- McMaster University
McMaster University is a public research university located in Hamilton, Ontario,Canada. The main campus is located on 121 hectares (300 acres) of land near the residential neighbourhoods of Ainslie Wood andWestdale, adjacent to Hamilton’s Royal Botanical Gardens. The university operates six academic faculties: the DeGroote School of Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Social Science, and Science. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada. The university bears the name of Honourable William McMaster, a prominent Canadian Senatorand banker who bequeathed $900,000 to the founding of the university. McMaster University was incorporated under the terms of an act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1887, merging the Toronto Baptist College with Woodstock College. It opened in Toronto in 1890. Inadequate facilities and the gift of land in Hamilton prompted the institution to relocate in 1930. McMaster was controlled by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec until it became a privately chartered, publicly funded non-denominational institution in 1957.
The university is co-educational, and has over 25,000 undergraduate and over 4,000 post-graduate students. Alumni and former students of the university can be found all across Canada and in 140 countries around the world. Notable alumni include government officials, academics, business leaders and two Nobel laureates. McMaster University is particularly well known for its medical school, which was recently ranked 25th in the world and 3rd in Canada by the Times Higher Education World University Subject Rankings in 2015. The McMaster athletic teams are known as the Marauders, and are members of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- DeGroote School of Business
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Health Sciences
- Faculty of Humanities
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Social Sciences
- Arts and Science Program
- School of Graduate Studies
McMaster University resulted from the outgrowth of educational initiatives undertaken by Baptists as early as the 1830s. It was founded in 1881 as Toronto Baptist College. Canadian Senator William McMaster, the first president of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, bequeathed funds to endow a university, which was incorporated through a merger of Toronto Baptist College and Woodstock College, Woodstock, Ontario. In 1887 the Act to unite Toronto Baptist College and Woodstock College was granted royal assent, and McMaster University was officially incorporated. Woodstock College, Woodstock, and Moulton Ladies’ College, Toronto, were maintained in close connection.
The new university, housed in McMaster Hall in Toronto, was sponsored by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec as a sectarian undergraduate institution for its clergy and adherents. The first courses—initially limited to arts and theology leading to a BA degree—were taught in 1890, and the first degrees were conferred in 1894.
As the university grew, McMaster Hall started to become overcrowded. The suggestion to move the university to Hamilton was first brought up by a student and Hamilton native in 1909, although the proposal was not seriously considered by the university until two years later. By the 1920s, after previous proposals between various university staff, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce launched a campaign to bring McMaster University to Hamilton. As the issue of space at McMaster Hall became more acute, the university administration debated the future of the university. The university nearly became federated with the University of Toronto, as had been the case with Trinity College and Victoria College. Instead, in 1927, the university administration decided to transfer the university to Hamilton. The Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec secured $1.5 million, while the citizens of Hamilton raised an additional $500,000 to help finance the move. The lands for the university and new buildings were secured through gifts from graduates. Lands were transferred from Royal Botanical Gardens to establish the campus area. The first academic session on the new Hamilton campus began in 1930. McMaster’s property in Toronto was sold to the University of Toronto when McMaster moved to Hamilton in 1930. McMaster Hall is now home to the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Professional programs during the interwar period were limited to just theology and nursing. By the 1940s the McMaster administration was under pressure to modernize and expand the university’s programs. During the Second World War and post-war periods the demand for technological expertise, particularly in the sciences, increased. This problem placed a strain on the finances of what was still a denominational Baptist institution. In particular, the institution could no longer secure sufficient funds from denominational sources alone to sustain science research. Since denominational institutions could not receive public funds, the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec decided to reorganize the university, creating two federated colleges. The arts and divinity programs were reconstituted as University College and science was reorganized under the newly incorporated Hamilton College as a separate division capable of receiving provincial grants. Hamilton College was incorporated in 1948 by letters patent under The Companies Act, although it remained only affiliated with the university. The University traditionally focused on undergraduate studies, and did not offer a PhD program until 1949.
Through the 1950s increased funding advanced the place of sciences within the institution. In 1950, the university had completed the construction of three academic buildings for the sciences, all designed by local architect William Russell Souter. Public funding was eventually necessary to ensure the humanities and social sciences were given an equal place. Thus, in 1957 the University reorganized once again under The McMaster University Act, 1957, dissolving the two colleges. Its property was vested to McMaster and the university became a nondenominational institution eligible for public funding. The historic Baptist connection was continued through McMaster Divinity College, a separately chartered affiliated college of the university. Also in 1957, PhD programs were consolidated in a new Faculty of Graduate Studies. Construction of the McMaster Nuclear Reactor also began in 1957, and was the first university-based research reactor in theCommonwealth when it began operating in 1959.
In 1965, with the support of the Ontario government, the University established a medical school and teaching hospital, graduating its first class of physicians in 1972. In 1968 the university was reorganized under an amended act of the McMaster Act into the Divisions of Arts, Science, and Health Sciences, each with its own Vice-President, while the Divinity College continued under its existing arrangement. In 1974 the divisional structure of the university was dissolved and reorganized again under The McMaster University Act, 1976 and the vice-presidents were replaced by a single Vice-President (Academic). The Faculties of Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences were retained, each under the leadership of a dean.
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