University of New Brunswick

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University of New Brunswick
Former names
Academy of Liberal Arts and Sciences (1785–1800)
College of New Brunswick (1800–1828)
King's College (1828–1859)
Motto Sapere Aude
Motto in English
Dare to be Wise
Established 1785
Type Public
Endowment $218 million[1]
Chancellor Allison McCain
President Eddy Campbell
Administrative staff
620 faculty
Students 10,638[2]
Undergraduates 9,061
Postgraduates 1,577
Location Fredericton and Saint John[3], NB, Canada
Campus Urban
Colours red      & black     
Athletics CIS, AUS
Nickname Varsity Reds (Fredericton), Seawolves (Saint John)

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) is a public university with campuses located in Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick. It is the oldest English language university in Canada.[3] It is one of four schools that claim the title of oldest public university in the English-speaking portion of North America (the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The College of William and Mary also claim this title;Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo (1540), National Autonomous University of Mexico (1551) and Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (1587), all of them in Mexico, predate them by two centuries).[4] UNB was founded by a group of seven Loyalists who left the United States after the American Revolution.[5]

UNB has two main campuses: the original campus, founded in 1785 in Fredericton, and a smaller campus which opened in Saint John in 1964. In addition, there are two small satellite health sciences campuses located in Moncton and Bathurst, New Brunswick, and two offices in the Caribbean and in Beijing. UNB offers over 75 degrees in fourteen faculties at the undergraduate and graduate levels with a total student enrollment of approximately 11,400 between the two principal campuses.[6] In the fall of 2010, UNB partnered with Dalhousie University and the government of New Brunswick to open the first English-language medical school in the province at the Saint John campus.


Founding and charters

In 1783, Loyalist settlers began to build upon the ruins of a former Acadian village called Ste-Anne-des-Pays-Bas. The new settlement was named Frederick's Town in honour of Prince Frederick, son of King George III and uncle of Queen Victoria.[7]

Initially modelled on the Anglican ideals of older, European institutions, the University of New Brunswick was founded in 1785 as the Academy of Liberal Arts and Sciences.[8] The petition requesting the establishment of the school, titled "The Founders' Petition of 1785," was addressed to Governor Thomas Carleton and was signed by seven Loyalist men: William Paine, William Wanton, George Sproule, Zephaniah Kingsley, Sr., John Coffin, Ward Chipman, and Adino Paddock.[9]

To his Excellency Thomas Carleton Esquire Governor Captain General, and Commander in Chief, of the Province of New Brunswick, and the territories thereunto belonging, Vice Admiral Chancellor &c &c &c: —

Your memorialists whose names are hereunto subscribed, beg leave to represent, and state to your consideration the Necessity and expediency of an early attention to the Establishment in this Infant Province of an Academy, or School of liberal Arts and Sciences.
Your Excellency need not be reminded of the many Peculiarities attending the Settlement of this Country The Settlement of other Provinces has generally originated in the voluntary Exertions of a few enterprising Individuals, unincumbered, and prosecuting their Labor at their Leisure, and as they found it convenient, and most for their Advantage – Far different is the Situation in which the loyal Adventurers here find themselves – Many of them upon removing had Sons, whose Time of life, and former Hopes, call for an immediate attention to their Education – Many publick advantages, and many Conveniences would result to Individuals could this be affected within this Province, the Particulars of which it is unnecessary to ennumerate – Your Memorialists do therefore most earnestly request your Excellency will be pleased to grant a Charter for the establishing, and founding such an Academy . . .[9]
The Old Arts Building on the Fredericton campus is the oldest university building in the country that is still in regular use for school operations.

By an 1800 provincial charter, signed by Jonathan Odell, the Academy of Liberal Arts and Sciences became the College of New Brunswick.[10] The College was succeeded by King's College, which was granted by royal charter in December 1827. King's College operated under the control of the Church of England until 1859, when it was made non-sectarian by an act of the provincial legislature that transformed the College into the University of New Brunswick.[11] In 1866, Mary Kingsley Tibbits became the first regularly admitted female student of UNB.

20th/21st centuries

In 1906, UNB established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors exercising exclusive control over financial policy and other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was to provide a link between the two bodies and to provide institutional leadership. By 1967, the University of New Brunswick had two faculties: Arts and Applied Science. It awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Science. The latter was awarded only in the fields of civil engineering, electrical engineering, and forestry. At this time, the university had 156 male students, 21 female students, and only eleven academic staff, who were all male.[12]

In the 1960s, University policies changed in response to social pressure and the belief that higher education was a key to social justice and economic productivity for individuals and for society. In 1964, a second, smaller campus was established in Saint John, New Brunswick. The growth of the UNBSJ campus is particularly notable, for the campus began with only 96 students spread throughout various buildings in Saint John's central business district. In 1968, UNBSJ moved to its new home at Tucker Park.

The Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers (AUNBT) was established in 1954; in 1979, this association became the bargaining agent for all full-time academic staff, and in 2008, it achieved certification for contract academic staff.

Relocation of the Faculty of Law

In 1959, the Faculty of Law moved from Saint John to Fredericton following a report on the status of legal education in Canada by Professor Maxwell Cohen from McGill University. In his report, Cohen stated that the Saint John Law School was only "nominally a faculty of UNB". This prompted Lord Beaverbrook, as Chancellor, and UNB President Colin B. Mackay, to permanently move the Saint John Law School to the UNB Fredericton campus, despite the Dean's objections.

Polytechnic controversy

In the fall of 2007, a report commissioned by the provincial government recommended that UNBSJ and the New Brunswick Community College be reformed and consolidated into a new polytechnic post-secondary institute. The proposal immediately came under heavy criticism and led to the several organised protests. Under heavy fire from the public, the Graham government eventually announced that it would set aside the possibility of UNB Saint John losing its status as a university and would refer the report to a working group for further study.[13] The government would go on to announce in January that UNBSJ would retain its liberal arts program and its association with UNB[14] and the working group reported back to government in May, with its findings and government's response being made public in June.[15]


Currently UNBF has approximately 9,000 students while UNBSJ has 3,000, although UNBSJ is growing at a faster rate. Both campuses have undergone significant expansion over the years, and many University buildings have received funding from Lord Beaverbrook and other prominent industrialists and philanthropists. UNB's largest expansion coincided with the baby boom, when its Fredericton campus tripled in size.

File:Sir Max Aitken.jpg
Lord Beaverbrook served as Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick and became the university's greatest benefactor.


The UNB Fredericton campus is located on a hill overlooking the Saint John River. The campus is well known for its colourful fall foliage, Georgian style red-brick buildings, and a very steep hill. UNB Fredericton has shared the "College Hill" with St. Thomas University (STU) since 1964, when the former St. Thomas College moved from Chatham, NB (now Miramichi). While the universities share some infrastructure, they remain separate institutions.


Architect G. Ernest Fairweather designed several of the campus buildings, including the Old Civil Engineering Building (1900) and the Gymnasium (1906).[16] In addition, several of the stained glass windows in the Convocation Hall were created by Robert McCausland Limited.

UNBF's War Memorial Hall (usually referred to as Memorial Hall), originally built as a science building in 1924, honours the 35 UNB Alumni who died in World War I.

UNBF's Brigadier Milton F. Gregg, V.C., Centre for the Study of War and Society (usually referred to as The Gregg Centre) was created in 2006.[17]

The Richard J. Currie Center, a five-storey 139,000-square-foot building, was constructed in 2013.[3]

National Historic Sites

Two buildings on the Fredericton campus have been designated National Historic Sites of Canada: the 1827 Sir Howard Douglas Hall (the Old Arts Building), and the 1851 William Brydone Jack Observatory.[18][19]

Saint John

The UNB Saint John campus (UNBSJ) is located in Tucker Park in the Millidgeville neighbourhood, several kilometres north of the city's central business district, and offers spectacular views of the Kennebecasis River and Grand Bay. New Brunswick's largest health care facility, Saint John Regional Hospital, is located adjacent to the UNBSJ campus. In 2010, a new medical school, a joint project between Dalhousie University, UNBSJ, and the Regional Hospital, took in its first class.

The Saint John campus has undergone expansion over the years and is the fastest growing component of the UNB system with many new buildings constructed between the 1970s and the first decade of the 21st century. A trend in recent years has been a growth in the number of international students.

Notable differences from its parent campus in Fredericton lay in the campus culture. While UNB Fredericton has a substantial amount of students living in its on-campus residences, this is not the case for UNBSJ. The majority of students do not live within walking distance of the campus due to its remote location, so unlike Fredericton, Saint John is predominantly a "commuter campus".


Grounds of UNB Fredericton.

On April 1, 2010, construction began on the Hans W. Klohn Commons, one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in Atlantic Canada.[20] The building features an electric elevator that produces power for the commons. The building is part of the Tucker Park enhancement project, which will include the refurbishment of the Canada Games Stadium, the new Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick facility, and the New Brunswick Community College’s Allied Health building.


The University of New Brunswick has attempted to reduce its environmental impact through installing a natural gas burning microturbine at the Central Heating Plant that produces 100 kW of electricity for the university.[21] Heat energy, a result of this process, is used to contribute to the overall heating of the campus to increase its overall energy efficiency. In addition, all produce and dairy products used within its dining services are obtained from local farmers and local producers; the campus offers grass-fed beef, fair trade coffee, and dining locations offer biodegradable to-go containers. UNB recycles electronics in addition to traditional materials and operates a move-out materials collection program. The university adheres to a green purchasing policy and has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent since 1990; they have also decreased water consumption since 2005 through the adoption of new technologies. With these efforts to create a more sustainable campus, the University of New Brunswick received an overall "B+" grade in the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card put out by the Sustainable Endowment’s Institute.[22]

Research and academics

UNB is the seat of 16 Canada Research Chairs[23] and is home to more than 60 research centers and institutes. It conducts about seventy five percent of all university research in the province. Between 2004 and 2009, the university's research revenue increased by 77 per cent: the highest increase among Canadian comprehensive universities.[24]


In 2013, Maclean's magazine ranked UNB 4th nationally in its evaluation of the top fifteen comprehensive universities in Canada.[25] For several years running, UNB's libraries have been ranked in the top spot nationally in terms of the percentage of the overall budget devoted to libraries and in terms of holdings per student.

In 2008, the National Post and the Ottawa Citizen recognized UNB as being among the top three comprehensive research universities in Canada for the highest percentage growth of research income across a five-year period.[24]

In 2012, UNB's law school was ranked 2nd nationally in elite firm hiring by Maclean's.[26] According to Canadian Lawyer Magazine, the law school ranks among the top five in Canada.[27]

Poets' Corner

Because so many of UNB's students, alumni, and professors have produced celebrated poetry, the city of Fredericton has earned the nickname "Poets' Corner." Two of Canada's four Confederation PoetsSir Charles G.D. Roberts and Bliss Carman – were educated at UNB, as was Francis Joseph Sherman, along with a number of notable 20th- and 21st-century Canadian writers. In 1947, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada unveiled a "Poet's Corner" monument in honour of Carman, Roberts, and Sherman.[28][29]

Institute of Biomedical Engineering

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) on the Fredericton campus is one of the leading research institutes in biomedical engineering in Canada. It was founded in 1965 as the Bio-Engineering Institute, making it one of the oldest research institutes to be solely dedicated to the field of biomedical engineering. The institute is also the region's prosthetic fitting centre where amputees are fitted with state-of-the-art intelligent artificial limbs. The institute also carries out research in the field of myoelectric signal processing, biomedical instrumentation and human motion analysis. The IBME also developed the UNB Test of Prosthetic Function which is used by researchers all over the world. Although the institute does not offer degrees in biomedical engineering, students at UNB usually enroll in one of the other faculties of engineering such as electrical or mechanical and pursue their research in biomedical engineering at the IBME.

Canadian Rivers Institute

The Canadian Rivers Institute was founded in 2000 and is a leading site of river sciences research. The mandate of the CRI is to conduct both multi-disciplinary basic and applied research focusing on rivers from their headwaters to their estuaries, to promote the conservation, protection and sustainable use of water, and to educate professionals, graduate students and the public on water sciences. Members of the CRI conduct research on regional, national and international issues related to rivers and their land-water linkages.[30]

Mi'kmaq-Maliseet Institute

UNB created its BEd program for First Nations students in 1977 in an effort to help First Nations communities take control of their own schools. In 1981, the Mi'kmaq-Maliseet Institute opened its doors with an expanded mandate to train professionals and improve First Nations access to First Nations education. The Institute provides a variety of services, including research, curriculum development, language education, policy development, children's literacy, and more. In addition, the Institute funds the Mi'kmaq-Maliseet Resource Collection, which contains materials that are immensely valuable to knowledge of First Nations culture, history, and perspective in the region.


UNB awards over five million dollars in scholarships each year.[6] The most prestigious of these are the Blake-Kirkpatrick, Beaverbrook, and President's scholarships. UNB has a scholarship guarantee in which any admitted student with an average of 80% or higher will receive a guaranteed amount of five hundred dollars.[31]

As a member of the Loran Scholars university consortium, UNB offers a matching tuition waiver as part of a $100,000 undergraduate scholarship to recognize incoming students who demonstrate exemplary character, service and leadership. Five Loran Scholars have studied at UNB over the years.[32] Additionally, it is part of the Schulich Leader Scholarships program, awarding an $80,000 STEM scholarship to an incoming engineering student and a $60,000 scholarship to a science, technology, or mathematics student each year.[33]


The Varsity Reds logo.

UNB Fredericton is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the UNB Varsity Reds while UNBSJ is represented by the UNBSJ Seawolves.[3] The Varsity Reds compete in the following sports: men's and women's basketball, men's hockey, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's volleyball, and swimming. Men's and women's track & field and cross country have been added as a varsity sport for 2010/2011; this is a joint Fredericton/Saint John Campus program.

In the past, UNBF used different names for each individual sport's team; for instance, the men's swim team was the Beavers, and the hockey team was the Red Devils. The university club teams, which are supported financially by the Student Union as well as by individual members of the teams, do not use the Varsity Reds name and thus continue the tradition of using different nicknames for each sport.


Traditional among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various times such as commencement, convocation, and athletic events are: Carmina Universitatis Novi Brunsvici; 'Alma Mater' (1904); and 'UNB Anthem' with words by A.G. Bailey and music by D.V. Start.[34] Colloquial songs included: "Bombers Away" to celebrate the football team: Bombers away, my boys Bombers away, 'Cause when you fight red bombers. Fight you Bombers, Fight you Bombers, Fight, Fight, Fight.

Notable facts and milestones

  • UNB was the only institution to grant both President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy Honorary Doctorates in their lifetimes.
  • UNB owns 7,700 acres (3,100 ha) of real property in several sites, including an extensive wood lot adjacent to the Maritime Forestry Complex, formerly used for forestry education and research. Until 1968, the university had the power to expropriate land "it may deem necessary for the purpose of the University" without approval from the government.
  • The Faculty of Computer Science in Fredericton was the first computer science faculty in Canada, and it went on to develop the first software engineering degree program in Atlantic Canada.
  • UNB Saint John was the first university in Canada to offer an e-business program with its bachelor of business administration in electronic commerce. The university has since been ranked by Canadian Business Magazine as first in e-business.[35]
  • UNB offered Canada's first university-level engineering program, established in 1855. The first engineers graduated in 1857.
  • The university has the longest running undergraduate forestry program in Canada, and its forest engineering program is the only accredited program of its kind in Canada.
  • UNB's Planetary Space Science Centre is the only NASA-supported planetary imaging facility in Canada.
  • UNB’s Centre for Coastal Studies and Aquaculture does work in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean, South America, Australia and Antarctica.
  • UNB’s Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society is one of the few research institutes in Canada and the U.S. studying the role of climate change in current and future conflicts.

Notable alumni

As of 2012, the University of New Brunswick reports 64,000 living alumni, half of whom live in New Brunswick.

Sir Howard Douglas Hall.


The Student Union Building, home to The Brunswickan and other university media.

The university presses, The Baron and The Brunswickan, are members of Canadian University Press. Publishing since 1867, The Brunswickan is the oldest official student publication in Canada.[36]

UNB is also home to several notable magazines and journals, such as The Fiddlehead and Studies in Canadian Literature.



  • The Baron (Saint John campus)
  • The Brunswickan (Fredericton campus)
  • The Pillar (Engineering Newspaper) (Fredericton Campus)

Magazines and journals

See also

Further reading

  • Bailey, Alfred G., ed. 'The University of New Brunswick: Memorial Volume'. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1950.
  • McGahan, Peter. 'The Quiet Campus: A History of the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, 1959–1969.' Fredericton: New Ireland Press, 1998.
  • Montague, Susan. 'A Pictorial History of the University of New Brunswick'. Fredericton: University of New Brunswick, 1992.

External links


  1. "UNB Trust & Endowment Report 2013-14". External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Full-time plus Part-time Enrollment" (PDF). Association of Atlantic Universities. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-10-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "University of New Brunswick".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. University of New Brunswick [1]. Retrieved on: August 18, 2008.
  5. Happy Birthday to the University of New Brunswick. MacLeans. By Julia Belluz. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "UNB Quick Facts". Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Fredericton". Collections Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  8. Kernaghan, Lois (2013-12-16). "University of New Brunswick". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2014-10-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "The Founders' Petition of 1785". UNB Libraries. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  10. "Historical Sketch of UNB". About UNB. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  11. "UNB's Heraldic Tapestries". UNB Libraries. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  12. Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Canada Year Book 1921, Ottawa, 1922.
  13. "UNB Saint John will remain a university, says minister". CBC News. October 17, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Post-secondary education report will be released within days: minister". CBC News. June 13, 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Biographic Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800–1950 G. Ernest Fairweather
  17. The Gregg Centre
  18. Arts Building. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  19. William Brydone Jack Observatory. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  20. "A smarter, greener library". UNB Excellence. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  21. "UNB Campus Sustainability Projects". University of New Brunswick. Retrieved 2009-06-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Green Report Card 2011". Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Canada Research Chairs". Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. 24.0 24.1 "UNB Research". Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "2013 Comprehensive University Rankings". Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Ranking Canada's Law Schools". Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Good University Ranking Guide". External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Poets' Corner". UNB Archives' 225th Anniversary Projects. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  29. "Poets' Corner". Collections Canada. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
  30. "CRI Annual Report" (PDF). 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2007-12-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. University of New Brunswick. Guaranteed Scholarship Program. Retrieved on: September 26. 2008.
  32. "Loran Scholars at the University of New Brunswick". Loran Scholars. Retrieved 22 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. University of New Brunswick. Schulich Leader Scholarships - $60,000 or $80,000!. Retrieved on: July 1. 2014.
  34. Green, R. College Songbooks and Songs – University of New Brunswick. Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Historia. Retrieved on: August 30, 2008.
  35. "UNB Rankings". Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |work= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "Who We Are". The Brunswickan. Retrieved 2012-03-03.

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