University of Winnipeg

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University of Winnipeg
Motto Lux et Veritas Floreant
Motto in English
Let Light and Truth Flourish
Established 1871 Manitoba College. Subsequent names, Wesley College (1881), United College (1938), and now, The University of Winnipeg (1967–present)
Type Public
Endowment $37.8 million[1]
President Annette Trimbee
Academic staff
approx. 361[2]
Administrative staff
approx. 444[2]
Students 10,106 (2013)[2]
Undergraduates 9,868[2]
Postgraduates 238[2]
Location Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Campus Urban
Sports team Winnipeg Wesmen
Mascot Wesley Coyote
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, ATS, CIS, CWUAA, UArctic, Campus Manitoba, CUP, Gallery 1C03

The University of Winnipeg (UWinnipeg) is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada that offers undergraduate faculties of art, business and economics, education, science and kinesiology and applied health as well as graduate programs. UWinnipeg's founding colleges were Manitoba College and Wesley College, which merged to form United College in 1938. The University of Winnipeg was established in 1967 when United College received its charter. The governance was modeled on the provincial University of Toronto Act of 1906 which established a bicameral system of university government consisting of a senate (faculty), responsible for academic policy, and a board of governors (citizens) exercising exclusive control over financial policy and having formal authority in all other matters. The president, appointed by the board, was a link between the bodies to perform institutional leadership.[3]

UWinnipeg's current President and Vice-Chancellor is Dr. Annette Trimbee (August 2014), succeeding Dr. Lloyd Axworthy who served from 2004 to 2014.

Maclean's magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper consistently rank the university in the top fifteen of all Canadian universities whose primary focus is undergraduate education in the category of student satisfaction. In 2013 the U of W ranked 13th out of 19 primarily undergraduate institutions.[4]

The U of W was the first university in Canada to ban the sale of plastic bottled water on campus but still sells vitamin waters.[5]

Museums and archives

The Anthropology Museum, which is part of the Anthropology Department at U of W holds collections in ethnology, archaeology, primatology and hominid osteology which support research, teaching and public service functions.[6]


The University of Winnipeg

The U of W's founding colleges were Manitoba College and Wesley College, which merged to form United College in 1938.[7] George Creeford Browne (architect) & S. Frank Peters designed Wesley Hall (1894–5), which is now part of the University of Winnipeg.[8]

The University of Winnipeg was established on 1 July 1967[9] when United College received its charter.[10] United College was formed in 1938 from the union of Manitoba College, founded in 1871, and Wesley College, founded in 1888. Originally affiliated with the University of Manitoba, United College received its charter in 1967 and became the University of Winnipeg.[10]


University of Winnipeg seen from Ellice Avenue
University of Winnipeg Buhler Centre
University of Winnipeg Theatre & Film
Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex

Wesley Hall is a stone-clad brick structure built in 1894–95 and is on the Registry of Historic Places of Canada.[11] It is located on 515 Portage Ave. near Portage Place Mall.[12]

The Buhler Centre was constructed to house the Faculty of Business and Economics, as well as PACE (Professional, Applied and Continuing Education), a division of the University of Winnipeg. The doors to the Buhler Centre opened September 2010.[13] Designed by PSA+DPA+DIN collective a collaborative effort between Peter Sampson Architecture Studio inc, David Penner Architect, and DIN Projects. The Buhler Centre also houses the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art and Stella's Cafe on the main floor.

The Institute for stained glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at the University of Winnipeg.[14]

In 2008, the university announced that Raymond L. McFeetors, Chairman of The Great West Life Assurance Company, had donated $2.67 Million for a dormitory to be built on newly acquired property west of the campus.[15] The money came from his personal resources and from Great West Life.

Downtown renewal

As a university in the downtown of a large urban centre, the University of Winnipeg has attracted $217 million in new investments and is playing a significant role in the downtown renewal. Most of the renewal has occurred through The University of Winnipeg Renewal Corporation -a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the University of Winnipeg. Its mandate is to build downtown Winnipeg by partnering with the community, and to utilize funds raised and transferred from the University to develop the urban community of Winnipeg and to generate a third stream of revenue for the University.[16] The University's president sits as Chair of the corporation and is fully informed of, and participates in, its business partnerships.[16] The "innovative structure" of the corporation is the only one of its kind in Canada, and allows the corporation to avoid being governed by the strictures of University governance.[16] The corporation is particularly notable as it serves as "a primary engine for the redevelopment of Winnipeg’s downtown", a task traditionally undertaken by government and the private sector, and not educational institutions.[16] Recent initiatives, for example, include the newly renovated Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, a new western campus with two LEED Silver buildings has added significant capacity to campus and includes the state-of-the-art Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex, a student and community daycare facility and a new student residence. The UNITED Health and RecPlex opened in 2014, creating a hub for recreation and wellness programs for students and the community. A new mixed use 14-storey apartment complex for students and the community across from the Bay downtown began construction in 2015. The financial statements of the corporation are not publicly available under public disclosure legislation. It draws its operating funds entirely from the University budget (


The University of Winnipeg is a provincially and privately funded post-secondary institution with undergraduate and a growing number of graduate programs including Canada's only master's degree in development practice with a focus on Indigenous development, as well as a Professional, Applied and Continuing Education and a high school division.

It has had seven presidents since 1967 and Patrick Deane as an acting president for one school year.[17]

  1. Dr. Wilfred Lockhart (1967–1971)
  2. Henry Duckworth (1971–1981)
  3. Robin Farquhar (1981–1989)
  4. Marsha Hanen (1989–1999)
  5. Constance Rooke (1999–2003)
  6. Patrick Deane (2003–2004; acting president)
  7. Dr. Lloyd Axworthy (2004 to August 2014)
  8. Dr. Annette Trimbee (August 2014 - Present)


Students and faculty

Students at the University are represented by the University of Winnipeg Students' Association.[18] CKUW is the student radio station based out of the University of Winnipeg. The Uniter is the campus newspaper.[19] The Janitors are represented by AESES


  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Business & Economics
  • Faculty of Education
  • Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies


  • Global College
  • Menno Simons College
  • Richardson College for the Environment

Centres and Institutes

  • Centre for Academic Writing (CAW)
  • Centre for Distributed / Distance Learning (CDDL)
  • Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (C-FIR)
  • Centre for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL)
  • Centre for Learning and Secular Society (CLASS)
  • Centre for Research in Young People's Texts and Cultures (CRYTC)
  • Centre for Rupert's Land Studies
  • Centre for Sustainable Transportation
  • Institute of Urban Studies
  • Institute for Women's and Gender Studies

Aboriginal Students

The University of Winnipeg offers several programs and services to Aboriginal people. It is the first University to mandate that all students receive an aboriginal education. The University of Winnipeg offers a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies with a master's degree in Indigenous Governance. The University of Winnipeg provides special first-year bridging programs for Aboriginal students. Academic counsellors, tutors, and Aboriginal Elders are present on campus to provide academic and social supports. Through its Wii Chiiwaaknak Learning Centre, Eco-Kids Program and Eco-U Summer Camp services, the University of Winnipeg actively partners with Aboriginal communities. The University of Winnipeg is now offering the only master's degree in Development Practice with a focus on Indigenous Development in the world, joining a network of 22 prestigious universities globally with support from the MacArthur Foundation.[20]

In 2012, the university named broadcaster Wab Kinew as its first Director of Aboriginal Inclusion,[21] a position designed to oversee the expansion of culturally inclusive outreach efforts and program development in First Nations education.[21]

The Collegiate

The Collegiate at The University of Winnipeg is an on-site high school that offers Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 programs.[2] It is an independent school and a division of The University of Winnipeg.[22] It offers a seamless admission process to accelerate admission into first year university for Collegiate Students.[22] As of 2012, there are 353 students at The Collegiate.[2]

The Collegiate was created within Wesley College in 1873. At the time it was the only secondary school in Manitoba.[22]


The university is represented in Canadian Interuniversity Sport by the Winnipeg Wesmen in volleyball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, as well as baseball. The U of W built a new field house (" The Axplex"), named after Lloyd Axworthy, adjacent to the Duckworth Centre that provides indoor soccer services and smoothies.

The Great Rock Climb

The granite boulder on the U of W's front lawn.

The brainchild of President Emeritus Dr. Henry E. Duckworth, a 25-ton granite boulder was placed on the front lawn of The University of Winnipeg on 7 October 1971. The Rock of Remembrance commemorates the 100th anniversary of Manitoba College, a founding college of what is now The University of Winnipeg.

The University of Winnipeg’s Great Rock Climb celebrates endurance and ingenuity. Teams of three students, faculty, staff, or alumni raced down the 50.3 metres (165 ft) from the steps of Wesley Hall to the top of the Great Rock in a test of physical stamina and defiance of earthly gravity.

The all-time record was set in 1979 by the Collegiate team when the trio reached the top in 9.8 seconds. Renovations during the summer of 2007 have significantly slowed the event, with a new record set in 2007 by The Caravaners, consisting of members Ian Scott, Drew Hawranik, and Alex Edye.[23] 2008 and 2009 were repeat performances by The Caravaners, who become the only trio to win the competition in three consecutive years. They recorded a time of 15.19 seconds which became the current record for the event with a renovated front lawn.

After flying in from Edmonton to battle in the Great Rock Climb, Drew Hawranik had to return to Alberta without competing due to rain on 10 September 2010. 2010 becomes the third consecutive year that the Great Rock Climb has been delayed by weather.

In 2013, The Caravaners returned to the Great Rock Climb competition after a hiatus of three years. Narrowly winning with a time of 11.4 seconds, The Caravaners, representing The Alumni, became the first team to win the event in four different years. The time of 11.4 seconds becomes the current record for the event with a renovated front lawn and speculation builds whether The Caravaners will break the all-time record set in 1979.

Noted alumni

University history

  • A. Gerald Bedford 'The University of Winnipeg: A History of the Founding Colleges' (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976)
  • Friesen, Gerald. "Principal J. H. Riddell: The Sane and Safe Leader of Wesley College." In Prairie Spirit: Perspectives on the Heritage of the United Church of Canada in the West, edited by Dennis L. Butcher, et al. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1985.

See also


  1. "The University of Winnipeg Foundation: Fast Facts". The University of Winnipeg Foundation. Retrieved 13 November 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "UWinnipeg Fast Facts". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 11 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Canadian Encyclopedia". The Canadian Encyclopedia. 7 February 1936. Retrieved 10 March 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Maclean's. "2013 Primarily undergraduate ranking". Retrieved 8 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "University of Winnipeg set to ban bottle water sales on campus". CBC News. 23 March 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Anthropology Museum at U of W
  7. Friesen, Gerald. "Principal J. H. Riddell: The Sane and Safe Leader of Wesley College." In Prairie Spirit: Perspectives on the Heritage of the United Church of Canada in the West, edited by Dennis L. Butcher, et al. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1985.
  8. George Creeford Browne (architect) & S. Frank Peters
  9. Pound, Richard W. (2005). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Bedford, A. G. The University of Winnipeg: A History of the Founding Colleges. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976.
  11. "Wesley Hall". Canada's Historic Places. Retrieved 22 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Portage Place
  13. "Campus Development Buhler Centre". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 22 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Institute for stained glass in Canada". Retrieved 16 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. University of Winnipeg. "Ray McFeetors, Great West Life". Retrieved 13 July 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3
  17. "Past Presidents". President & Vice-Chancellor Lloyd Axworthy. University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 23 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "The University of Winnipeg's Student Association". Retrieved 16 February 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "The Uniter". Retrieved 16 February 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. The University of Winnipeg
  21. 21.0 21.1 "UWinnipeg names first Director of Indigenous Inclusion". University of Winnipeg, 4 October 2012.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 "About the Collegiate". University of Winnipeg. Retrieved 22 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "The Caravaners Rock the Climb". University of Winnipeg. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Andrea Slobodian: Weather Anchor". Shaw Media Inc. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 12 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links