University History 1950s

The campus moves from Windsor Street to Robie Street on the former Enos Collins estate. Saint Mary's College becomes Saint Mary's University, and several new departments and faculties are added. The first women join the staff and begin to take part-time and evening classes.

Look at covers of Saint Mary's publications from this time period. Visit the for many 
more copies of the Journal as well as other university publications...


March 30, 1951

Nov. 28, 1952

Feb. 12, 1958



Reverend Frederick Lynch, S.J. is named President of Saint Mary's.


The Halifax School of Journalism (operated by Saint Mary's, Mount Saint Vincent University, King's College and four city dailies), offers Public Relations and Advertising courses to its curriculum.


The College opens for Arts and Commerce students at the new McNally Building.


The Arts Department obtains Faculty status.


The Science Department obtains Faculty status.


Non-credit courses for adults ("Adult Studies") begin.


Relocation from the Windsor Street campus is complete, with the new McNally Building housing science, engineering and high school students; the high school occupied 3 rooms on the 2nd floor.

10 April, 1952

"An Act Respecting St. Mary's University" is passed in which the school is referred to as a University for the first time.

September 1952

Credit and non-credit evening classes are offered for male and female part-time students; Father William Stewart, S.J, teaches the first course.

19 November, 1952

Archbishop McNally dies.


The Engineering Division is officially established.

2 February, 1954

Gerald Berry is installed as Archbishop.

September 1954

Enrolment climbs from 224 to 328. This is attributed to the post-war boon in Halifax, as well as the appeal of evening courses.


Reverend Patrick Malone, S.J. is named President of Saint Mary's.

May 1956

Thomas More and Thomas Smith receive the first Masters of Social Work in a program offered between Saint Mary's and the Maritime School of Social Work.


School of Education opens.


Saint Mary's begins an affiliation with Ignatius College in Guelph and Regis College in Willowdale


Mildred Harrington becomes the first woman ever appointed to the staff or faculty of a Jesuit school or university in Canada. She retires from the Saint Mary's faculty in 1972.


The Faculty of Education opens.


Very Reverend C.J. Fischer, S.J. is named President of Saint Mary's.


The varsity sports teams change their name from Saints to Huskies.


Saint Mary's acquires the Royal McBeeLGP-30 electronic digital computer - the first in Atlantic Canada - valued at $55,000.

200th Anniversary Oral History Interviews

Subject: Kevin J. Cleary
Interviewer: Angela Baker
File Size: 342k
Time: 1 minute 28 seconds

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Student Activities in 1952

"…the first year we didn't do a great deal of things because we didn't have any facilities…the gym wasn't finished, we used to play our basketball over at Saint Francis School. We used to swim up at Stadacona…and where the football field is, that was all woods or two beautiful fields...

"You had debating societies and things like that. The gym opened the next year, I guess, in '53, because then we rejuvenated our Drama Society. It was called the Play Shop…We played our hockey at the Forum…and the football was good, it was a good intramural football league because there was only the senior football and high school football, and the senior football was the Army, Navy, and Dalhousie, and that was it."

(Kevin J. Cleary, former Saint Mary's student and Secretary to the Senate. Recorded as part of the Summer Research Interviews, June 10, 1993. Archives Record 1999.21)

Student Council Events, 1957

"The Initiation Dance, sponsored by the Council, was a huge success. To celebrate the occasion of our football team winning the Maritime Junior Title, a victory dance was held. The annual outing was sponsored again this year by St. Mary's and Mount St. Vincent. Early in November the Council spearheaded an appeal for funds to assist those who suffered as a result of the Springhill Mine Disaster. The response to this appeal was very generous. The annual "Bring Christ Back to Christmas" campaign was conducted. The Council, in conjunction with the faculty, organized a Hungarian Relief Committee, and as a result two scholarships are being offered to Hungarian students to attend St. Mary's."

("Student Council", Santamarian Yearbook, 1957, p.50. Author uncredited.)

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