This Week in History
The Queen's University
For the week of Monday March 5, 2007
On March 7, 1842, the first session of classes began at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, with only two professors and 10 students. A royal charter of October 16, 1841, established this Presbyterian college, a namesake of Queen Victoria, which would become a world-class institution.
However, the university survived. This was largely due to Principal William Snodgrass, who revitalized the school after its financial devastation. It was under Snodgrass’ administration (1864-77) that women were first admitted to Queen’s. He also instituted an extended curriculum that incorporated studies of English literature and modern languages.
By 1927, the university was making remarkable strides, becoming the first Canadian university to be awarded a research grant from the (American) Social Science Research Council. The grant supported a ground-breaking study of Canadian business history. This feat has been attributed as the legacy of Professor Adam Shortt, a graduate of Queen’s, who joined that university’s faculty in the 1870s, to establish the departments of economics, political science and Canadian history.
In the 1960s, the university further expanded to include departments of music and public administration and a faculty of education.
Educator, writer and foresighted principal of Queen’s University, George Monro Grant was designated a National Historic Person in 1937. The founding of Queen’s University was declared a National Historic Event in 1991.
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