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Mount Allison University

Mount Allison University
Latin: Universitatis Montis Allisoniani
Motto Litterae, Religio, Scientia
Motto in English
Writing, Divinity, Knowledge
Established June 1839
Type Public
Affiliation United Church of Canada
Endowment $110 million
Chancellor Peter Mansbridge
President Dr. Robert Campbell
Academic staff
Students 2,694[1]
Undergraduates 2,678
Postgraduates 16
Location Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
Campus Rural
Colours Garnet      & gold     
Athletics CIS, AUS,
Nickname Mounties
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, ACU, CIS, CBIE, AUS, CUP

Mount Allison University (also Mount A or MTA) is a primarily undergraduate Canadian liberal arts and science university situated in Sackville, New Brunswick. It has been ranked number-one in the country for 18 of the last 24 years by Maclean's magazine (in the category of "primarily undergraduate" universities) and given top ratings in Maclean's annual alumni survey.[2] With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the average first-year class size is 65 and upper-year classes average 14 students.[3]

Mount Allison University was the first university in the British Empire to award a baccalaureate to a woman (Grace Annie Lockhart, B.Sc, 1875). Mount Allison graduates have been awarded a total of 52 Rhodes Scholarships,[4] the most per capita of any university in the Commonwealth.[5] Mount Allison is the wealthiest university in Canada on an endowment per student basis.[6][7]


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
    • Faculties, departments, and programs 2.1
  • Housing 3
  • Social life 4
  • Student government 5
  • Administration 6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • Athletics 8
  • Labour Relations 9
  • See also 10
    • Books 10.1
  • References 11
  • External links 12


Mount Allison's origins go back to a boys' academy founded in June 1839 by a local Methodist merchant, Charles Frederick Allison. Charles Allison's grandfather had emigrated from Ireland to Canada in the late 18th century because of the after effects of a dinner with the local government tax collector. Wanting to impress the man, the family had set the table with their one valuable possession; silver spoons. After entertaining their guest, the Allisons were informed by the tax collector that if they could afford silver spoons, then they could certainly afford to pay more taxes. The Allisons left Ireland shortly thereafter. The offending spoons are now on display in the main university library.

In June 1839, Charles Allison was encouraged by Wesleyan Methodist Minister Rev John Bass Strong that a school of elementary and higher learning be built. He offered to purchase a site in Sackville, to erect a suitable building for an academy, and to contribute operating funds of £100 a year for 10 years. This offer was accepted and the Wesleyan Academy for boys subsequently opened in 1843.[8]

Mount Allison University is a United Church-affiliated, but non-sectarian university which was established at Sackville, New Brunswick on January 19, 1843. The university was named after Charles Frederick Allison, in honour of his gift of land and money.[9] Its origins were steeped in the Methodist faith. It was designed to prepare men for the ministry and to supply education for lay members.[10] The university was chartered on April 14, 1849.[9]

Current Chancellor, Peter Mansbridge

In 1854, a girls' institution (later known as the "Ladies College") was opened to complement the boys' academy. In 1858 an Act of the New Brunswick Legislature authorized the trustees to establish a degree-conferring institution at Sackville, under the name of the Mount Allison Wesleyan College.[11]

In July 1862, the degree-granting Mount Allison College was organised. The first two students, Howard Sprague and [11]

The university's affiliation was transferred to the United Church of Canada following church union in 1925. Original components of the university included: the Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy for Boys (1840–1958), the Ladies' College (1854–1958), and Mount Allison College. Mount Allison College was established in 1862 with degree-granting powers on behalf of the other two.[14]

The Sackville founders monument commemorates Sackville's incorporation and its founding peoples. It was installed on the campus of Mount Allison University in 2003.

The governance was modelled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the 2 bodies and to perform institutional leadership.[15]

In the early part of the 20th century, professional education expanded beyond the traditional fields and graduate training based on the German-inspired American model of specialized course work and the completion of a research thesis was introduced.[15]

By 1920, Mount Allison University had three faculties: Arts, Theology, and Engineering. It awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Divinity (BD), and Master of Arts. It had 246 male students and 73 female students, as well as 28 academic staff, all male.[16]

The Bronze Memorial Plaques on the ground floor atrium of the Wallace McCain Student Centre list the names of Allisonians who lost their lives at war. Every year since 1927, the names of each of the fallen are read aloud during the University’s annual Remembrance Day service. The Plaques were first located on 8 June 1927 in the main hall of the Memorial Library, which was dedicated to those Allisonians who died in the First World War. Plaques to a Nursing Sister killed in the First World War, and other Allisonians killed in the South African War, Second World War, and Korea were added subsequently. In 1958 they were moved to the stairway due to renovation. In 1970, the building was renamed the University Centre. The Plaques were moved to their current location in 2008.[17]

The closure of the School for Girls in 1946 and the Boy's Academy in 1953 coincided with a period of expansion and provided much-needed space for the growing university. In 1958, a period of construction and acquisition of buildings began, easing the strain of overcrowding at the institution. At this time the university board and administration decided to reaffirm the traditional aims of Mount Allison in providing a high-quality undergraduate liberal arts education, along with continuing to offer professional programmes in already-established fields. As such, the university decided not to compete for new professional programs and generally avoided post-graduate course development.

The policy of university education initiated in the 1960s responded to population pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society.[18] Mount Allison University was established by the Mount Allison University Act, 1993.[19]

Mount Allison University's Arms and Badge were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on November 15, 2007.[20]

Sidney Perry Dumaresq (architect) designed the rear addition to Central Building, 1910.[21] Andrew R. Cobb designed several campus buildings including: Memorial Library, 1926–27, demol. 2011; Flemington (Science) Building, 1930–31; Centennial Hall, 1933. The Memorial Library (renamed University Centre in 1970) was constructed in 1927 in the Tudor Revival style.[22] Part of a memorial listed in the Canadian Forces' National Inventory of Canadian Military Memorials - № 13002-004 - the memorial also included the original set of brass plaques which are now located in the Wallace McCain Student Centre.

Owens Art Gallery

Opened to the public since 1895, Owens Art Gallery which can be found on campus adjacent to the student centre, is the oldest University-owned art gallery in Canada.

In 2014, Mount Allison will open the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts. The new home to the university’s Fine Arts Department and Drama program will feature art studios, a studio hall, an atrium, and a theatre.[3]


In October 2014, Mount Allison University was ranked the number-one university in Canada for the 18th time in the primarily undergraduate university category, as rated by Maclean's magazine.[23] Mount Allison has also produced 52 Rhodes Scholars, with 11 students receiving the award in the past 13 years.[24]

The mission statement of Mount Allison University promotes "the creation and dissemination of knowledge in a community of higher learning, centred on the undergraduate student and delivered in an intimate and harmonious environment". Mount Allison currently offers bachelor's degrees in Arts, Science, Commerce, Fine Arts and Music, as well as master's degrees in biology and chemistry and certificates in bilingualism.[25] A Bachelor's degree in Aviation has recently been developed in conjunction with the Moncton Flight College.

In 2013, 67% of the student body had received an entrance scholarship.

The university's enrollment is approximately 2,500 students.[26]

Faculties, departments, and programs

  • Faculty of Arts (B.A, B.Mus.,B.F.A.)
    • Classics
    • English
    • Fine Arts
    • History
    • Modern Languages & Literatures
    • Music
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • American Studies
    • Canadian Studies
    • Drama
    • Women's Studies
  • Faculty of Social Sciences (B.A., B.Comm.)
    • Anthropology
    • Commerce
    • Economics
    • Geography & Environment
    • Politics and International Relations
    • Sociology
    • Environmental Studies
  • Faculty of Science (B.Sc., M.Sc.)
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics & Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Aviation (in conjunction with Moncton Flight College)
    • Biochemistry
    • Environmental Science
    • Cognitive Science


One of the single rooms at Campbell Hall

Mount Allison has housing facilities available for approximately 50 percent of its student population. More than 90 percent of first-year students choose to live in residence. On-campus accommodations are guaranteed to all first-year students who meet admission and deposit deadlines. All rooms come with high speed wired as well as wireless Internet.

All buildings are co-ed with wing to wing or integrated bathrooms. Sixty percent of rooms are either single or ensuite style and 40 percent are double accommodation. Campbell Hall, a newly built residence and winner of CBIP Award for incorporation of environment features, offers large single rooms with ensuite bathrooms.[27] For students wishing to immerse themselves in French language and culture, based on student interest, the university offers students the opportunity to live together. In addition, Mount Allison also offers students a chance to live in one of four satellite residences (Bermuda, Carriage, Cuthebertson, and The Anchorage), which are smaller in size, ranging from eleven residents to 30. These houses also offer specific themes, Bermuda as the international house (housing a mix of students from around the world), Carriage as the animal house (taking care of animals for the Moncton SPCA), Cuthbertson as the environmentally-friendly house, and Anchorage as the healthy living house.

The following halls are open for new and returning students:

  • Campbell Hall
  • Harper Hall
  • Windsor Hall
  • Bigelow House
  • Bennett House
  • Hunton House
  • Thornton House
  • Edwards House

Student enrollment increased 17% from 2007-2012, and an increase in cost for on-campus living has also occurred. As a result, the town of Sackville has seen a boom in construction of off-campus apartments for students and a very low vacancy rate.[28] A majority of students live off-campus after completing their second year.

Social life

Social life at Mount Allison tends to focus on extracurricular activities: 140 clubs and societies and over 30 varsity, club, and intramural sports teams.[3]

Mount Allison students also socialize at places like Gracie's, The Pond (Campus Pub), Ducky's, Joey's, and the Bridge Street Café.

Mount Allison's campus paper, The Argosy, is produced weekly by Argosy Publications Inc., an independent organization funded by the students through an annual fee. The publication dates from 1872, making it one of the oldest continuous publications in Atlantic Canada. Its community radio station, CHMA 106.9 FM, is owned and operated by the members of Attic Broadcasting Company Ltd., a non-profit organization with its offices on the university campus.

Springtime in Sackville - a view of Convocation Hall from the swan pond, Mount Allison University.

Tintamarre theatre company was founded at Mount Allison by Professor Alex Fancy and produces a bilingual collective each year, staged at the Windsor Theatre and later presented at junior and senior high schools throughout the Maritime provinces. There is a performing arts series staged at Convocation Hall (one of the largest concert halls east of Montreal) during the school year. A Shakespearean "Festival by the Marsh" is traditionally staged by the Swan Pond in the summer.

Fine Art students run START Gallery within Struts Gallery, a CARFAC artist-run center.

Student government

The Mount Allison Students Union (MASU) is the representative council which governs the Mount Allison Students' Union Inc.

The Mount Allison Students' Union aims to foster a community where the quality of student life (educational, social and personal) is constantly improving.
— [29]

The Mount Allison Students' Union acts as both a representative governing body and provides students with services. Services include: Funding for academic enrichment, assistance to 157 clubs and societies, an extended health and dental insurance plan, scholarships, grad class events, used book sales, yearbooks, orientation, Shinerama, a student housing directory, delivery condom service, entertainment, an exam database, faxing and photocopying.


Mount Allison University 107726820RR0001 was registered as a charitable organization in Canada on January 1, 1967. The primary areas in which the charity is now carrying on programs to achieve its charitable purposes, ranked according to the percentage of time and resources devoted to each program area follow:

  • Universities and colleges 97%
  • Scholarships, bursaries, awards 3%

The charity carried on charitable programs to further its charitable purpose(s) (as defined in its governing documents) this fiscal period:

  • Provides rigorous liberal education primarily to undergraduate students in a co-educational intimate residential environment.
  • Provides scholarships, bursaries and awards to students.[30]

Notable alumni

Mount Allison has produced more Rhodes Scholars (noted by RS in the list below) per capita than any other university in the Commonwealth.


Mount Allison Mounties

The school's team name in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) is the Mount Allison Mounties. The football team has appeared in the Vanier Cup national college football championship game twice (1984 & 1991). Recently, the Mount Allison football team has made playoffs appearances in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013. The 2013 team won the AUS championship, but lost to the Laval Rouge et Or in the Uteck Bowl (the national college football semi final). Mount Allison is also home to a CIS-level women's hockey team, as well as swim, badminton and soccer teams. Basketball and volleyball teams compete against colleges and other smaller universities. Mount Allison is also the winner of the first ever ACAA men's rugby championship in 2007 and remained undefeated through 2010, resulting in four consecutive championships.[33] In both 2008 and 2009 the men's and women's Mounties remained undefeated throughout the regular season and became ACAA champions.[33] The university women's hockey team plays at the Tantramar Civic Centre.

Labour Relations

Mount Allison Faculty are represented by the Mount Allison Faculty Association,[34] and the staff of the university by the Mount Allision Staff Association (C.U.P.E. 3433).[35] Mount Allison has a history of strikes, with the latest being a 3 week long faculty strike in early 2014.[36] After this strike, students sought a refund for tuition, a request that was denied by the board of regeants.[37]

See also


  • Dr. Marie Hammond Callaghan, Ed. 'We Were Here: Women's History at Mount Allison University' (Sackville: © Mount Allison University Press, 2006);
  • J.W. Falconer and W.G. Watson 'A Brief History of Pine Hill Divinity Hall and the Theological Department of Mount Allison University' (Halifax: Pine Hill Divinity Hall, 1946 Pamphlet)
  • John G. Reid, 'Mount Allison University: A History to 1963' (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984);
  • John G. Reid, 'The Mount Allison Ladies College: A Short History, 1984. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984);


  1. ^ "Full-time plus Part-time Enrollment" (PDF). Association of Atlantic Universities. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "Mount Alison University Newfoundland". 
  4. ^ Rebecca Anne Dixon is Mount Allison’s 50th Rhodes Scholar
  5. ^ Kelly O'Conner is Mount Allison's 49th Rhodes Scholar
  6. ^ They're in the money Archived May 24, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Mount Allison University, Search Universities & Colleges Campus Starter
  8. ^ John G. Reid, “ALLISON, CHARLES FREDERICK,” in EN:UNDEF:public_citation_publication, vol. 8, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed January 27, 2015, Project Gutenberg EBook #6466 of 'The Intellectual Development of the Canadian People, A historical review' by John George Bourinot, House of Commons, Ottawa, February 17th, 1881
  9. ^ a b Pound, Richard W. (2005). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Makers of Canada: Index and Dictionary of Canadian History, by Various 2010
  12. ^ Mount Allison University. (n.d.). About Mount Allison. Retrieved on July 29, 2008 from
  13. ^ Semple, N. (1996). The Lord's Dominion: The History of Canadian Methodism. McGill-Queen's Press, p. 253.
  14. ^ Mount Allison University
  15. ^ a b http://*
  16. ^ Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Canada Year Book 1921, Ottawa, 1922
  17. ^ Bronze Memorial Plaques
  18. ^ *http://* PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0008242
  19. ^ Mount Allison University Act
  20. ^ Arms and Badge
  21. ^ Sidney Perry Dumaresq
  22. ^ Biographic Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950 Andrew Taylor (Architect)
  23. ^ The 2015 Maclean’s University Rankings
  24. ^!/
  25. ^ Future Students - Academics
  26. ^ Registrar's Office - Frequently Asked Questions Mount Allison University
  27. ^ Mount Allison receives Federal Energy Award
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Canada Revenue Agency Charities listing
  31. ^ Chawkins, Owain (2015-06-22). "Artist and former MP dies aged 88".  
  32. ^
  33. ^ a b
  34. ^
  35. ^ Mount Allison Staff Association
  36. ^
  37. ^

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • University Website
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