Higher Education in Nova Scotia - History of The Establishment of Universities in Nova Scotia - St. Francis Xavier University (1853)

St. Francis Xavier University (1853)

St Francis Xavier College was a Roman Catholic institution founded in 1853 in Arichat, Cape Breton, and moved to Antigonish in 1855. In 1866, it gained university status and was renamed St Francis Xavier University and awarded its first degrees in 1868. In 1883, its ladies' institution, Mount St Bernard Academy, was founded and in 1894, it was affiliated with St Francis as Mount St Bernard College becoming in 1897 the first co-educational Catholic university in North America to grant degrees to women.

The schools diversity was a founding feature because the school originated in a region in which a multitude of farmers, tradesman, and labourers immigrated from the British Isles and then inter-mingled with the native Indian and Acadian peoples who were already residents. As there were a number of people of the Scottish origin already established there, the Gaelic language played a prominent role in the university; this role continues today. Its principle goals are community outreach and society service. The 1930s therefore saw innovative initiatives by St. Francis Xavier University in the areas of adult education, cooperatives and credit unions given emphasis as paths "to social improvement and economic organization for disadvantaged groups in eastern Canada." The Antigonish Movement gave momentum to these programs, which reached out to the community.

In 1959, the Coady International Institute was established, and the former principles were made global. It's desire to promote social cohesion has become recognized through its students and successes. Although, many institutes of higher learning have evolved and changed the principles which they were founded on, St. Francis Xavier has held on to its core values over the years. While the university definitely aspires to evolve, it also wants to maintain the core principles with which it was established.

Read more about this topic:  Higher Education In Nova Scotia, History of The Establishment of Universities in Nova Scotia

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