Giddiness Will Not Be Tolerated. Who knew that about the U?


This is a postcard of the University of Windsor from I suspect, shortly after the Ambassador Bridge was completed in 1929. Nice bird’s eye view but the astute reader will notice that the U is virtually non-existent. Today, that empty space to the left of Assumption Church is chock full of campus buildings. (And Sandwich is no longer a town as it was swallowed up by the City of Windsor, Ontario.)

When I was trying to find out when the first campus building was erected, I discovered lots of other things I didn’t know about the University. So here are…

Things I Didn’t Learn When I Was Getting My Edjamication:

The cornerstone of Assumption College was laid in the spring of 1855. Assumption was originally 90 feet long, 50 feet wide, 43 feet high and cost $11,000.

On February 10, 1857, a group of young men kicked the snow off their boots and tramped through the doors of  the three-storey stone building to begin their first day of secondary school.

My favorite new fun fact: According to a 1902/1903 Assumption College booklet, discipline meant that “the use of tobacco is strictly forbidden” and that “incorrigible sloth or giddiness will not be tolerated.”

By 1919, Assumption became one of the largest colleges associated with the University of Western Ontario.

The Bishop of London suggested in 1920 that the entire Assumption College and community move to London! The Basilians, under Father Francis Forster and Father Dan Dillon, declined the invitation, appealing successfully to Rome. (So that’s how Dillon Hall, the prettiest old building – 1928 – on campus,  got its name!)

The War Memorial Hall (known as Memorial Hall – aha!) is a landmark building on the campus of the University of Windsor used as classrooms, labs, and offices. Built in 1947, Memorial Hall honours alumni who had enlisted and died in the First World War,  and in the Second World War. A bronze tablet remembers the alumni of Assumption College who died in the Second World War. (This old building is also very pretty.)

In 1950, Assumption College welcomed its first women students. (About time!)

In 1956, the College changed its name to Assumption University by an Act of the Ontario Legislature. (!)

As a religious institution, Assumption College couldn’t access public funds and had to rely on student fees and donations to operate so it stayed tiny. In 1956, under President Father EC LeBel (so that’s where the LeBel Building – the art school – got its name!), Assumption University of Windsor was established, with the non-denominational Essex College as an affiliate. The institution offered engineering, commerce, nursing and science and hoped to obtain a more sound financial footing.

Leddy Library was named for Dr. J. Francis Leddy (this I knew) who became President of the University of Windsor in 1964 and presided over a period of explosive growth. From 1967-77, Windsor grew from approximately 1,500 to 8,000 full-time students. (I did not know this.)

Today, the campus covers 51 hectares (125 acres – that’s pretty big, eh?), has 40 buildings and 16,000 full- and part-time students.

More than 80,000 people world-wide call the University of Windsor their alma mater, including me. :  )

You can learn more about the history of the U here:
http://www.uwindsor.ca/

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About Elaine Weeks

How history was taught in my day: memorize lots of boring dates and facts, watch corny old black & white history films. There was one bright spot, however. Grade 9 history at Walkerville Collegiate with Miss Falls (Georgina) when she taught a section on local history and took us on a field trip to explore some of Windsor's built heritage. Due to a peculiar series of events, celebrating local history became part of my business. My company, (partner is Chris Edwards,) Walkerville Publishing Inc., launched "The Walkerville Times" in 1999, which in due course became "The Times Magazine". Our goal was to make history real. I am a writer, editor, blogger, photographer, mother, wife, sister, activist, traveller, gardener, knitter, masters track & field competitor (when I have time), glass is nearly full person.
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9 Responses to Giddiness Will Not Be Tolerated. Who knew that about the U?

  1. April says:

    Hi
    I was wondering if you could give me more information on Dillion hall! Thx

    • selainew says:

      There is a book by George McMahon called “Pure Zeal” which is about the history of the University. I would imagine there would be info about Dillon Hall in there. You should be able to purchase a copy at the U of W bookstore or borrow it through the Windsor Public Library. Leddy Library at the U will have it for sure.

  2. Ed says:

    Memorial Hall’s cornerstoned says:

    A. D. 1947

  3. Ed says:

    “Assumption College” now called “Dillon Hall” has a cornerstone indicating

    A. D. MCMXXVII

  4. wecf says:

    Elaine,
    I believe that, what is now, Dillon Hall was the first building. You can see it’s spire rising just behind Assumption Church. For the past year the University has been restoring the brick and stonework on the outside and it is looking beautiful.

    • selainew says:

      Thanks for the comment!
      Dillon Hall was built in 1928. I have not been able to find out the year Memorial Hall was built. I Googled it to learn “The War Memorial Hall (more generally known as Memorial Hall) is a landmark building on the campus of the University of Windsor used as classrooms, labs, and offices. Memorial Hall honours alumni who had enlisted and died in the First World War, and in the Second World War. A bronze tablet remembers the alumni of Assumption College who died in the Second World War.[12] Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/university-of-windsor#ixzz1GrLBop7r
      WWI ended in 1918, WWII in 1945. Could Dillon have been built in the 1920s or post 1945?
      I am happy to hear that it is getting work done.

  5. Owen says:

    Great post!!!!

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