History of the University
1.2 History of the University of WindsorOn July 1, 1963, the new, non-denominational University of Windsor inherited an educational complex founded in 1857 as Assumption College, developed since 1870 by the Basilian Fathers (the Congregation of St. Basil) and expanded to independent University status in 1953. The transition from an historic Roman Catholic university to a non-denominational institution was unprecedented. This transformation began, in 1956, with the affiliation of Essex College, the first provincially-assisted public institution of higher education.
The new institution included Assumption University as a federated member, which operated residences on campus for men and women and held in abeyance its own degree-granting powers, except in the graduate Faculty of Theology. All of the facilities and teaching faculty of Assumption University were absorbed into the University of Windsor, as were those of its federated, non-denominational Essex College, which ceased to exist as a separate corporation when it joined Assumption in a petition to incorporate the University of Windsor to assume responsibility and control for all academic operations. The President of Assumption University, Rev. E.C. Lebel, CSB, became the first President and Vice-Chancellor of the new University and Dr. F.A. DeMarco, the Principal of Essex College, became the Vice-President.
During the early years, the curriculum consisted of classical and commercial courses which provided a complete high school and Arts program primarily designed to prepare students for theological seminaries, although many alumni entered business and professional spheres. In 1919, Assumption affiliated with Western University, London, Ontario (now the University of Western Ontario), as an integral part of the latter's Faculty of Arts and Science with a broadened curriculum including general and honours courses in Arts and Science leading to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, graduate work in Philosophy leading to the Master of Arts degree, and pre-professional programs such as Pre-engineering, Pre-medicine and Pre-law.
From 1934 to 1962, Holy Names College, conducted by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, provided opportunity in higher education for women, and, when it moved to the campus in 1950, it enabled Assumption to become co-educational. The Sisters then disbanded the College, while continuing to teach at the University, and Assumption took over its women's residence, which was renamed Electa Hall.
In 1956, the College changed its name to Assumption University by an Act of the Ontario Legislature and accepted as an affiliate the non-denominational Essex College, incorporated in 1954, which assumed responsibility for the Faculty of Applied Science, the Schools of Business Administration and Nursing, and the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Geography, Mathematics, and Physics. Holy Redeemer College, the national seminary of the Redemptorist Fathers, located three miles off campus, also affiliated. In 1957, Canterbury College, offering courses in Philosophy, Religious Knowledge and Mediaeval History, became the first Anglican college in the world to affiliate with a Roman Catholic University.
The University of Windsor was incorporated by the Ontario Legislature on December 19, 1962, accepting Assumption University in Federation. During 1963 and 1964, affiliation agreements were made with Holy Redeemer College, Canterbury College and the new Iona College (United Church of Canada).
The University of Windsor assumed control of the campus on July 1, 1963,
and became a member of the International Association of Universities in
1998-: Ross H. Paul, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
©1997 University of Windsor
Although care has been taken in preparing the information in this site the University of Windsor cannot guarantee its accuracy.