Ontario's third largest university, Western University was founded in 1878 as the Western University of London, a denominational school of the Church of England. The university was made non-denominational in 1908 and was renamed the University of Western Ontario in 1923. In 2012, it was rebranded Western University, a name that appears in all official communications and branded materials, although the legal name of the university, which appears on transcripts and diplomas, remains University of Western Ontario.
Through its 12 faculties and schools and three affiliated colleges — Brescia, Huron and King's — Western offers more than 60 different degree and diploma programs. Its motto is "Veritas et Utilitas" (Latin for "Truth and Usefulness"), its colours are white and purple, and its nickname is the Mustangs. Including its three affiliated colleges, Western's total enrolment is more than 36,000 full- and part-time students.
Background and History
The university, located in London, Ontario, was founded on 7 March 1878 as Western University of London. Huron College, established in 1863 as an Anglican theological school, provided the basis for the new university. The first arts courses were given in 1881 and in 1883 the first degrees were granted. In 1882, a group of London doctors formed a medical school which was affiliated with Western. A similar attempt in 1885 by London lawyers to organize a law school failed because the Law Society of Upper Canada had a monopoly on legal education in the province.
After Western became nondenominational in 1908 it expanded steadily. The Institute for Public Health opened under university management in 1912 and became affiliated in 1917. The medical school became an integrated faculty in 1913. Extension and summer courses started in 1918, and Western opened one of the first French-immersion courses in the summer of 1933.
As the university grew, new faculties and schools were added: science, social science, music, graduate studies, business, law, engineering, education, communication and open learning, medicine and dentistry, and health sciences. In addition, new buildings were designed to complement the original modern Gothic architecture.
In 1919, the Ursuline Sisters established Brescia College as a Roman Catholic affiliate, and that year Assumption College in Windsor affiliated with the university; it later evolved into the University of Windsor. Similarly, Waterloo College of Arts became affiliated with Western in 1925; today, it is Wilfrid Laurier University, emphasizing liberal arts, and the University of Waterloo, emphasizing engineering and science. St Peter's College seminary of London affiliated with Western in 1939, and it eventually became an arts faculty, King's College.
See also: Music at Western University.