Concordia is a comprehensive university located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The name of the university comes from the motto of the City of Montreal, “Concordia Salus,” which means “well-being through harmony.”

Although the roots of its founding institutions go back more than 160 years, Concordia University was formed on August 24, 1974 through the merger of Loyola College (1896) and Sir George Williams University (1926).

Loyola vs Sir George, September 23, 1972Loyola vs Sir George, September 23, 1972

Integrated Institution

In 1968, in the wake of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education 1963-1966 (the Parent Commission Report), the Quebec government asked Loyola and Sir George Williams to consider some form of union. Negotiations began in 1969 and continued intermittently over the next four years.

While a number of possible models were considered, including that of a loose federation, the solution finally adopted was that of an integrated institution, Concordia University, operating under the existing Sir George Williams charter.



First issue of The Link (student newspaper), August 22, 1980First issue of The Link (student newspaper), August 22, 1980

Academic Growth

The new university began with five Faculties: a merged Faculty of Commerce (now the John Molson School of Business), a merged Faculty of Engineering (now the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science), a Sir George Williams Faculty of Arts, a SGW Faculty of Science, and a Loyola Faculty of Arts and Science.

The first phase of the centralization of Arts and Science took place in 1977, and the present Faculty of Arts and Science, under a single dean, was formed in 1985. The Faculty of Fine Arts was created in 1976.

Concordia’s five colleges in the Faculty of Arts and Science (Liberal Arts College, Loyola International College, School of Community and Public Affairs, Science College, and de Beauvoir Institute) were founded to give students a unique interdisciplinary experience.

The popular Institute for Co-operative Education, which arranges work terms for students in certain disciplines, was established in 1980.

Loyola’s Vanier Library expanded in the late 1980’s on its current site, while the library facilities at Sir George Williams moved to a new home in the J.W. McConnell Building in 1992 to become the Webster Library.

That same year, as the university began to make strides in expanding post-graduate studies, the School of Graduate Studies replaced the Division of Graduate Studies.

J.W. McConnell Building, opened September 1992, Concordia's first new building after the mergerJ.W. McConnell Building, opened September 1992, Concordia's first new building after the merger

Growth and Development

Over the past several years, Concordia has been expanding as it reinvests in faculty, students and infrastructure. Existing facilities were renovated and new university buildings were added to accommodate growing enrolment. These include the Richard J. Renaud Science Complex, which opened at Loyola in August 2003, and the twin-towered Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex, which was inaugurated on the Sir George Williams campus in September 2005.

The stunning 15-storey John Molson School of Business building opened its doors to its 8,000 students in September 2009, contributing immensely to the revitalization of the Quartier Concordia area. The Loyola Campus has a new inflatable dome to allow university and community sports and recreational activities during the winter months.

In addition to several building renovations, new projects underway include Concordia’s genomics lab and the PERFORM Centre, which is dedicated to research, training and community programs in exercise sciences. Those initiatives were made possible by funding from the federal and Quebec governments.

Another project to come is the transformation of the landmark Grey Nuns property.

Learn more about these and other Concordia building projects on the Campus Buildings page.

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