September highlights in the history of the University of Regina

By Dale Johnson Posted: September 19, 2016 9:00 a.m.

During the 1970s, enrolment increased and orientation week was expanded and enhanced.
During the 1970s, enrolment increased and orientation week was expanded and enhanced. Photo: U of R Archives and Special Collections, Brigdens Photo/Graphics Ltd.

September is considered the start of a new academic year, and for most students September marks the beginning of their academic careers.

Among the historical highlights during the month of September:
1949: The Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Headley Auld, urges people in Regina to patronize Regina College. Speaking at a Rotary luncheon at the Hotel Saskatchewan Dr. Auld “emphasized that the college is a service to the people of Regina,” the Leader-Post reported. He said first year courses in commerce and engineering had been added at Regina College in the previous two years and “continuance of this broad program of instruction is more dependent upon its patronage by Regina people.”

1953: Regina Campus principal Dr. W.A. Riddell writes in an editorial in the Leader-Post: “The Regina College stands in this community to serve it in any way possible consistent with the ideals of education. It offers the first year of all university courses except that in agriculture, it offers instruction in art and music, it offers opportunities for the people of this city to enjoy the further pursuit of knowledge or seek the appreciation of the arts. It stands ready to consider special needs at any time and aims to become Your Community College.”

1957: There is record high enrolment at Regina College, with 48 more students than to previous year, bringing the total to 254 students. “It is expected that final figures will show about 265 students – enough to stretch the college’s limited lab facilities to the limit,” the Leader-Post reports.

1964: An editorial in the Leader-Post says: “Those who had qualms about the establishment of the Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan will have had all doubts removed by the fact that the enrolment each year has been increasing beyond even the most optimistic expectations.”

1965: The new Regina Campus of the University of Saskatchewan opens for the first fall semester. Construction work had begun in 1963 on the Classroom Building, the Laboratory Building and the lecture theatres. Although some classes were offered in the summer, September 1965 marked the launch of regular classes at the new campus.

1969: Enrolment at Regina Campus reaches 4,352 students. The president of the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. J. W. T. Spinks, says the province will likely require a third university campus in about 15 years, following comments by University Chancellor and former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, who called for the construction a third campus in Prince Albert.

1973: After three years of declining enrolments, the numbers of students increased to 3,593 – which was 58 more than the previous September.

1975: Orientation week is enhanced, with more entertainment and information than in previous years.  
“Recognizing that the news students need some help in finding their way around the campus, the students union as provided a massive information and events package this year,” the Leader-Post reports.  Activities include plays in the AdHum Pit; film night at Campion College; a night-time pool swim; a karate club demonstration; a barbeque at Willow Island; a pancake breakfast; a lunch time jazz concert at Campion; a wine and cheese party and dance at Luther College; a beer festival; an arts and crafts festival; and a wind-up concert with southern blues duo Sonny Terri and Brownie McGhee.

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