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Creation of Departments at Sir George Williams

Sir George Williams

On February 17, 1961 the SGW Faculty Council agreed unanimously that the College would adopt the designations “department” and department “chairman” to reflect the already existing reality within the divisions of Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Commerce.

Sir George Williams College, from its early days, had been committed to the principle of “general education” and there was ongoing concern that the College‘s administrative structure should contribute to this . There had been a reluctance to designate specific departments and department chairs, although the term subject matter was often referred to and instructors in a specified “subject matter” would meet and worked on program content in their subject area. The following is an excerpt from the February 17, 1961 minutes of the SGW Faculty Council:

Clarification re use of term "Department"

The Chairman explained his reason for including this item on the agenda by pointing out that there has been, for some time, a growing feeling that the time had now arrived to deal with this problem which has plagued us for so long. . . . It was obvious that we would have to regularize this situation especially since staff members have persistently considered that “departments” do exist and reference by both students and staff is commonly made to the existence of this department or

As agreed at the meeting the names appear in the University calendar and are formalized as follows:

  • 1961-62: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Engineering, English, Fine Arts, French, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology
  • 1963-64: Accountancy, Applied Social Science, Classics & Modern Languages, Geography, Religion, Sociology
  • 1964-65: Sociology & Anthropology
  • 1965-66: Administration, Finance, Marketing



The formation of formal departments is not clearly documented at Loyola, but the first time the term “department” is used in the calendars is in the 1962/63 Loyola calendar.

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