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

By Dale Johnson Posted: October 22, 2017 9:00 a.m.

The U of R’s first Fall Convocation featured an honorary degree for Minoru Yamasaki, who was the architect of our first campus buildings. Yamasaki also designed the original World Trade Center.
The U of R’s first Fall Convocation featured an honorary degree for Minoru Yamasaki, who was the architect of our first campus buildings. Yamasaki also designed the original World Trade Center. Photo courtesy of U of R Archives and Special Collections

Among the historical highlights during the month of October:
 
1911:  An elaborate ceremony marks the laying of the cornerstone during the construction of the new Regina College building.

1912:  The Duke of Connaught, the son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the 10th Governor General of Canada, presides over the official opening of the new Regina College building.

1917:  Campion College is founded by the Jesuits. In 1923, Campion attains status as a Junior College of the University of Saskatchewan and is the first institution in Regina through which students can earn a bachelor’s degree. In 1964, the College is granted federation with the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus, the forerunner of the University of Regina.

October Flashback
The official opening of Regina College was held on October 14, 1912, with Governor General Connaught on hand for the ceremony. U of R Archives and Special Collections

1957: An expansion to the Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery is completed.

1965: The grand opening of the new Regina Campus is held on October 8, and an editorial in the Leader-Post says, “As the new university is ensconced in its new quarters, the enrolment of 2,300 exceeds expectations. The new quarters are overcrowded. Enrolment is expected to more than double to 5,000 in four years, and reach 8,000 in 1973.”

1967: The new library is officially opened, and head librarian Dr. John Archer says in his address that the library is the “spiritual heart of the university.” Archer later becomes principal of Regina Campus and then the first president of the University of Regina. The library is renamed the Dr. John Archer Library in 1999.
To commemorate its 50th anniversary, staff of the Archer Library have special events planned throughout the 2017-18 academic year.

1967: The first Fall Convocation is held in Regina. In all, 112 degrees are awarded. An honorary degree is presented to architect Minoru Yamasaki, who created the Wascana Centre master plan and later designed the first three buildings at the new Regina Campus. The Convocation Ball is held at the Hotel Saskatchewan.

1968: A rally in Wascana Park to protest against the Vietnam War is planned by the Student Representative Council at Regina Campus, after a meeting attended by 300 students.

1969: Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker officially becomes the new chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan when he takes the oath office at a special installation ceremony at Fall Convocation at Regina Campus. The convocation ceremony for 243 graduates is held in the Lecture Theatre of the new Education Building.

1978: There are 367 graduates at Fall Convocation. Former Premier and federal NDP leader Tommy Douglas, who receives an honorary doctorate of laws degree, says in his address to the new graduates not to discard things because they are old, and yet not be afraid of things that are new.