University History 1970s

Saint Mary's becomes a secular university with the departure of the Jesuits after 30 years. The campus continues to expand with the opening of the Patrick Power Library. The faculty is unionized, and the MBA program begins.

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...


Sept. 15, 1970

Oct. 18, 1972

Feb. 1, 1978



The "Saint Mary's University Act" is passed, giving the new Board of Governors complete autonomy form the Archdiocese, and the Jesuits are replaced by secular staff.


The Physical Plant opens; renamed Facilities Management in 1999.


Mr. Edmund Morris is named interim President of Saint Mary's.


Saint Mary's University Art Gallery is established [There had been an Artist in Residence since 1967].


SMU Kamp is established.

Easter Sunday 1971

The sod is turned for a new free standing Canadian Martyrs' Church.

12 December, 1971

The Canadian Martyrs' Church opens.


Dr. D. Owen Carrigan is named President of Saint Mary's.


The Reverend Michael Walter Burke-Gaffney Observatory opens.


The Division of Engineering (1953) obtains Faculty status.


The Saint Mary's University Faculty Union is certified as a bargaining unit.


The International Education Centre opens; re-named the International Centre in 1995.


The Master of Business Administration program begins.


The Gorsebrook Lounge (campus pub) opens in the Student Union Building.


The Institute of Human Values is established.


The Patrick Power Library opens.


Dr. Kenneth Ozmon is named President of Saint Mary's.


The International Education Centre opens.

200th Anniversary Oral History Interviews

Subject: Owen Carrigan
Interviewer: Angela Baker
File Size: 330k megs
Time: 1 minute 24 seconds

Click here to begin

(note: audio player may open in new window)

Impressions of a New President

"The Academic programs that were offered at the time were pretty comparable with other universities across the country...They were certainly adequate, many of the departments had new plans. They and a lot of departments that were under pressure in those days because universities right across the country were in a state of flux, students were making more demands for different kinds of courses. They were seeing some of the traditional courses that were on the curriculum of many universities as now being, quote 'irrelevant'. So departments were under a great deal of pressure and there were changes going on because in an earlier day there were certain subjects that were compulsory for a degree and that naturally had an impact on certain departments and those were now being removed, those compulsory subjects.

"There were more electives; there were new areas. So faculty were under quite a a lot of pressure in those days. Also here the enrollment started to expand, so naturally the departments were also, many of them were looking for additional faculty and the competition for qualified faculty was pretty stiff at that time.

(Owen Carrigan, President of Saint Mary's from 1971 to 1979. Recorded as part of the Summer Research Interviews, June 4, 1993. Archives Record 1999.21)

Moving to the new Library

"We moved in September, 1975. It took three days. We hired students who took carts full of books to the new building. The move was smooth and well organized. We had a great team. One day it rained, but we used plastic bags and raincoats and kept moving.

"Before automation, we did everything by hand. All of the titles had to be typed on a master sheet, copied by the print shop, separated, proofed and filed into the card catalogue drawers. I can't believe we used to do that."

(Alice Hum, Patrick Power Library. Part of an interview with the Saint Mary's Times, March 1994)


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