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Royal Roads University

Royal Roads University
Motto Life.Changing
Established 1940 Royal Roads Military College converted into Royal Roads University 1995
Type Public university
Endowment $40 million
Chancellor Wayne Strandlund
President Dr. Allan R. Cahoon
Academic staff
52 core full-time, plus 450 associate faculty
Students 2,500
Location Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Campus urban
Colours White      & blue     
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, CVU, CBIE

Royal Roads University is a public university located in Colwood, British Columbia.


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
  • Royal Roads University Museum 3
  • Academics 4
  • Centres 5
  • Student government 6
  • Campus and grounds 7
  • Other buildings 8
  • General ranking 9
  • Business school ranking 10
  • Notable alumni 11
  • Media Appearances 12
  • See also 13
  • Books 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


In 1995, Royal Roads Military College at Hatley Park National Historic Site on the Esquimalt Lagoon, was decommissioned and the government of British Columbia created Royal Roads University as a public university with an applied and professional degree-granting focus.[1][2] Royal Roads University maintains strong ties with the Canadian Forces[3] and considers alumni of RRMC as part of its broader alumni community. Royal Roads University has now graduated over 20,000 students in the fields of leadership, business, environment, communication and social justice who are working in over 60 countries around the world.


Royal Roads Military College Stained-Glass Window
Royal Roads Military College Stained-Glass Window
Royal Roads Military College Mace at Royal Roads University

The university's main building, Elizabeth, and their two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, to reside in Canada. Hatley Castle was purchased by the federal government in 1940 for use as the King's royal palace,[4] however, it was decided that having the Royal Family leave the UK at a time of war would be too big a blow to morale, and the family stayed in London.

After the death of Dunsmuir and then his widow Laura, the family sold the estate to the federal government in 1940 to be used by the military. HMCS Royal Roads (named after an offshore naval anchorage) was commissioned in December 1940 to train reserve officers for service in World War II.[5] The institution had several names before it eventually became Royal Roads Military College in 1968 (achieving full degree-granting status in 1975).

Petty Officer First Class Gabby R. Bruner, Royal Roads bandmaster from 1979-85 composed `Hatley Park` as the official quick march for RRMC and `Dunsmuir Castle` for the Visit of Queen Elizabeth to Royal Roads in 1983.[6]

When the military college was decommissioned, many of the academic staff stayed on.[7] The historic buildings of the military college, and the extensive gardens, which were part of the estate of Lord and Lady Dunsmuir, continue to be a centrepiece of the campus. Hatley Castle, the former residence of the Dunsmuir family, houses a small Canadian Military museum.

In June 1995, Royal Roads University became a public degree-granting university.[8]

A replica of Lord Horatio Nelson's quote, "Duty is the great business of a sea officer: All private considerations must give way to it however painful it is." which hung over the entrance to the Grant Building, was returned to Royal Roads University campus for Homecoming in 2011.

Royal Roads University Museum

Royal Roads Military College carving

The museum is located in the lower level of Hatley Castle, on the campus of the Royal Roads University and former campus of the Royal Roads Military College. The Museum mandate is to collect, conserve, research and display material relating to the history of the Royal Roads Military College, its former cadets and its site.

The Royal Roads Military College Museum is a member of the Canadian Forces Museum System.[9] The museum has formed a cooperating association of friends of the museum to assist with projects.[10] The museum is open to the public.


Royal Roads University offers applied and professional programs at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, focusing on graduate level career development. The programs are primarily offered in a cohort model as a blended format, combining periodic on campus residencies for face to face intensive sessions with on line courses. This format is designed to favour working professionals, who may complete the programs at a distance while maintaining their career. The University offers three formats: i) on-site with 100% face to face learning, ii) blended, with part of the program taught in a face to face residency and the balance on line; and iii) completely on-line. Residency based programs range from one to three weeks, and are often held on-campus, but select programs host their residencies in unique locations around the world.[11] Mature students are welcome, and credits are available for prior experience in the subject area. The university also offers some full-time accelerated on-campus undergraduate programs.


Royal Roads is the home to the Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology (CLE), Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies (CTET), Centre for Health Leadership and Research (CHLR), and The Institute for Values-Based Leadership (IVBL). It will also house the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education (CCEE)- a current partnership between Royal Roads and ECO Canada.

Student government

The Royal Roads University Student Association represents undergraduate students at the university.

Campus and grounds

The campus and surrounding grounds of Royal Roads University are situated at Hatley Park National Historic Site. Royal Roads leases the land from the Department of National Defence for $1 per year and assumes all stewardship responsibilities related to the site including the cost of site management, operations, the protection, preservation and restoration of heritage assets, which include all buildings on the site as well as many heritage gardens and educating the public about the site's historic and natural attributes.[12]

Other buildings

Building (Year built) Significance Photo
Arbutus Building academic classrooms, administrative offices, a computer lab, and a canteen
Boat House (1989) boat house
Coronel Memorial Library memorial library honours Battle of Coronel, in which four young Canadians died.
dock (1990) dock
Guard House Building 38 Recognized Federal Heritage Building 2002[13]
Gatehouse Lodge RR8 (1912 to 1916) Recognized Federal Heritage Building 2000[14]
Hatley Park / Former Royal Roads Military College (1908–13) designated National Historic Site of Canada 1995[15]
Learning and Innovation Centre (2010-2011) First building constructed on campus since the transition from military college to university, in 1995.[16] With 33 breakout rooms, seven classrooms, five computer labs and social spaces, the building spans 5,781 square metres over four floors.[17]
Mews Conference Centre (1912) James Dunsmuir's stables and garage later converted to classrooms, dormitory, social centre and conference centre. Registered Federal Heritage Building[18]
Millward Wing (of the Nixon Building) (1991) Offices, dormitories, named for former Commandant Air Vice-Marshal James Bert Millward DFC (Bar), GdG(F), CD, RCAF 1949-52 the 4th Commandant of RRMC.

The grounds, a mix of landscaped gardens and natural woodland, still go by the name of Hatley Park that the Dunsmuir family gave their estate (it is not a designated park). Hatley Castle and its surroundings have made appearances in numerous movies and TV series programs such as Smallville where it serves as the Luthor Mansion, and the second and third X-Men films where the university is transformed into Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.

Visitors to the 565-acre (229 ha) Hatley Park can tour the extensive walking trails, as well as the Hatley Castle museum. The museum is free to enter, and contains historic, local memorabilia as well as a gift shop. Tours of the castle itself are available (schedule is seasonal) and access to the heritage gardens (approx 20 acres) have a visitor fee that helps offset the cost of preserving the site.

In a visit to the university in August 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated: "There is surely no more beautiful campus in Canada than Lord Dunsmuir’s magnificent castle and the majestic forest and gardens of the Hatley Park National Historic Site. But beneath the Edwardian grandeur of Royal Roads lies a cutting-edge modern university".[19]

During the life of the college, the HMCS Royal Roads Bell was displayed in the porte-cochere of Hatley Castle. After the closing of Royal Roads Military College, the HMCS Royal Roads Bell was kept in the Museum at CFB Esquimalt. It was officially repatriated on 10 Sep 2010 during the Royal Roads University 2010 Homecoming.

General ranking

Based on the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Royal Roads University was ranked 1st public institution for an active and collaborative learning experience and for level of academic challenge[20]

In 2008 the Globe and Mail Canadian University Report gave Royal Roads grades in particular categories along with 55 other universities. The grades are based on the Globe and Mail student satisfaction survey. Royal Roads was one of the 14 universities in the under 4000 students assessment pool and received a grade of B-:[21]

In both the 2009 and 2010 Globe and Mail Canadian University Report Royal Roads received an overall average of A-.[22] For a detailed break down of grades see past footnote.

Business school ranking

The BCom and MBA programs at Royal Roads were ranked by Corporate Knights Magazine in July 2007. The Royal Roads BCom program placed 28th out of the 47 BCom programs in Canada. The MBA placed 20th out of 35 MBA programs.[23] In 2008 Corporate Knights Magazine dropped the Bcom ranking from 28th to 36th out of 47 Bcom programs in the country.[24] The MBA program dropped from 20th to 31st with the assessment pool for the ranking growing from 35 to 38 MBA programs.[24] In 2009 Corporate Knights Magazine ranked the Bcom 25th overall out of 47 universities and 4th in the Small Sized Business School category.[25] The MBA ranked 22 overall out of 35 universities and 4th in the Small Sized Business School category. It should be noted that Corporate Knights magazine bases its rankings on "the integration of environmental and social issues into university and college programmes."[25]

Notable alumni

Hatley Castle
  • Dwain Bell, Vice President Distribution of Terasen Gas Inc.[26]
  • Vice-Admiral Jean-Yves Forcier, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific, Commander Canada Command, currently Head of Program for the Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management at Royal Roads.[27]
  • Kellie Garret, Senior Vice President of Farm Credit Canada and named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Woman by the Women’s Executive Network in 2007.[28]
  • David Hamilton, Deputy Minister of the Legislative Assembly and Chief Electoral Officer of the Northwest Territories.[29]
  • Jim Kyte, former NHL player and Chair of Business School Algonquin College
  • Lorraine McLachlan, President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association.[30]
  • Hugh MacDonald, former VP Strategic Alliance Management at CIBC, currently owner of HR Macdonald Training and Development, Inc.[31]
  • Dave Mori, President of the Entrepreneurs Association of Tokyo.[32]
  • Greg Moore, Mayor of Port Coquitlam.[33]
  • Peter Robinson, CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation and former CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op.[34]
  • Doug Stables, President of Bluewater Technologies Corporation.[35]
  • Jennifer Walinga, Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion in rowing.[36]
  • Capt. Kelly Williams, Director of Maritime Strategy for the Department of National Defense.[26]
  • Chris Hadfield, Canadian Astronaut

Media Appearances

The Royal Roads campus has been used as a location for filming TV shows and movies including The Changeling, the X-Men movies X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, Smallville, and Arrow.

See also


  • Dunnett, Peter J S; Rempel, W Kim (1990). Royal Roads Military College 1940-1990, a Pictorial Retrospective.  
  • Robinson, Maurice; Hall, Beverley; Price, Paul (1995). Royal Roads : a celebration.  


  1. ^ Royal Roads Military College - WorldHeritage, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Royal Roads University - Long history with Canadian Forces". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  4. ^ Office of the Lieutenant Governor: Speech by Iona Campolo, Retired Heads of Mission Association's Gala Dinner, Royal Roads University, Hatley Castle, Victoria, BC, February 5, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Royal Roads University - Historic Overview". Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  6. ^ RRMC band
  7. ^ "Royal Roads University - Rebirth of Royal Roads". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  8. ^ BC Government, Hansard
  9. ^ Royal Roads Museum
  10. ^ Canadian Forces Museums
  11. ^ "Royal Roads University - Royal Roads University Coat of Arms". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  12. ^ Directory of Federal Real Property Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
  13. ^ Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings
  14. ^ Registry of Historic Places of Canada
  15. ^ Registry of Historic Places of Canada - Hatley Park
  16. ^ Under Construction - Learning and Innovation Centre | Sustainability | Royal Roads University | Victoria, BC Canada. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  17. ^ Learning and Innovation Centre (LIC) | Sustainability | Royal Roads University | Victoria, BC Canada. Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
  18. ^ Registry of Historic Places of Canada - Stables
  19. ^ Enhancing Canada's Knowledge Infrastructure at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ - Maclean's On Campus. (2012-02-08)
  21. ^ "Canadian University Report" (PDF). The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 
  22. ^ Royal Roads University at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  24. ^ a b "Knight Schools 2008". Archived from the original on September 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  25. ^ a b Knight Schools 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ a b Shulgan, Christopher (2008-12-28). " 2005 executive education guide". Toronto: Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ "Royal Roads University - Kellie Garrett - MAL". Archived from the original on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  29. ^ "NEB - Reports - 2007 Annual Report". 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  30. ^ "University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) - UTAA Board of Directors 2007-2008". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  31. ^ The Arts of Influence: Soft Power and Distant Relationships. Victoria: Trafford
  32. ^ "Feature - Kevin Pereira, Creative Director, Hypu Advertising". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  33. ^ "Biography". City of Port Coquitlam. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  34. ^ "Royal Roads University - Speech - Peter Robinson". Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  35. ^ "Royal Roads University - Alumni News". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  36. ^ "Board of Directors". Retrieved 2008-12-28. 

External links

  • Royal Roads University
  • Asian MBA Program
  • Hatley Castle
  • Royal Roads University
  • Royal Roads University Bangladesh Campus
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