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FLASHBACK: October highlights in the history of the University of Regina

By Dale Johnson Posted: October 7, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Premier Ross Thatcher cuts the ribbon at the Classroom Building to mark the official opening of the new campus on Oct. 8, 1965.
Premier Ross Thatcher cuts the ribbon at the Classroom Building to mark the official opening of the new campus on Oct. 8, 1965. Photo: U of R Archives and Special Collections

October marks the halfway point of the semester, and among the historical highlights during the month of October:
1949:  “Regina College outlook better” the Leader-Post reports. After facing some financial challenges which “prompted the board of governors to seriously consider withdrawing the commerce and engineering courses from the Regina College curriculum and closing the boys’ and girls’ residences” the courses are continued following protests. The number of students in residence increases to 70 from 50 the previous year. Attendance is 184, which is down from 190 a year earlier. “The fact the enrolment total continued at the same level, instead of reflecting the slump felt elsewhere, could be traced to the promotional campaign undertaken by Regina College this spring and summer…faculty members of Regina College personally canvassed schools to publicize advantages offered there,” the Leader-Post reports.

1961:  Dean W. A. Riddell, principal of Regina Campus, predicts that by 1985, enrolment will reach 5,000. Riddell recalls that when he was named dean in 1950, there were 150 students.

1962:  There now are 881 students at Regina Campus, an increase from 678 students the previous year. More than half the students – 450 – are registered in arts and science.

1963:  A committee of the Canadian Union of Students is organized at Regina Campus. One goal is to set up a bookstore to replace the one run by the administration, and offer “the sale of good books and records,” according to an organizer quoted in the Leader-Post.
1965:  The grand opening of the new Regina Campus is held on Oct. 8, as about 400 people turn out to watch Premier Ross Thatcher cut the ribbon to the main door to the Classroom Building. The Leader-Post reports: “It was a gala occasion with crowds, bands and traditional ceremonies...Representatives of government, the university and community celebrated together the opening of the new campus, the first of its new buildings and a new chapter in the university’s history.”

1972:  Engineering students present a brief to a government commission recommending that a full four-year Bachelor of Applied Science degree program be offered at Regina Campus. More than 200 of the 250 engineering students turn out for the public hearing. The brief also emphasizes the value of the co-op engineering program in Regina, suggesting that the co-op program produces better trained and more mature engineering students than programs which give students no practical experience in industry.

1976:  The University of Regina senate approves to new programs: a master of administration, and a graduate program in sociology and social studies.

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