University of Western Ontario

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox University2 The University of Western Ontario is located in London, Ontario, Canada. It is commonly referred to as UWO or Western, although sometimes "Western Ontario" is heard as well.


About Western

Western is one of Canada's oldest universities, having been founded in 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth and the Anglican Diocese of Huron as "The Western University of London Ontario".


The university covers 1.6 km² of land on the North Branch of the Thames River.


The university's Chancellor is Arthur Labatt, and its President is Dr. Paul Davenport. The university has over 60 faculties and programs. Faculties and programs at the university are:

The university also has three affiliated colleges:


There are approximately 25,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students at UWO. King's University College has about 3,100 students (2003/2004), Huron University College about 1,000, and Brescia University College about 500. The student residences on the main campus are:

  • Traditional Style
    • Saugeen-Maitland Hall (1250 students)
    • Medway-Sydenham Hall (600 students)
    • Delaware Hall (450 students)
    • Perth Hall (445 students)
    • Westminster Residence (240 students)
  • Suite-Style
    • Essex Hall (500 students)
    • Elgin Hall (400 students)
    • Alumni House (250 students)

The affiliated colleges have their own residences.


There are about 1,200 faculty members at the university and affiliated colleges. The Faculty of Social Science employs the highest number of faculty.

Sports, Clubs, and Traditions

In 1929 J.W. Little Stadium was built. This stadium served as the site of convocation until 1960, and continued to be used as a sports stadium until 2001 when it was torn down and replaced with TD-Waterhouse Stadium. The new stadium was the primary site of the 2001 Summer Canada Games, which were held in London.

Western has over twenty sports teams, which are called the Western Ontario Mustangs. From 1939 to 1948 the football team was undefeated, and they have won six Vanier Cups. For 30 years the football team was coached by John P. Metras, for whom the Canadian Interuniversity Sport's best defensive linesman award is named. The men's basketball team has also won many championships.

Western is home to one of Canada's two university-level marching bands, The Western Mustang Band. It was started in 1938 by music faculty alumnus Don Wright (for whom the faculty is now named). The only other Canadian university marching band is found at Queen's University.

There are over 100 clubs, for academic, religious, cultural, and other pursuits, which are governed by the University Students' Council. The Student Council also publishes The Gazette, the student newspaper, which was founded in 1904 and given its present name in 1937.

UWO has a traditional rivalry with the University of Waterloo, located only one hour to the east. There is also a rivalry with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Many students at other universities think of UWO as a "party school," or a school for rich students (leading to the nickname "University of Wealthy Ontarians"), so UWO tends to have a rivalry with almost every other school in Ontario. However, this reputation is no longer as strong as it was in the past.


The university was founded in 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth of the Anglican Diocese of Huron as "The Western University of London Ontario." It incorporated Huron College, which had been founded in 1863. The first four faculties were Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine, and there were originally only 15 students when classes began in 1881. The first of these students graduated in 1883. In 1916 the current site of the university was purchased from the Kingsmill family, and in 1923 the name of the university was changed to its present form. The first two buildings constructed at the new site were the Arts Building (now University College) and the Natural Science Building (now the Physics and Astronomy Building). These were built in a neo-Gothic or "Collegiate Gothic" style. The University College tower, one of the most distinctive features of the university, was named the Middlesex Memorial Tower in honour of the men from Middlesex County who had fought in World War I (all 40 male students at the university in 1914 had enlisted). Classes on the present site began in 1924.

Although enrolment was low for many years, after World War II the university began to increase greatly in size, and by the 1970s 10% of university students in Ontario were enrolled at UWO. After World War II, the university saw the addition of new faculties such as the Faculty of Graduate Studies (1947), the School of Business Administration (now the Richard Ivey School of Business) (1949), the Faculty of Engineering Science (1957), the Faculty of Law (1959), and Althouse College for Education students (1963).

Other notable buildings on campus include Thames Hall (built in 1950), the Stevenson-Lawson Building (built in 1959), Middlesex College (with its clock tower, another distinctive feature of the university, built in 1960), Talbot College (built in 1966), Alumni Hall (built in 1967), the University Campus of the London Health Sciences Centre, the John P. Robarts Research Institute, the Lawson Health Research Institute, the D.B. Weldon Library, the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre, the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, the University Community Centre, the Social Science Centre, and T.D. Waterhouse Stadium (built in 2001). There is also the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory, built in 1940 as the first observatory at a Canadian university, and named after the grandfather of actor Hume Cronyn. The McIntosh Memorial Art Gallery was built in 1942, and is now the oldest university art gallery in Canada.

The school colours are white and purple (often mistakenly reported as 'purple and white'), and the school's motto is Veritas et utilitas, meaning Truth and usefulness.

List of chancellors

List of presidents and vice-chancellors

  • Dr. Nathaniel James (1908-1914)
  • The Reverend Dr. Edward Braithwaite (1914-1919)
  • "Triumvirate" (1919-1927)
  • Dr. W. Sherwood Fox (1927-1947)
  • Dr. George Hall (1947-1967)
  • Dr. D. Carlton Williams (1967-1977)
  • Dr. George Connell (1977-1984)
  • Dr. Alan K. Adlington (acting president, 1984-1985)
  • Dr. George Pedersen (1985-1994)
  • Dr. Paul Davenport (1994-present)

Famous Alumni

There is also a fictional alumnus - Michael Patterson from the comic strip For Better or For Worse.

Famous Faculty

Prominent Groups

  • The University of Western Ontario Debating Society, the oldest student association at the university and one of the largest and most respected university debating societies in the world.
  • The Western Mustangs football team is considered one of the best varsity football teams in Canada.
  • The Western Mustangs cheerleading squad has placed first in over 10 national championships, and first at the North American championship

External Links

See also


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