The History of Saint Mary’s University

08Feb10

ye olde smu

So what is Saint Mary’s, anyway? Other than “an awesome university”, of course. To answer that question, we’ll have to go back over two hundred years, to 1802. Reverend Edmund Burke founded Saint Mary’s University on a “glebe”, meaning “area of land given to the church”. You may hear of priests living in Glebe Houses, and this is where the term comes from.

This house was situated in downtown Halifax, where we now find the intersection of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street. In 1840, the university was moved to its new permanent home on Robie Street. Over the next few years, it was run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, and things went well. The Faculty of Commerce was founded in 1934, and just recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The Upper Province of the Society of Jesus (the “Jesuits”) took over administrative duties in 1940, and over the next thirty years the institution flourished under their lead. Saint Mary’s became fully legally recognized as a university in 1952, and purchased the first computer in the Atlantic Provinces in 1959.

the compy

This computer was a monumentous achievement. It was a Royal McBee LGP-30, costing $47,000, and weighing in at seven hundred and forty pounds. It was designed by a fellow from the Manhattan Project, and only five hundred existed in the whole world. I remember my parents telling me about working on that computer, and what a marvel it was. Right now I’m writing this on a computer that cost $1000 and weighs five pounds. How times change.

In 1970, Saint Mary’s University became a fully incorporated institution of higher learning, with the passing of the Saint Mary’s University Act. The Jesuits stepped aside, and control was transferred to the Saint Mary’s Board of Governors and Academic Senate. Both of these bodies have student positions available, should you be interested in having a say in how things are run around here.

If you look on top of the Loyola Building, you’ll see a dome. That dome is the Burke-Gaffney Observatory, built in the 1970s, and since then Saint Mary’s has had one of the nation’s predominant astronomy programs. In 1998, the Sobey Building was opened, named after Frank H. Sobey of the Sobeys grocery store empire, and Commerce students had a brand new place to call home. If you come to campus right now, you can see our newest project under construction, The Atrium.

We’re very proud of our past at Saint Mary’s University, and we’re always looking forward to the future.

“I look to the future, because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”
– George Burns

Go Huskies!

Steve

So what is Saint Mary’s, anyway? Other than “an awesome university”, of course. To answer that question, we’ll have to go back over two hundred years, to

1802. Reverend Edmund Burke founded Saint Mary’s University on a “glebe”, meaning “area of land given to the church”. You may hear of priests living in Glebe

Houses, and this is where the term comes from.

This house was situated in downtown Halifax, where we now find the intersection of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street. In 1840, the university was

moved to its new permanent home on Robie Street. Over the next few years, it was run by the Christian Brothers of Ireland, and things went well. The Faculty

of Commerce was founded in 1934, and just recently celebrated its 75th anniversary.

The Upper Province of the Society of Jesus (the “Jesuits”) took over administrative duties in 1940, and the next thirty years would see the institution

flourish under their lead. Saint Mary’s became fully legally recognized as a university in 1952, and purchased the first computer in the Atlantic Provinces

in 1959.

This computer was a monumentous achievement. It was a Royal McBee LGP-30, costing $47,000, and weighing in at seven hundred and forty pounds. It was designed

by a fellow from the Manhattan Project, and only five hundred existed in the whole world. I remember my parents telling me about working on that computer,

and what a marvel it was. Right now I’m writing this on a computer that cost $1000 and weighs five pounds. How times change.

In 1970, Saint Mary’s University became a fully incorporated institution of higher learning, with the passing of the Saint Mary’s University Act. The Jesuits

stepped aside, and control was transferred to the Saint Mary’s Board of Governors and Academic Senate. Both of these bodies have student positions available,

should you be interested in having a say in how things are run around here.

If you look on top of the Loyola Building, you’ll see a dome. That dome is the Burke-Gaffney Observatory, built in the 1970s, and since then Saint Mary’s has

had one of the nation’s predominant astronomy programs. In 1998, the Sobey Building was opened, named after Frank H. Sobey of the Sobeys grocery store

empire, and Commerce students had a brand new place to call home. If you come to campus right now, you can see our newest project under construction, The

Atrium.

We’re very proud of our past at Saint Mary’s University, and we’re always looking forward to the future.

“I look to the future, because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.”
– George Burns

Go Huskies!

Steve

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