranks of the
teaching profession were steadily depleted. During the war the shortage
of teachers became gravely acute. A large percentage of the male
teachers joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces for service overseas,
while many of the female teachers joined the Voluntary Aid Detachments
and other auxiliary war services. The shortage approximated 1,600
teachers at the worst period. It became necessary to grant permits to
University students and high school students of Grades XI and XII.
In the face of this
shortage the Department of Education decided to extend the length of the
Normal School Course from four months to eight months, and at the same
time raised the minimum non-professional requirements for admission to
the Normal Schools to Grade XI. Anticipating that the effect of such
regulations would be to reduce the number of students entering the
teachers' training schools, a survey was made of the High Schools to
ascertain the number of students in these schools proceeding for
teachers' certificates. The survey revealed a serious shortage of
teachers in the immediate future. The Department therefore inaugurated a
loan policy for students attending the Normal School, and thus succeeded
in attracting a large number of young men and women to the teaching
At the beginning of 1920
an emergency training course was opened at Edmonton to provide a supply
of teachers during the transition period from the short to the long
term. These emergency certificates were valid until January 1st, 1922.
This emergency course developed into a complete normal course, making
three institutions for the training of teachers in the Province. The
swing of economic forces has reversed the conditions created by the war
and by the period of rapid growth preceding that catastrophe and the
problem of teacher supply ceases to concern the Department of Education
Since 1913 the teachers'
training has been supplemented by Annual Summer Schools held at the
University of Alberta during the summer holidays. These classes are not
compulsory, but, notwithstanding this fact, the attendance increases
Four types of
certificates are issued in Alberta, namely: Professional, Interim,
Temporary and Provisional. Certificates are also graded according to the
academic standing of the teacher. These are as follows: Academic granted
to persons who are graduates of recognized Universities; First Class to
persons who hold Grade XII academic standing; Second Class to persons
who hold Grade XI academic standing; training for Third Class
certificates has not been given in Alberta for several years, but
teachers coming to Alberta from elsewhere may be granted this standing
until they qualify for the higher grades of certificate.
The Alberta Government
recognized from the first the difficulty that non-English settlers had
in establishing public schools and conforming to the law set forth in
the school ordinance which makes it compulsory that all children of
school age shall be sent to school and that all instruction shall be in
the English language. In order to assist these people in overcoming the
difficulty, the Government appointed a Supervisor of Foreign Schools.
This officer organized the settlements into school districts, acted as
official trustee where needed and in this capacity performed the duties
of a Board of Trustees and its officers until the settlers understood
the working of the school law.
For several years a
school for teaching non-English settlers the English language, Canadian
history, geography, and other subjects, was maintained at Vegreville.
This institution, while it existed, was attended principally by young
men above school age. In 1919 it was discontinued, and night classes for
adults were established in centres where foreigners were settled. A
special inspector was appointed to supervise the work of education among
New Canadians, who co-operates with the district inspector, wherever
such schools are situated.
In 1914 Dr. James C.
Miller was appointed to make a survey of the Province to determine a
general Provincial policy on technical education. The survey covered the
Public and High Schools, training of teachers, prevocational classes,
vocational classes, night school instruction and higher technical
instruction. Towards the end of that year the University Commission
reported in favor of utilizing the proposed University of Calgary for
purposes of higher technical education, and called the new institution
the Provincial Institute of Technology. Dr. Miller was appointed
Provincial Director of Technical Education, but before any progress was
made the serious nature of the war became apparent and the establishment
of a system of technical education was retarded for some years.
The war, however, in
Alberta as in all the other Provinces of Canada, stimulated a great
interest in technical education. The Provincial Government aided the
schools that provided technical training by giving them special grants
varying from $200 to $1,500.
Mining schools were
opened in 1916 in the large mining centres of the Province and operated
under the direction of the Institute of Technology. Night schools were
opened in the cities and in many of the towns. All these measures became
necessary to maintain a trained labor supply due to the depletion of the
man power of the Province on account of the war.
The Dominion Government,
through the Technical Education Act of 1919, gave generous grants to all
the Provinces of Canada for the promotion of industrial and technical
education, under which Alberta received the sum of 841,832 in 1920, and
the sum of 847,050 in 1921. Such grants were made on the condition that
the Province would spend at least an equal amount for this purpose.
The result in Alberta has
been a rapid and satisfactory growth in the field of vocational and
technical education. At the end of June, 1921, there were 2,069 students
receiving vocational instruction under the authority of local school
boards in twenty-one cities and towns. Of this number 1,479 were
students in the three cities, Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge, and 227
of the latter number were students in the Institute of Technology.
Schools were established in 1913 at Olds, Claresholm and Vermilion, in
connection with the Government Demonstration Farms at these points. They
were established for training boys and girls for scientific farm work.
The curriculum includes preparatory teaching for untrained young men and
women to enable them to receive instruction in the subjects relating to
agricultural science. The term is for two years. A diploma qualifies the
holder to enter the University, to proceed to the Degree of Bachelor of
Science and Agriculture. These schools became very popular and three
more were established in 1920, namely, at Youngstown, Gleichen and
Raymond. But owing to the financial depression of 1921 and 1922, these
last-mentioned have been closed for the time being and until conditions
The Schools of
Agriculture are under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Agriculture,
while all other schools and educational institutions are under the
Minister of Education.
Notwithstanding the ample
provision made by the Province for education, there are several private
schools, mostly denominational. Two of these institutionsWestward Ho
School for Boys, Edmonton, and Western Canada College, Calgaryare
modelled after the English Public Schools. The remainder of the
following list are maintained by the religious denominations interested:
Mount Royal College,
St. Hilda's College, Calgary.
Ambleside School, Calgary.
St. Theresa's Academy, Medicine Hat.
Raymond Academy, Raymond.
Seventh Day Adventists Academy, Lacombe.
Ruthenian Monastery, Mundare.
Montessori School, Calgary.
Mountain School, Banff.
Youville Convent, St. Albert.
Notre Dame Convent, Morinville.
Canadian Junior College, Lacombe.
Private though these
schools are, the courses of study and general training given are closely
watched by the Government of the Province through the Department of
Mention has been made
already of the attempt to establish a University for the North West
Territories in 1891, and mention might be made of the Act passed by the
Dominion Parliament in 1883, through the influence of Bishop McLean, to
incorporate the University of Saskatchewan, but which was never carried
out. In 1903 the Legislative Assembly passed an ordinance incorporating
the University of the North West Territories. Owing to numerous
applications from different denominational bodies to the Assembly of the
North West Territories for the incorporation of Colleges with power to
grant degrees, the Hon. F. W. G. Haultain introduced a bill that passed
the Assembly, providing for the establishment of one Universitythe
University of the North West Territoriesto prevent the evils of
sectional competition among educational institutions for power to grant
Nothing was done,
however, in effecting the organization of the University before the
formation of Alberta and Saskatchewan into separate Provinces. But in
the first session of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, in 1906, Hon.
A. C. Rutherford, Premier and Minister of Education, following the
policy of Mr. Haultain, introduced a bill providing for the
incorporation and establishment of the University of Alberta.
The Act became effective
in 1907 by an amendment authorizing the Government to appoint a
President and to proceed with the organization of the University. Dr.
Henry Marshall Tory, of McGill University, assumed the duties of
President on January 1st, 1908. Voting for the first Senate by the
members of the Convocation on March 18th, 1908, and im- mediately the
Government appointed its representatives to that body, as provided by
the Act of incorporation. Hon. C. A. Stuart was elected Chancellor and
the first Senate meeting was held on March 30th. A faculty of Arts and
Sciences was established and the President authorized to engage four
professors to prepare for opening classes in the following September. On
September 23rd, the University commenced teaching in the rooms of one of
the public schools in the then City of Strathcona, the place chosen by
the Government of the Province in the previous year for the location of
the University. The registration was forty-five students.
At the second session of
the Legislature, 1910, the Legislation of 1906 was repealed, and a new
University Act passed embodying important changes in the organization.
The financial and administrative functions were separated from the
academic functions, the former deputed to a Board of Governors,
appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, and the latter to the
Senate, which consists of ten members elected by convocation, and
certain ex-officio members stipulated in the Act.
The first building,
Athabaska Hall, on the University Campus, was completed in July, 1911,
and here the fourth session of the University began. A new building,
Assiniboia Hall, was completed in 1913. A third building, Pembina hall,
was completed in time for the opening in 1914. These buildings are now
used as University residences.
The contract for the main
teaching building, the Arts Building of the University, was let in
December, 1913. It is a fine structure in the neoclassic style, and was
completed in 1915. During the period of the war, building was suspended.
But in 1919 building commenced again to keep pace with wonderful
expansion of the work of the University and the popular demands made for
its services. A Civil Engineering unit was added that year. In 1920 work
was commenced and completed in the following year, on the Medical
Buildinga splendid structure in architectural harmony with the Arts
Building close by.
The Faculty of Law was
established in 1912 and enlarged into a School of Law in 1922.
Civil Engineering was
separated from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1913, and constituted
a separate faculty. In the same year the Faculty of Medicine was
organized, providing for three years' training out of a course of five
years, the fourth and fifth years to be completed at approved
Universities in Eastern Canada. In 1922 the University acquired one of
the Municipal hospitals of the City of Edmonton, which by an agreement
executed in 1913 between the City and the University, had been built on
the University Grounds, and thus completed its equipment for giving a
full course in Medicine. The course has been extended to six years.
The Faculty of
Agriculture was established in 1915. A large portion of the University
Park was set aside for farm buildings and experimental plots. Land
adjacent to the University Park has been acquired to meet the needs of
this important department of the work of the University. This Faculty is
more closely related to the fundamental industry of the Province than
any other in the whole institution. Successful experiments have been
carried on under Dean Howes and Professor Cutler for a number of years
in developing new varieties of cereal grains, clovers and corn
particularly adapted to the soil, climate and moisture conditions of
A Faculty of Commerce,
and a Faculty of Agricultural Engineering were established in 1921, and
in the same year the Faculty of Law was enlarged to a School of Law.
Since 1912 the University
has conducted an Extension Department which provides many of the
benefits of the University for the people of the towns, villages and
rural districts remote from the capital. This department provides
lecturers, briefs on all kinds of useful subjects, supplies material for
debating clubs and literary societies. Under its auspices, high school
debating leagues have been organized in the principal High Schools of
the Provinces, which have stimulated a remarkable interest in the
discussion of academic questions, current problems, in argumentation and
In conformity with the
general policy of the Provincial University of controlling degree
conferring powers, provision has been made by the Act, through the
Senate, for the affiliation of any institution or college established to
promote the teaching of useful knowledge. Such institutions may present
students for examinations leading to a degree in the University, and
upon passing the same tests as are required by the University are
entitled to a degree. On this basis the Medical Association, Dental
Association, Architects' Association, Chartered Accountants'
Association, Osteopathic Association, Alberta Law Society, and the
Alberta Land Surveyors' Association have all been brought under the
control of the University. Three of the principal religious
denominations are affiliated with the University, namely: Alberta
College South, the theological school of the Methodist Church in
Alberta, in 1908; Robertson College, the theological college of the
Presbyterian Church in Alberta, founded by the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church in Canada, in 1910; St. Aidan's College, operating
under the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, by resolution of
the Senate, May 15th, 1919.
Under the regulations of
the Senate several preparatory schools and colleges which send students
up for the matriculation examinations of the University are affiliated
with the University. At the present time the list includes:
Western Canada College,
Alberta College, Edmonton.
Mount Royal College, Calgary.
Alberta College (North), Edmonton.
The University School, Calgary.
Llanarthey School for Girls, Edmonton.
The location of the
University of Alberta at Strathcona (now united with Edmonton) led to a
strong movement in the City of Calgary for the establishment of a
University in that city. A petition on behalf of certain citizens of
Calgary was presented to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in 1910
praying for the incorporation of a University at Calgary. The charter
proposed for the new University was in all essential features a copy of
that granted to the Provincial University. In response to the petition
the Assembly passed an Act incorporating the Calgary College, but
withheld the power of granting degrees and the power to control ex
aminations governing admission to the learned professions.
University status was made on behalf of the Calgary College in 1911 and
again in 1913. Decisive action was postponed until a report was prepared
by the University Commission, which consisted of President Falconer of
the University of Toronto, President Murray of the University of
Saskatchewan, and President MacKenzie of Dalhousie University. The
Commission made a careful study of the whole University problem in
Alberta, and finally decided along the principles expressed by Haultain
and Rutherford years before, but recommended the establishment of an
Institute of Technology and Art for the City of Calgary, with power to
grant certificates and diplomas in technological subjects, and that the
Institute be supported and controlled jointly by the City of Calgary and
During the time that the
agitation for a University in the City of Calgary was in progress,
Calgary College was organized with a Board of Governors, Dr. T. H. Blow,
Chairman, and W. T. Tregillus, Secretary. A small staff of instructors
and lecturers were appointed, and over a quarter of a million was
subscribed by wealthy citizens, and a gift of 575 acres of land was
made, while the city corporation agreed to provide $150,000 for a
building. The war intervened and the college was abandoned.
Following out the
recommendation of the University Commission, the Government of the
Province proceeded with the organization of the Institute of Technology.
During the war the building and staff of the Institute were loaned to
the Federal Government for retraining ex-service men by the Soldiers'
Civic Re-establishment Service. In October, 1920, the Institute was
returned to the Province. Meanwhile a new and more suitable building had
been in the course of construction. This building was completed in 1923,
and Mr. W. G. Carpenter, Superintendent of Schools, Edmonton, was
appointed first principal in November of the same year.
The growth of the
University of Alberta has been one of the outstanding movements in the
history of the Province. Commencing in 1908, as has been previously
pointed out, with 45 students and four professors, the registration in
1914 had increased to 400 students, with 17 professors and 26 lecturers.
Today the registration is over 1,300 students, and the teaching staff
consists of 100 professors and lecturers. In numbers and influence it
ranks as one of the foremost institutions of learning in the Dominion of
Canada, and has gained a high reputation in the United States. It has
been recognized by the Rockefeller Foundation as worthy to participate
in the funds administered by the Foundation for the promotion of better
medical training, to the amount of $500,000.
The University has been
generously supported by the people through the Legislative Assembly, and
ably organized by President Tory. On its professorial staff are
scientists of international repute. Dr. J. B. Collip, of the staff of
the Medical Faculty, shares with Professor Macleod, Dr. Banting and Dr.
Best, of the University of Toronto, the honor of participating in the
Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1923, for the discovery of insulinthe first
Canadians to win this preeminent distinction.
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