100 Years of Mount Royal
Originally to be called the “Calgary College,” someone from the Alberta legislature phones George Kerby in the middle of the night to tell him that name was already reserved for a past school proposal. “Call it Mount Royal College,” Kerby said. He later admitted he hadn’t had time to collect his thoughts. Even then, the community of Mount Royal was full of prosperous Calgarians.
Dec. 16, 1910: Mount Royal College is granted a charter by the Alberta government.
Sept. 5, 1911: Mount Royal opens its downtown campus doors with 179 students.
1912: Wesley Baird Steinhauer is the first Aboriginal student to attend Mount Royal College. plays on the school’s lacrosse team.
1920s: A residence is built next to the campus at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street S.W., and since meals are provided, “There is no need for students buying food to appease hunger. Boxes from home…lead to disorder.”
1924: Piano teacher Leonard Leacock joins the Mount Royal Conservatory, where he will teach for 62 years. The Leacock Theatre is
named after him.
1931: First-year tuition is $125 for the first semester; $135 plus a $15 lab fee for the second semester.
1931: Mount Royal College becomes a junior college of the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Students can now take the first two years of their degree at Mount Royal, transferring to a university for their senior years.
1932: Due to the Great Depression, faculty members take a 10 per cent salary cut. Dean Fred B. Friend is the highest- paid faculty member, earning $2,250 in 1932-33.
1939-1945: Roughly 300 staff, students, faculty and alumni serve in the Second World War.
1939-1945: Mount Royal’s war contributions include a cadet corps and roughly 50 college girls belong to the Women’s War Services.
June 26, 1942: Mount Royal president George Kerby retires at the age of 82, deciding to leave “on top,” as the school has never had higher attendance (596 students) or more graduating students.
February 1947: The gymnasium is accidentally burned down and recreational facilities are moved to the basement of Grace Church.
1948: The Kerby Memorial Building is built in 1948 and dedicated in mid-June 1949 in memory of Kerby, who died in 1944.
1951-52: Principal John Gar- den sums up the year’s activities: “There has been little trouble, apart from the raids on the girl’s residence by some boys and the retaliating raids by the girls.” Garden blames the influence of several U.S universities for the “panty raids,” which be- come popular on campus.
December 1954: The board of governors decides to sever ties with the University of Alberta when the University of Calgary opens and students stop attending MRC arts and science transfer courses.
1956: The Business Administration department of the Mount Royal Junior College is established.
1960s: Mount Royal adopts the cougar as its mascot.
Nov. 30. 1962: First issue of the Reflector, then known as the Royal Reflector, is published.
1963: Mount Royal starts de- veloping career programs, in- cluding journalism and interior design.
mid-1960s: Mount Royal plays a key role in the develop- ment of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference.
1966: Mount Royal transi- tions from a private Methodist institution to a public institu- tion of the province of Alberta.
1966: Saturday morning classes are removed from the schedule to the delight of most students.
Oct. 21, 1968: A Reflector ar- ticle on how to use birth control is censored by North Hill News — a blank page is printed in- stead.
Nov. 11, 1968: The city sells the former RCAF base, now the Lincoln Park Campus, to MRC for $373,030, making zero prof- it on the sale.
1970s: The “barn,” Mount Royal’s first campus, is demolished.
February 1970: General edu- cation courses are compulsory.
1972: The new Lincoln Park Campus opens, but there are no residence buildings, though parking is free. The fall 2010 edition of Reflections claims that each floor was decorated a different colour so people could find their way around, but the actual decorating logic isn’t clear. There were 3,000 stu- dents enrolled at Mount Royal.
1972: The Rathskellar was the predecessor of today’s Lib- erty Lounge.
September 1976: After conducting inventory in 1974, the library realizes it’s missing about 2,800 books and installs security gates.
Sept. 16, 1977: Noise complaints were common in the library, but it was students using typewriters that generated the noise. A quiet area, microfiche resources, after-hours drop box and computer link to major databases are added.
Nov. 23, 1983: 1,338 students sign a petition against the possibility of a faculty strike — 75 per cent of faculty later ratify their contract in December.
Feb. 16, 1984: Student journalists take action over Journal 3009 (today the Calgary Journal) newspaper censorship.
April 11, 1984: Ground is broken for Wyckham House’s Student Centre.
Jan. 29, 1988: Official opening ceremonies for Wyckham House.
1989: the land and apart- ments that housed journalists for the 1988 Winter Olympics are given to Mount Royal by the provincial government. With the addition of “East Residence,” Mount Royal becomes a “living and learning” campus, after 15 years of without resi- dences.
1989: “Enigma” and “Hom- age,” sculptures by Derek Besant are installed on campus. “Homage” is the chair sculpture presently in the traffic circle outside West Gate; “Enigma” is now in storage during east cam- pus construction.
1990: The Office of International Education opens, and eight Mount Royal students take part in the first international exchange.
Sept.19, 1996: Mount Royal almost loses bus route #13, but significant community outcry stops the proposal.
Oct. 31, 1996: Students tak- ing the Introduction to Gov- ernment and Politics class are offered two “packages”: the “all-inclusive,” where a student is graded on their quality of work, and the “basic,” where a student can opt whether or not to attend classes and hand in work at his or her own pace. The highest mark achievable in the “basic” package is a C+.
January 1996: The institution’s first website is launched.
April 2, 1998: Residence rent increases to $276 per month for a four-bedroom unit, $344 per month for a double unit and $430 for a single unit.
1999: The Liberty Lounge is born when Thirsty’s Pub, opened in 1987, undergoes a major renovation.
2002: West Residence building opens
April 4, 2002: College plans to increase Internet and network access on campus.
March 31, 2003: David Marshall is announced as the next president, to begin in September 2003.
Sept. 8, 2006: The Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning opens, the last building in a $150-million expansion project that included the creation of the EA building, Bissett Building, West Residence and expansion of the Recreation centre.
2008: Renovations on Wyckham House are completed.
Sept. 3, 2009: Mount Royal sheds its college tag and becomes Mount Royal University.
Sept. 16, 2010: Wild Rose Brewery launches “Royal 100” in honour of Mount Royal’s centennial. The beer was named by alumni Nick Fanella and Robert Madge.
Dec. 16, 2010: Mount Royal University officially celebrates its 100th birthday.