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

By Dale Johnson Posted: September 28, 2017 6:00 a.m.

The Watergate scandal in the U.S. that  “restored the image of journalists” was the inspiration for the U of R’s acclaimed School of Journalism.
The Watergate scandal in the U.S. that “restored the image of journalists” was the inspiration for the U of R’s acclaimed School of Journalism. U of R Photography

Among the historical highlights during the month of September:
1952:  In an editorial the Leader-Post praises Regina College, saying: “The compact college on its attractive campus is a far cry from the sprawling impersonal universities of bigger cities but therein lies one of its strongest arguments. The student at the smaller college is less a minute cog, more of an individual and a faculty has time to regard him as such.”

1955:  Enrolment at Regina College reaches its highest level since 1947.  In all, there are 200 students registered for classes, well up from the 175 students one year earlier.  However, it’s still well below the 300 students registered in the fall in 1947. Only one course has fewer students – Education, with nine students, down from 11 the previous year.

1961:  A report by the University of Saskatchewan board of governors outlines plans for the development of a new campus in Regina.

The Leader-Post says: “a classroom building and a laboratory building may be erected at the same time in which case, the report said, the classroom building will probably become, or be the first section of the arts building, housing the humanities and social sciences departments.”

The report says the next buildings would be a library, a food services centre and a physical education centre, followed by a residence and a student union building. The report predicts that enrolment will more than double from the current 650 to 1,350 students by 1969-70.

1965:  This month marks the launch of regular classes at the new Regina Campus, although a few classes were offered during the summer. Plans are announced for the official opening ceremonies of the new Regina Campus, to be held on October 8.

The official opening ceremonies will include a key-passing and ribbon-cutting, attended by city and provincial government dignitaries, representatives of the Wascana Centre Authority, architects and contractors, university personnel and the public.

The Leader-Post reports: “The official opening is the culmination of more than six years of planning and development that started in July 1959, when Dr. W. P. Thompson, former university president, announced that a second campus would be developed in Regina.”

1967:  Enrolment at Regina Campus is expected to increase by 15 per cent over the previous year. Registrar W.C. Blight expects there will be 3,400 daytime students, compared to 2,900 a year earlier.

1976:  A four-member committee begins studying the feasibility of the U of R becoming the first university in Western Canada to offer a degree in journalism.  

Project director Warren Bennett, an English professor at the U of R, tells the Leader-Post there is an increased interest in journalism. “As an after-effect of Watergate, United States’ journalism schools are being flooded with applications and there is some spin-off in Canada. Watergate itself restored the image of journalists from that of ineffective mudslingers to heroes.”