Saint Mary's University (Halifax, N.S.)

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Saint Mary's University (Halifax, N.S.)

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St. Mary's College was founded in 1802 by Rev. Edmund Burke, Vicar-General of Nova Scotia, at Halifax, N.S. Provincial regulations restricted denominational schools, however Burke managed to provide informal Catholic education until his death in 1820. In 1839 the Province allowed denominational schools and classes to begin at St. Mary's College in 1840. On 29 March 1841 an act was passed to incorporate the Trustees of St. Mary's College and granted the school degree-conferring powers and by the mid 1850s the College and High School began a separate existence. By 1870 the College was administered by the Archdiocese of Halifax as a College of the newly incorporated "University of Halifax," which existed only until 1881. By this time St. Mary's was suffering from a lack of funding and was forced to suspend operations until 1903. In 1903 the College reopened, due largely to the work of Archbishop. At this time the faculty included a number of laymen. By 1912 the College was taken over by the Christian Brothers of Ireland who remained in charge until the Jesuits arrived in 1940 and assumed administration for the school. In 1951, St. Mary's College and St. Mary's High School moved to the McNally building on the Collins estate at Gorsebrook. In 1952 the name was changed to Saint Mary's University. Ten years later a university corporation was established and, although the institution was still considered part of the Archbishop's responsibilities, a relatively autonomous Board of Governors was formed. A completely new Saint Mary's University Act was passed in 1970 which provided for a new Board of Governors. It also provided for the complete autonomy of the University from the Archdiocese.


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