Saint Mary's University
Saint Mary's University, Halifax, was founded in 1802 to provide higher learning to young Catholic men. It is the oldest English-speaking, Roman-Catholic university in Canada. The Nova Scotia House of Assembly granted Saint Mary's its charter in 1841. Founder Reverend Edmund Burke, later vicar apostolic of Nova Scotia, worked tirelessly but with limited resources to maintain the college. In 1852 the Nova Scotia Assembly confirmed its legal status in perpetuity, but St Mary's existed precariously for the next half century.
In 1913 the Irish Christian Brothers assumed responsibility for the college, directing its affairs until 1940, when they were succeeded by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). In 1970 the province transferred responsibility for the university from the Archdiocese of Halifax to an independent and lay board of governors. Saint Mary's continued to strongly recognize its Catholic tradition, however.
Saint Mary's is now a coeducational institution offering undergraduate programs in arts, science and commerce; preprofessional programs in engineering, medicine, law, dentistry, architecture, theology, occupational therapy, veterinary medicine and optometry; graduate study in business administration, astronomy, history, philosophy, psychology and Atlantic Canada studies, international development studies and women's studies; and several certificate and diploma programs. In 1998 the Frank H. Sobey Faculty of Commerce opened. It is currently Atlantic Canada's leading business school. Total enrolment for St Mary's University is approximately 5100 full-time and 2200 part-time students.