St Mary’s University Halifax
Saint Mary’s University (SMU) is located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The school is best known for having nationally leading programs in business and chemistry, as well as one of the best Canadian women’s basketball programs. The campus is situated in Halifax’s South End and covers approximately 80 acres (32 ha).
Saint Mary’s is the second oldest English-speaking and first Roman Catholic initiated university in Canada. The Roman Catholic church founded Saint Mary’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1802. It was established in Glebe House, on the corner of Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street, with the aim of extending educational opportunities for Catholic youth and training candidates for the clergy.
In 1840 the Nova Scotia Legislature bestowed the degree granting charter to Saint Mary’s and eleven years later granted the University formal legal status. Saint Mary’s collapsed in 1883, but was revived in 1903 by Cornelius O’Brien, then Archbishop of Halifax. It reopened as a high school in a new campus on Windsor Street, near the junction with Quinpool Road.
In 1913 the Christian Brothers of Ireland were asked by the Archdiocese of Halifax to direct the college and academic programs. Degree-granting resumed in 1918. With this change of leadership the university’s reputation thrived as a liberal arts institution and expanded its undergraduate programs, with the most notable being the Faculty of Commerce in 1934 (now known as the Sobey School of Business), which was the first of its kind in Canada. In 1940 the Upper Province of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) was invited to succeed the Christian Brothers as both administrators and faculty. A Roll of Honour at St. Mary’s University is dedicated to students of St. Mary’s College who volunteered for the Second World War.