- Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University (Dal) is a public research university in Nova Scotia, Canada, with three campuses in Halifax, and a fourth in Bible Hill. Dalhousie offers more than 4,000 courses and 180 degree programs in twelve undergraduate, graduate, and professional faculties. The university is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.
Dalhousie was established as a nonsectarian college in 1818 by the eponymous Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie. The college did not hold its first class until 1838, until then operating sporadically due to financial difficulties. It reopened for a third time in 1863 following a reorganization that brought a change of name to “The Governors of Dalhousie College and University”. The university formally changed its name to “Dalhousie University” in 1997 through provincial legislation, the same legislation that merged the institution with the Technical University of Nova Scotia.
The university’s notable alumni include a Nobel Prize winner, two Canadian Prime Ministers, two Herzberg Prize winners, a NASAastronaut who was the first American woman to walk in space, 89 Rhodes Scholars, and a range of other top government officials, academics, and business leaders. The university ranked 235th in the 2014 QS World University Rankings, 226-250th in the 2014-2015 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 201–300th in the 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities.Dalhousie is a centre for marine research, and is host to the headquarters of the Ocean Tracking Network.
The Dalhousie library system operates the largest library in Atlantic Canada, and holds the largest collection of agricultural resource material in the region. The university operates a total of fourteen residences. There are currently two student unions that represent student interests at the university: the Dalhousie Student Union and the Dalhousie Association for Graduate Students. Dalhousie’s varsity teams, the Tigers, compete in the Atlantic University Sport conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture varsity teams are called the Dalhousie Rams, and compete in the ACAA and CCAA. Dalhousie is a coeducational university with more than 18,000 students and 110,000 alumni.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- Architecture and Planning
- Arts and Social Sciences
- Computer Science
- Graduate Studies
- Health Professions
We’re proud of our past and confident in our future. Founded in 1818, Dalhousie has been delivering an exceptional education for almost 200 years. With the addition of our Agricultural Campus in 2012, our reach continues to expand beyond Halifax and into other parts of the province.
In the early 19th century, George Ramsay, the ninth Earl of Dalhousie and Nova Scotia Lieutenant-Governor at the time, wanted to establish a Halifax college open to all, regardless of class or creed.
The spoils of war helped fulfill his dream. During the War of 1812, Castine, a small port in Maine, was being used as a base by American privateers who harassed ships along the Eastern Seaboard. Britain sent a Royal Navy force from Halifax to capture Castine and turn it into a customs port of entry. When the war ended, the navy returned to Halifax with the money it had collected as customs duties. Lord Dalhousie invested 7,000 pounds of this treasure as an endowment for the college and put aside 3,000 pounds for its construction. The earl modeled the fledgling college after the University of Edinburgh, near his Scottish home.
After the college was founded in 1818, Lord Dalhousie was appointed Governor General of Canada and left Halifax. Without his influence, the institution faltered. The first instruction was not offered until 1838. Its operation was only intermittent and degrees were not awarded for some time.
Nearly 50 years after its beginning, the college was reorganized. In 1863, Dalhousie opened with six professors and one tutor. The first degrees were awarded in 1866. The student body that year consisted of 28 students working for degrees and 28 occasional students.
Money continued to be a problem for the new institution. In 1879, it looked as though the university might fail until George Munro, a wealthy New York publisher with Nova Scotia roots, started donating to the university. Over the years, he contributed five endowed professorships and about $83,000 in bursaries and exhibitions. In 1999, the value of these gifts was estimated to be worth more than $8 million. For saving the university from closure, a special university holiday, George Munro Day, is observed the first Friday in February. Since his gift, a tradition of generosity, from donors large and small, has created the thriving university of today.
The original site of the college was on the Grand Parade, in downtown Halifax where the City Hall stands. In 1886, the university moved to the Forrest Building on today’s Carleton campus and spread gradually to occupy Studley Campus.
In the 20th century, Dalhousie grew steadily. On April 1, 1997, Dalhousie amalgamated with the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS), another Halifax-based university, strengthening the university’s ability to explore new applied technologies. This included a newly created Faculty of Computer Science. The name of the amalgamated institution continued as Dalhousie University.
The modern era
Dalhousie continues to grow. Construction crews have been a frequent sight at Studley Campus. New facilities in recent years include the Marion McCain Arts and Social Science Building, opened in 2001, the Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, officially unveiled in 2005, theMona Campbell Building, opened in fall 2010, and the innovative Ocean Sciences Building, opened in June 2013. The most recent addition is LeMarchant Place, home to over 300 students and a variety of student services, which opened in September 2014.
At convocation ceremonies in October 2006, Dalhousie surpassed 100,000 graduates. The milestone came 140 years after Dalhousie awarded its first two Bachelor of Arts degrees to Joseph Henry Chase and Robert Shaw in 1866. Margaret Florence Newcombe was the first woman to graduate, with a BA in 1885, and the first black law graduate, James Robinson Johnston, graduated in 1896.
On September 1, 2012, Dalhousie entered another exciting era. The university amalgamated with the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) in Truro—now the Faculty of Agriculture—welcoming faculty, staff and nearly 1,000 new students into the Dalhousie family.
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