An aerial view of the campus.
140 Years - Canada 150 UM 140

The year 2017 marks the 140th anniversary of the University of Manitoba.

Over the past 140 years, the University of Manitoba has built a strong and engaged community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and community partners. We have more than 140,000 alumni living in 137 countries. Our 140th anniversary is about honouring our past while looking to the future.

View our interactive timeline showcasing key historical moments over the past 140 years:

 

1877

On Feb. 28, a bill is passed to establish a “Provincial University”. The University of Manitoba is formed by the federation of three existing colleges—St. Boniface College, St. John’s College and Manitoba College.

An illustration of the administration building.

1880

Reginald William Gunn, a Métis student of Manitoba College, receives the first degree.

A black and white photograph of Reginald William Gunn in his graduation gown.

1883

A.K. Isbister bequests the first gift: $83,000 to establish a scholarship and 4,000 volumes that form the University’s library.

An illustration of a gift.

1886

Jessie Holmes becomes U of M’s first female student.

An illustration of x.

1904

The first professors are appointed: B.B. Cochrane (Mathematics), Frank Allen (Physics and Minerology), A.H.R. Buller (Botany and Geology), M.A. Parker (Chemistry), Swale Vincent (Physiology and Biology) and Gordon Bell (Bacteriology, Pathology and Histology).

The first professors of the University of Manitoba in 1904.

1914

Students begin publication of The Manitoban.

The Manitoban logo.

1921

Graduates create the Alumni Association.

An illustration of a graduation cap.

1935

Men’s hockey and basketball teams begin using the Bisons moniker.

An illustration of a megaphone with Bisons written on it.

1940–41

The War has a dramatic effect on the University not only in enrollment but with the physical presence of soldiers at the Fort Garry residence.

Soldiers stand at attention in the Fort Garry residence.

1949

An honorary degree is conferred upon Eleanor Roosevelt. Nat “King” Cole is one of the judges for the best float in the annual Freshie Parade.

Eleanor Roosevelt smiles holding a fur coat.

1950

Flooding devastates the campus as 1,100 acres of university property becomes submerged.

A canoe floats through the U of M campus during a flood.

1974

Baldur Stefansson releases a new variety of rapeseed called Tower, later renamed canola.

An illustration of canola.

1975

The department of native studies is established in the Faculty of Arts.

An illustration of a feather.

1979

U of M begins its pioneering work in Kenya treating and preventing thousands of HIV/AIDS infections.

An illustration of the continent of Africa.

1993–94

English professor Carol Shields wins the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction for her newest novel, The Stone Diaries.

An illustration of a book.

1995–96

Three Bison teams capture national championships: women’s basketball, men’s volleyball, and track and field.

An illustration of a trophy.

2008

U of M instructor changes the teaching landscape by launching the world’s first MOOC (massive open online course).

An illustration of a computer screen with a mouse.

2014

U of M research team creates global excitement with discovery of ZMapp, a treatment for people already infected with Ebola.

An illustration of x.

2015

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation opens at the U of M providing Canadians with access to its innovative and progressive archive to foster reconciliation.

People march at the opening of the NCTR.

Feb 28, 2017

U of M’s 140th anniversary is celebrated with a winter festival.

Two students pose with a foam finger, bison hats, and #UM140 placard.
Students walk around in UMSU University Centre on the main floor.

By the Numbers

STUDENTS (WINTER TERM 2017)

  • 28,864 TOTAL
  • 24,607 UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
  • 3,557 GRADUATE STUDENTS
  • 16.9 PER CENT OF STUDENTS ARE INTERNATIONAL, REPRESENTING 116 COUNTRIES

STAFF (2016-17 FISCAL YEAR)

  • 9,235 TOTAL
  • 5,378 ACADEMIC STAFF
  • 3,857 SUPPORT STAFF
  • 1,150 FULL-TIME FACULTY

FROM HERE we look to the future

Informed by input from more than 1,000 faculty, staff, students and alumni, our University's strategic plan helps to guide our decision-making and answers the question "What future are we going to create?". Taking Our Place: University of Manitoba Strategic Plan 2015-2020 is a pledge to pursue five priorities that matter most:

  • + Inspiring Minds through innovative and quality teaching
  • + Driving Discovery and Insight through excellence in research, scholarly work and other creative activities
  • + Creating Pathways to Indigenous achievement
  • + Building Community that creates an outstanding learning and working environment
  • + Forging Connections to foster high-impact community engagement

This plan strengthens the University's statement of commitment to Indigenous achievement, and articulates a pledge to pursue relationships and dialogue with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples based on mutual trust, respect and reciprocity.

Students work in a lab with gloves and safety goggles.

Academic Units

Future pharmacists hone their skills in Apotex Centre's modern labs on the Bannatyne campus.

FROM HERE we define ourselves

The University of Manitoba has thrived for 140 years as a place where students come to learn and be inspired. We offer more than 100 programs and most of our academic departments have graduate studies leading to master's or doctoral degrees.

Alumni Mihskakwan James Harper stands in front of a group of faded-out trees.

Student Success

Young alumnus Mihskakwan James Harper [BScEng (Mech)/17], a recipient of multiple awards, including the Miller Thomson Foundation National Scholarship, demonstrated great passion for finding innovative solutions to make transportation more sustainable. Play video 

FROM HERE we push our limits

Twenty-one U of M doctoral students have received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship in the nine years since the award was introduced, and 98 students have been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship–more than any other university in Western Canada.


The Engineering Access Program has graduated the most Indigenous engineers in Canada: 117 and counting.


The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy is considered one of the strongest in the country, ranking first place on the national licensing exams in five of the last 10 years.


The University attracts young leaders like Dennis Drewnik, who won a Best Of Category Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair as a high school student after gaining lab experience alongside U of M researchers.

Smiling students study together.

Student Experience

During Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg, University of Manitoba students connect with the community at local non-profit agencies, including Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

FROM HERE we experience the world

At the University of Manitoba we believe an exceptional student experience is built on the foundation of innovative teaching that encourages students to learn, thrive and grow through unique experiential and engagement activities both on and beyond campus.


Undergraduate Research Awards have been awarded to 102 students in 2017. This award experience allows students to be mentored full-time with a professor of their choice for 16 weeks during the summer, to receive a $6,500 award, and to gain valuable experience in their field of interest.


Students can take part in over 100 service-learning, internship, co-op and exchange programs with the chance to travel and study abroad in more than 35 countries.


This year, the University launched a new Community Leadership Development Program empowering students to create positive change in our communities.

Four recipients of the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Graduate Students

Four new recipients of the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship will pursue research in areas as varied as Indigenous languages, HIV infection, Lou Gehrig’s disease and geothermal energy.

FROM HERE we find solutions

University of Manitoba graduate students are the future leaders of our communities, our businesses and our government. They fuel innovation with their expertise, generating wealth in our province.


Every year, graduate students showcase their research at the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. Students are challenged to share their findings in only three minutes, offering the public an opportunity to learn the latest in research.


Master of city planning graduate Madeleine Koch was recognized with a Donald Schon Award for Excellence in Learning from Practice for advancing reconciliation with her thesis on partnerships among government and First Nations peoples.


Jesslyn Janssen and Ahmad Byagowi launched the business Cerenic after their second-place win in Game Changer: Manitoba’s Idea Competition, showing how a finger prick blood test and virtual reality spatial navigation test can help diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease.

Amanda Fontes stands with a binder in front of Migizii Agamik.

Indigenous Achievement

Aspiring doctor Amanda Fontes, recipient of the Community Builder award for U of M's inaugural Indigenous Student Awards of Excellence, aims to improve health outcomes for Indigenous peoples and bring traditional methodologies into her practice.

FROM HERE we celebrate who we are

This past year, the University of Manitoba welcomed 2,400 First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, including more than 200 graduate students. We are home to one of the largest Indigenous student populations in Canada.


Our Pathways to Indigenous Achievement plan reflects the life-changing nature of education, benefiting both individuals and communities.


At U of M you'll find some of the country's brightest stars in Indigenous research, including Warren Cariou, Canada Research Chair in Narrative, Community and Indigenous Cultures.


In 2017, the University celebrated the 28th anniversary of the Annual Graduation Pow Wow honouring the achievements of over 430 Indigenous graduates.

Students sit in front of laptops in a library, surrounded by books.

Fort Garry Campus

In what was once known as the Oak Room – which served as the main student dining hall of the former Taché residence – today’s students prepare for exams in the Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library’s new space, developed as part of the Taché Arts Project.

FROM HERE we evolve

Innovative spaces enrich the student learning experience. The Fort Garry campus sets the stage for important discoveries, transforming itself with modern facilities while preserving the historic buildings that have defined the campus for more than a century.


The University of Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which officially opened its doors in 2015. The Centre is dedicated to preserving the truth of Residential Schools and advancing reconciliation.


The Taché Arts Project is creating custom-designed facilities for the Desautels Faculty of Music, the School of Art and the theatre program, where students, faculty and the community can learn, rehearse, perform and create.


The Visionary (re)Generation Master Plan for the Fort Garry campus was approved by the Board of Governors, and is the University’s official guide for campus planning, development and design. Indigenous Design and Planning Principles informed this plan.

Students sit in front of laptops in a library, surrounded by books.

Bannatyne Campus

The Rady Family Foundation donated an unprecedented $30 million to the University’s Front and Centre campaign. In recognition of this transformative gift, U of M renamed its health sciences faculty the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, and doctors will now graduate from the Max Rady College of Medicine.Read more about the impact of this gift 

FROM HERE we collaborate

The majority of the province’s future health professionals learn their craft at the Bannatyne campus. Adjacent to the Health Sciences Centre, the nine-building complex focuses on collaboration across disciplines.


U of M has graduated over 27,000 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists and rehabilitation specialists, playing a key role in developing expertise and excellence in generations of health-care professionals.


The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences will further position U of M as an international leader in interprofessional education, research and practice.


The Bannatyne Campus Master Plan envisions a vibrant, sustainable urban environment: a new building housing the College of Nursing, additional green space and improved pedestrian and cycling paths.

Kelsey Wog swims in a pool while wearing goggles.

Athletics

Bison swimmer and Agricultural and Food Sciences student Kelsey Wog marked her rookie season setting two records at the Canada West Swimming Championships and claiming four medals at the U Sports National Championships. Wog also earned a spot on Canada’s Senior National team, swimming to a silver medal at the 2016 Short Course World Championships.

FROM HERE we build character

Among the elite interuniversity sport programs in Canada, Bison Sports boasts more than 350 athletes across nine sports: basketball, cross country, football, golf, hockey, soccer, swimming, track and field, and volleyball. #GOBISONS 


Bison teams have won 42 U Sports national championships, including recent victories in women’s volleyball and men’s golf.


Since 1990, U of M has consistently ranked among the country’s top 10 universities for producing the most Academic All-Canadians. In 2016-17, U of M produced the largest number in the school’s history with 115.


Bison athletes also make an impact beyond sports. Through the student-led University of Manitoba Athletic Council, they participate in community outreach programs like Bisons Against Bullying and Bison Book Buddies.

The Active Living Centre as seen from the outside.

Recreation

The LEED® certified (silver) Active Living Centre provides the community with a state-of-the-art fitness facility and research opportunities to help Manitobans create healthier lifestyles.

FROM HERE we add vitality

We encourage Manitobans to make life vibrant, rewarding and fun. More than 25,000 people use our recreation facilities at both campuses every year.


The Active Living Centre is a 100,000-square-foot facility and offers 1,000 free weights and accessories, 160 pieces of cardio equipment, a 12-metre climbing wall and a 200-metre elevated running track.


The University of Manitoba community believes in a holistic approach to wellness. More than 20,000 students enjoy the facilities, services and programs provided by Recreation Services.


In 2016 the Active Living Centre was recognized by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) with the Outstanding Sports Facility Award for design and functionality. This is the first time in 30 years that a Canadian facility has received this honour. Explore the Active Living Centre 

Recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards pose together.

Alumni

In 2017, the University of Manitoba recognized six outstanding recipients with Distinguished Alumni Awards: Reva Stone [BA/68, BFA(Hons)/85], Isabella Wiebe [BMR(OT)/86], Lesley Sacouman [BA/75], John Patkau [BA/69, BES/69, MA/72] and Patricia Patkau [BID/73], and Desiree Scott [BA/16]. View the Photo Gallery 

FROM HERE we learn to lead

Across the globe, in 137 countries, there are over 140,000 University of Manitoba alumni carving their own paths.


In 2016-17, 10 alumni and two faculty members were named to the Order of Canada (20162017), and five alumni joined the prestigious ranks of the Order of Manitoba (20162017).


Dr. Frank Plummer [MD/76] was recognized with the 2016 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award for his outstanding leadership in medical science.


Aimée Craft [BA/01] was chosen as director of research for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and will shine a light on the systematic causes behind the violence.

An attentive senior man sits in a classroom environment, surrounded by other seniors.

Community Engagement

The Seniors’ Alumni Learning for Life Program provides the opportunity to explore new ideas and hear from professors, researchers and fellow alumni who are innovators in their field. This exciting program is for seniors 60-plus and is open to alumni and friends of U of M.

FROM HERE we see beyond

Indigenous high school students come to campus to experience hands-on research through the Verna J. Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Program, which encourages more First Nations, Métis and Inuit students to pursue careers in these fields.


For nearly four decades, Mini U has captured the imaginations of children and invited them to explore our amazing world. At Mini U, children are given the opportunity to discover the sciences, connect with their creativity and be inspired to be physically active and develop leadership skills.


Through outreach, science camps and various community-based projects, U of M’s Biomedical Youth Program works with inner-city school teachers and students to help capture young imaginations and build an interest in science at an early age.


Throughout the year, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. David T. Barnard hosts Visionary Conversations– a series for people who love exploring tough questions about the topics that fascinate us.

Students examine a high-tech computer screen environment while writing notes in notebooks.

Research

Students at the new Manitoba Institute for Materials characterization facility have access to the world’s most cutting-edge equipment, enabling them to develop hands-on skills for today’s workplace.

FROM HERE we we drive discovery and insight

Canada Research Chairs are the country's top experts in a chosen field and the University of Manitoba is proud to have an allocation of 43.


Our researchers are making contributions that have a global impact. U of M ranks 14th among Canada’s top 50 research universities for attracting research grants and contracts.


We have developed or partnered with 55 research centres, institutes, facilities and groups that believe in collaborative research and scholarship.


In 2015-16, U of M research received $190.6 million in funding. As Manitoba’s only research-intensive university, we contribute to our community’s future success.

Two older men discuss something in front of high-tech equipment.

Research Partnerships

Smartpark, the University’s research and technology park, facilitates university-industry research collaboration and innovation, like the partnership between RTDS and Ani Gole, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Power Systems Simulation.

FROM HERE we innovate

The University’s Transformational Partnerships approach supports the success of Manitoba companies through collaborative research and development partnerships. In 2015-16 the initiative involved 28 research collaborations totaling $8.7 million in funding.


The University has garnered eight Synergy Awards for Innovation, established by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to recognize outstanding university-industry collaboration.


Game Changer: Manitoba’s Idea Competition is an exciting initiative that challenges students from all disciplines to identify problems and collaborate in teams to devise solutions. Team Loop won the 2017 competition for their solution to the problem of e-waste.


Master of social work researchers and Centre on Aging supporters build intergenerational connections through research and discussion of aging issues.

A group of students socialize in a residence high above ground level on campus.

Innovative Teaching

Two newly created residence opportunities are the Engineering Living Learning Community and the Healthy Active Living Community. These provide targeted academic and social support to first-year students in their area of common interest.

FROM HERE we inspire minds

Advancing the University’s commitment to embed Indigenous perspectives into learning, discovery and engagement, six new Indigenous scholars will enhance our classrooms across disciplines and help create pathways to Indigenous knowledge and achievement.


The Assistive Technology Lab opened in 2016 to provide a space for students who require speech-to-text or text-to-speech programs. Two thousand of our students have identified accessibility requirements.


In 2016 the Faculty of Architecture was identified as having one of the top interior design programs in the world by Azure, an architecture and design magazine. It is the only Interior Design program in Canada to offer Council for Interior Design Accreditation at the master’s level.


The U of M's Film Studies program offers students Canada’s only opportunity to create a feature length film, working with peers in a collective context and a range of production roles.

A student works on a laptop outside in the sun.

Flexible Course Options

Extended Education’s flexible course options capitalize on multiple course start dates, blended course work and online classes.

FROM HERE we make it possible

Professionals from all over the world enrolled in our Applied Business Management program during its inaugural year. Designed for international students, the program provides language support, workplace experience and develops the management skills needed to launch a career in Canada.


Extended Education offers more than 100 certificate and diploma courses for students of all ages, educational and professional backgrounds, and geographic locations, making for a truly diverse student population.


Our unique partnership programs are designed to provide students with the training and education that is in demand by major organizations who hire tens of thousands of employees.


In the past year, more than 15,000 students took a course through Extended Education, benefitting from the collaborative efforts among faculties across both campuses.

A man in a kilt cuts a cake at the 150th anniversary ceremony.

Colleges and Libraries

In 2016-17 St. John's College, one of the founding colleges of U of M, celebrates its 150th anniversary. Approximately 900 students from all faculties are currently members of the College.

FROM HERE we explore

We’re home to St. Andrew’s College (Ukrainian Orthodox), St. John’s College (Anglican), St. Paul’s College (Roman Catholic) and University College (secular), providing smaller classes and creating community.


The Arthur V. Mauro Centre at St. Paul's College celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016 with its first international conference organized by the Peace and Conflict Studies Graduate Student Association.


Across 19 locations, our libraries house more than 2.9 million items, and offer access to 75,000-plus print and electronic journals, and over 1.1 million e-books. Through the libraries’ digital collections website, the public can explore more than nine million digital resources, including images, newspapers, books, videos and sound recordings.


The Icelandic Collection is a unique find among Canadian university libraries. With nearly 27,000 volumes, it is the largest collection of Icelandic materials in Canada and the second largest in North America.

Smiling young women stand in front of shiny brown and yellow balloons.

Philanthropy

The Front and Centre campaign is continuing to gain momentum with more than 27,000 donors from 45 countries.

FROM HERE we create opportunities

Philanthropic support affects the lives of our students in meaningful ways and fuels research that shapes our province and world. Last year, the generosity of our donors resulted in a total of 93 new awards, including 65 scholarships, prizes or fellowships, and 28 bursaries.


Our donors encourage our students to go further. In 2016-17 students received more than $18 million in awards, opening doors to new discoveries.


Our donors know the University of Manitoba shares their vision of a better future. In 2016-17 outright gifts and pledges to the University totaled $45 million.


Our graduates give back to their alma mater - more than 23,000 alumni have shown their support to the Front and Centre campaign.

Kyle Monkman and Emma Gillespie pose with their ENGAP awards.

Endowment

The Faculty of Engineering received $1.25 million from alumnus Gerry Price, CEO of Price Industries, creating opportunities for Engineering Access Program (ENGAP) students like Kyle Monkman and Emma Gillespie. Read more about the impact of this gift 

FROM HERE we invest in the future

Donors have helped grow the University of Manitoba endowment fund into one of the largest of its kind, with returns among the highest of all Canadian universities. Students for generations to come will benefit from this generosity through scholarships, bursaries and awards.

“The money I received from the Pitblado scholarship allowed me to invest more time volunteering at our law clinic, helping people and learning practical skills.”

– Omri Golden-Plotnik, 2nd year Law student, Pitblado Scholarship recipient 2016


“I am thankful for your organization’s assistance to help pay for tuition and textbooks. Every little bit makes a world of difference in my life.”

– Chance Kornik, 4th year electrical engineering student, Recipient of ENGAP Awards 2015 and 2016


“I cannot thank the Murphy Foundation enough for their financial support of my studies. Just as important is the confidence in my dissertation work and future research potential that is represented by being a multi-year recipient of this award.”

– Brenda Peters-Watral, 4th year PhD Candidate, College of Nursing, Murphy Foundation Graduate Award in Oncology Recipient 2014/15/16

The University of Manitoba admin building.