Concordia University

Sir George Williams University

The 75th anniversary of the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University was honoured at the President's Reunion Gala during Homecoming 2012.

History of Sir George Williams University

The history of Sir George Williams University began with the establishment of the Young Men’s Christian Association in Montreal in 1851. In 1873, the association inaugurated evening courses in vocational and general education, adopting the name Sir George Williams College in 1926, in honour of the founder of the YMCA.

The college increased formal education opportunities for both young men and women employed in Montreal, and grew from a two-year program in the 1920s to a four-year program in 1934. In 1948, Sir George Williams College officially obtained its university charter although it had been granting degrees since 1936-37. In 1959, the college changed its name to Sir George Williams University.

The university operated in various "annexes" throughout the neighbourhood but rapid expansion of the university led to the construction of a new building to accommodate all of its activities. In 1956, Sir George Williams University moved into the newly constructed Norris Building.

Even as the new building was opened, it was evident it would not be large enough and increasingly heavy enrolment forced the university into more annexes. Planning began for the construction of a new and larger building, and in 1966, the Henry F. Hall Building was opened on de Maisonneuve Boulevard.

Sir George Williams University was the first Canadian university to offer a full range of university programs to evening students. In August 1974, Sir George Williams University merged with Loyola College to form Concordia University.

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