University of British Columbia


UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (UBC) originated in 1908 with the passage of provincial legislation authorizing creation of a provincial university. The first land was set aside at the proposed site in Point Grey, in VANCOUVER, in 1910 (see UNIVERSITY ENDOWMENT LANDS); construction began in 1914, but all progress ceased with the outbreak of WWI that summer. Meanwhile the Vancouver School Board and McGill Univ in Montreal had collaborated to offer undergraduate courses at Vancouver High School since 1898. This arrangement was formalized as McGill Univ College, which moved into 2 buildings next door to the Vancouver General Hospital in 1912. In 1915 this institution was renamed UBC. Relocation from the so-called "Fairview Shacks" to the Point Grey site was delayed by the war, then by government stalling. On 28 Oct 1922 students and their supporters held a huge downtown rally, then marched to the Point Grey site to pressure the government to act. This "Great Trek" persuaded the province to move ahead with construction and in 1925 classes began at the present site. Expansion has been constant ever since, with the additions of faculties of law (1945), graduate studies (1948), medicine (1950), forestry (1951), education (1956) and commerce (1957). Altogether there are 12 faculties, 9 schools and 11 institutes and research centres. There is also a downtown Vancouver campus at Robson Square and in the autumn of 2005 UBC opened an Okanagan campus in KELOWNA with 3,500 students. The MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY, opened in 1976, is a showcase of Northwest Coast aboriginal culture (see ART, NORTHWEST COAST ABORIGINAL; FIRST NATIONS), and the campus is home to a variety of scientific research facilities. In 2005 there were 43,000 full- and part-time students enrolled and 4,000 faculty. Presidents have been: Frank WESBROOK (1913–18), Leonard Klinck (1919–44), Norman MacKENZIE (1944–62), John B. MacDonald (1962–67), Walter Gage (1967–May 1968; Feb 1969–75); Kenneth Hare (June 1968–Jan 1969), Douglas Kenny (1975–83), K. George Pederson (1983–Mar 1985), Robert H.T. Smith (Mar 1985–Nov 1985), David Strangway (Nov 1985–97), Martha C. Piper (1997–2006) and Stephen Toope (2006–present).