University of Western Ontario

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"UWO" redirects here. For the university located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, known as "UW-O", see University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
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The University of Western Ontario
UWO Coat of Arms.png
Coat of Arms of the University of Western Ontario
Motto Latin: Veritas et Utilitas
Motto in English Truth and usefulness
Established 7 March 1878
Type Public university
Endowment $685 million[1]
Chancellor Joseph Rotman
President Amit Chakma
Academic staff 1,381[2]
Undergraduates 30,655[3]
Postgraduates 5,297[4]
Location London, Ontario, Canada
43°00′29.84″N 81°16′18.82″W / 43.0082889°N 81.2718944°W / 43.0082889; -81.2718944Coordinates: 43°00′29.84″N 81°16′18.82″W / 43.0082889°N 81.2718944°W / 43.0082889; -81.2718944
Campus Urban, 455 hectares (1,120 acres)[5]
Former names Western University of London Ontario
(1878–1923)
Colours Purple and White[6]          
Athletics OUA, CIS
Nickname Mustangs
Mascot JW the Mustang[7]
Affiliations ACU, AUCC, CARL, CBIE, CIS, COU, CUP, CUSID, Fields Institute, IAU, OUA, U15
Website uwo.ca
UWO logo.png

The University of Western Ontario, which is commonly referred to among Canadian universities as Western or Western University, is a public research university located in London, Ontario, Canada. The university's main campus covers 455 hectares (1,120 acres) of land, with the Thames River running through the eastern portion. Western administers a wide variety of academic programs between 12 faculties and professional schools and three affiliated university colleges.[8]

The university was founded on 7 March 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth of the Anglican Diocese of Huron as "The Western University of London Ontario." It incorporated Huron University College, which had been founded in 1863. The first four faculties were Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine. The Western University of London was eventually made non-denominational in 1908.

According to the 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) rankings, the university ranked 201–300 in the world and top 10 in Canada. The 2011 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 157th in the world, making it seventh in Canada. Several of Western's programs were also ranked in individual rankings. Social sciences at Western was ranked 96th in the world in the 2010 QS World University Rankings. In 2012, the ARWU similarly ranked social science at Western 76–100 in the world. Western Law School was also ranked ninth nationally in Maclean's 2012 rankings for common law schools in Canada. Western's Ivey Business School has also ranked well internationally.

The University of Western Ontario is located in the city of London. During the term a significant portion of city's population is either a staff member or student of the university. Western's Co-educational Student body of over 24,000 represents 107 countries around the world and Western scholars have established research and education collaborations and partnerships on every continent. There are more than 306,000 alumni who are active internationally, living and working around the globe. Notable alumni include government officials, academics, business leaders, 2 Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, and distinguished fellows. Western's varsity teams, known as the Western Mustangs, compete in the Ontario University Athletics conference of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

History[edit]

The university was founded on 7 March 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth of the Anglican Diocese of Huron as "The Western University of London Ontario."[9] It incorporated Huron University College, which had been founded in 1863.[10] The first four faculties were Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine, and there were originally only 15 students when classes began in 1881.[11] The first of these students graduated in 1883. The Western University of London was eventually made non-denominational in 1908.[9]

In 1916, the current site of the university was purchased from the Kingsmill family. There are two World War I Memorial plaques on the Physics and Astronomy Building: The first lists the names of 19 students and graduates of the University of Western Ontario who lost their lives; the second honours the men from Middlesex County who fell.[12]

In 1923, the university was renamed The University of Western Ontario.[9] The first two buildings constructed at the new site were the Arts Building (now University College) and the Natural Science Building (now the Physics and Astronomy Building). Classes on the present site of the school began in 1924.[13] The University College tower, one of the most distinctive features of the University, was named the Middlesex Memorial Tower in honour of the men from Middlesex County who had fought in World War I. Western later became affiliated with St. Peter's College seminary of London, Ontario in 1939, and it eventually became King's College, an arts faculty.[10]

Two World War II memorial honour rolls are hung on the Physics and Astronomy Building: the first lists the names of the UWO students and graduates who served in the Second World War, and the second lists those who served with the No. 10 Canadian General hospital during WWII, the unit was raised and equipped by UWO.[14]

Although enrollment was relatively small for many years, the university began to increase greatly in size after World War II. The university saw the addition of a number of new faculties in the post-war period, such as the Faculty of Graduate Studies (1947), the School of Business Administration (now the Ivey Business School) (1949), the Faculty of Engineering Science (now the Faculty of Engineering) (1957), the Faculty of Law (1959), and Althouse College for education students (now the Faculty of Education) (1963)[citation needed] and the Faculty of Music (1968).[15]

In 2012, the university rebranded itself as "Western University". The legal name of the university, however, remains The University of Western Ontario.[16]

Campus[edit]

Fall Colours at Western

The University of Western Ontario is situated in the city of London, Ontario, located in the southwestern end of the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor. The majority of the campus is surrounded by residential neighbourhoods, with the Thames River bisecting the eastern portion of the campus. Western Road is the major transportation artery of the university, going north to south. While the campus covers 455 hectares (1,120 acres), the majority of the teaching facilities are centred within the core approximately 169.3 hectares (418 acres).[5]

Sustainability[edit]

Campus sustainability at Western is managed by the President's Advisory Committee on Environment & Sustainability. The committee's mandate includes incorporating sustainability into the academic programming, engaging in research across the disciplines into issues of environmental sustainability, utilizing ecological landscaping methods and preserving green space and building and renovating facilities in accordance with energy efficiency and sustainability principles[17] Along with the other members of the Council of Ontario Universities, Western had signed a pledge in 2009 known as Ontario Universities Committed to a Greener World, with the objective of transforming its campus into a model of environmental responsibility.[18] Western is also a signatory of the Talloires Declaration, a sustainability declaration created for presidents of higher education.[19] The university campus received a B- grade from the Sustainable Endowments Institute on its College Sustainability Report Card for 2011.[20]

Administration[edit]

Former tower logo (1998–2012)

The governance of the university is conducted through the Board of Governors and the Senate. The Senate was the university's first governing body, created in the university's founding document, An Act to Incorporate the Western University of London, Ontario, 1878.[21] The Board of Governors was later established in An Act to amend the Act to incorporate the Western University of London, Ontario, 1892.[22] The Board is responsible for the overall management of the university, including financial matters.[23] Ex officio governors of the Board include the university's chancellor, president, the mayor of London, the warden of Middlesex County and the secretary of the Board of Governors. The Board also consists of 26 other governors, either appointed or elected by the various members of the university's community and the surrounding community, including elected representatives from the student body.[24]

The Senate is responsible for the university's academic policies.[25] The Senate consists of 20 ex officio positions in the Senate granted to the chancellor, the president, the vice-presidents of the university, the senior dean of each faculty, the university librarian and the secretary of the senate. The secretary of the senate is a non-voting ex officio member. The Senate also consists of 46 elected members from the university's faculty, 18 members from the student population, and 9 members from the Western's affiliated colleges, including their principals. The Senate also consists of 9 other members from around the university community. In total, there are 103 members of the Senate, 102 of which may vote and 10–13 official observers of the Senate.[26]

The president and vice-chancellor acts as the chief executive officer of the university who is accountable to the Board of Governors and the Senate, and supervises and directs the academic and administrative work of the university and of its teaching and non-teaching staff.[27] Amit Chakma is the tenth president of the university, serving in the post since 1 July 2009.[28] The chancellor of the university acts as the honorary and symbolic head of the university. The position of chancellor is a four-year, non-renewable term.[29] The current chancellor of the university is John Thompson, who held the position since 2008.[30]

Academic profile[edit]

The Richard Ivey School of Business

Western is a publicly funded research university, and a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.[31] The full-time undergraduate programs comprise the majority of the school's enrollment, made up of 23,690 full-time, part-time undergraduate students and concurrent education students. The graduate student population is 5,297, including full-time students, part-time students and post-graduate medical residents.[4] The university conferred 4,504 bachelor degrees, 207 doctoral degrees, 1,427 master degrees, and 1,180 second entry professional degrees in 2008–2009.[32] For admission in the fall of 2013, there were 45,000 applications for 4,900 spaces.[33] Students may apply for financial aid such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program and Canada Student Loans and Grants through the federal and provincial governments. The financial aid provided may come in the form of loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, fellowships, debt reduction, interest relief, and work programs.[34]

Admission requirements at Western differs depending upon the education system in which the applicant has originated from, due to the lack of uniformity in marking schemes.[35] The secondary school average for full-time first-year students at Western was 88.3 percent.[36]

Reputation[edit]

University rankings
The University of Western Ontario
ARWU World[37] 201–300
ARWU Clinical Medicine[38] 151–200
ARWU Social Sciences[39] 76–100
QS World[40] 199
THE-WUR World[41] 226-250
Canadian rankings
ARWU National[42] 8–17
Maclean's Medical/Doctoral[43] 9
THE-WUR National[41] 11-14
Conron Hall

The University of Western Ontario is consistently ranked as one of Canada's top universities. According to the 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) rankings, the university ranked 201–300 in the world and 8–17 in Canada.[42] The 2011 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 157th in the world, making it seventh in Canada[44] In terms of national rankings, Maclean's ranked Western 11th in their 2013 Medical Doctoral university rankings.[43] Western was ranked in spite of having opted out, along with several other universities in Canada, of participating in Maclean's graduate survey since 2006.[45]

Several of Western's programs were also ranked in individual rankings. Social sciences at Western was ranked 96th in the world in the 2010 QS World University Rankings.[44] In 2012, the ARWU similarly ranked social science at Western 76–100 in the world.[39] Western Law School was also ranked ninth nationally in Maclean's 2012 rankings for common law schools in Canada.[46] Western's Richard Ivey School of Business has also ranked well internationally. In 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek had ranked the Ivey as the sixth best business school outside of the United States and second in Canada.[47] In 2011, the Financial Times had also ranked Ivey 46th in its 2011 global MBA ranking, placing second nationally.[48]

Western is also renowned for educating many of Canada's top achievers. In 2010, Western ranked first amongst Canadian universities for earning the most Top 40 Under 40 Awards, in both the undergraduate and MBA categories.[49]

Research[edit]

Middlesex College, built in the early 1960s

Western has four primary fields of research in which it currently operates: life sciences and the human condition, culture analysis and values, the human and physical environments, and social trends, public policy, and economic activity.[50] In Research Infosource's 2011 ranking of Canada's 50 top research universities, Western was ranked 10th, with a sponsored research income of $221.236 million, averaging $155,600 per faculty member.[51] The federal government is the largest source of funding providing 46 percent of Western's research budget, primarily through grants. Private corporations contribute 10% of Western's research budget.[52] The Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan (HEEACT), an organization which also evaluates universities based on their scientific paper's performances, ranked Western 184th in the world and ninth nationally in its 2011 rankings.[53] Western was also ranked 87th in the world within the field of social sciences in HEEACT's 2011 rankings.[54]

Research regarding the human brain has also become a major focus at the university. The Brain and Mind Institute was created to provide a focus for research in cognitive neuroscience at Western.[55] and the Institute recently discovered that the blind may echolocate by using the visual cortex of the brain.[56] Another recent study at Western has suggested that people deaf from birth may be able to reassign the area of their brain used for hearing to boost their sight.[57]

Faculties[edit]

The University is divided into 12 faculties and schools, including Althouse College of Education, Don Wright Faculty of Music, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Richard Ivey School of Business, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Western Law School. The university is also affiliated with three University Colleges, Brescia University College, Huron University College and King's University College.[8]

The Faculty of Social Science is Western's largest faculty and is one of Canada's largest social science faculties. It consists of 6400 undergraduates, 550 graduates and 239 faculty members. It has been ranked as one of the top 100 social science faculties in the world over the last four years by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council, the QS Corporation, and the Academic Rankings of World Universities. It is home to several programs including the DAN Management and Organizational Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, History, Geography, Political Science, and Economics.

Archives and Gallery[edit]

The McIntosh Gallery, established in 1942, hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions of the works of students, faculty, Canadian and international artists. The McIntosh Gallery has a collection of over 3,500 objects, with a focus on 18th-20th-century Canadian paintings, sculpture, drawings, photographs and prints; and 18th-20th-century British, French, Italian and American paintings, drawings and prints. The Gallery archives house official records of, or relating to, or people/activities connected with local artists.[58]

Student life[edit]

O-week at Western

The two main student unions on administrative and policy issues is the University Students' Council for all undergraduate students and the Society of Graduate Students for graduate students.[59][60] The University Students' Council recognizes more than 180 student organizations and clubs, in which more than 19,500 people are a member.[61] These clubs and organizations cover a wide range of interests such as academics, culture, religion, social issues, and recreation.[62] The University Students' Council also provides additional services such as the campus movie theatre, pub, restaurant, clothing store and print shop.[63] These facilities can all be found in the University Community Centre. The current president of the University Students' Council is political science graduate Matt Helfand.[64]

The main campus at UWO has a number of student residences: Ontario Hall; Alumni House; Elgin Hall; Delaware Hall; London Hall; Essex Hall; Medway-Sydenham Hall; Perth Hall and Saugeen-Maitland Hall. Huron College has the following residences: Benson House; Cronyn House; Hellmuth Hall; Henderson House; O'Neil-Ridley Hall; Southwest Residence; Young House and Yellow Cottage. Brescia College has one residence: Clare Hall.[65] King's College has the following residences: King's Alumni Court; Wemple Building (Portions of the upper two floors are reserved for residence space, the rest of the building contains classrooms, cafeteria, administrative offices etc.) ; Town Houses #1–10.[66]

There are a number of fraternities and sororities existing throughout the student community. There are currently five international sororities at Western, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Kappa Alpha Theta & Pi Beta Phi.[67] There are also eight fraternities existing at Western, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Delta Upsilon, Phi Gamma Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Lambda Chi Alpha, Sigma Chi, Zeta Psi, and Kappa Alpha Society.[68][69][70][71][72][73]

Leadership Education Program[edit]

The Leadership Education Program is designed to provide students with the knowledge of how to become an effective leader, both individually and in teams. This program is split into three tiers: individual leadership, group leadership, and community leadership. To successfully complete a tier an individual must complete at least five of seven modules in that specific tier.[74]

Upon completion, students will receive a Letter of Accomplishment signed by the dean of the university indicating which module was completed.

Performances[edit]

The Don Wright Faculty of Music offers almost 400 performances, masterclasses and recitals each year, most of which are open to the public. The Western University Symphony Orchestra and the Western University Chamber Orchestra perform regularly under conductor Alain Trudel. UWOpera, under the direction of Theodore Baerg, performs a wide variety of repertoire ranging from operetta to full operatic works in the Paul Davenport Theatre (refurbished and renamed in 2009 from Talbot Theatre).[75]

Theatre Western produces a season that includes an annual musical revue of modern and classic Broadway, Purple Shorts (Western's One-Act Play Festival,) and a major musical production each spring. Recent productions include Xanadu, Legally Blonde, West Side Story, Cabaret, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.[citation needed] The Faculty of Education typically puts on a major production every year.[citation needed] The Huron Underground Dramatic Society (or "HUDS") is a student run drama group that puts on several shows per year. Their plays or skits are usually completely student written, and are well known for their edgy comedic content.[citation needed]

Media[edit]

The university's student population operates a number of media outlets throughout the campus environment. The Gazette is a student newspaper which has been in publication since 1906.[76] The Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies both run publications called The Current and OPENWIDE respectively. The University Students' Council also own and operates a campus radio station CHRW-FM (94.9 FM).[77] The first campus radio to operate at Western was in 1971, although the present day station CHRW-FM, was not established until 1979, one year after the closure of the Western's first campus radio station.[78] The University Students' Council had previously operated a closed-circuit television station, known as tvWestern.ca. The television station began broadcasting in 1994,[79] and was discontinued by the student union in 2010 after being cut from the University Students' Council's operating budget.[80]

Athletics[edit]

Football at Western

Athletics at Western is managed by Sports & Recreation Services, a division of the Faculty of Health Sciences.[81] The university's varsity teams compete in the Ontario University Athletics conference of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport. The varsity teams are known as the Western Ontario Mustangs. As is mandatory for all members of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, Western does not provide full-ride athletic scholarships.[82]

The university has a number of athletic facilities open to both their varsity teams as well as to their students. The Western Student Recreation Centre is a state-of-the-art facility, which opened in January 2009 and is home to Western's group fitness, drop in recreation, registered massage therapy, sport psychology, drop in recreation, intramural sports and clubs.

Better known as the WSRC or the Rec Center, this facility has an 8-lane, 50-metre pool facility. This concrete pool with ceramic tile line is a chlorine gas, sediment base filter pool. Overlooking the pool is a 3-tiered concrete viewing area. A 1-metre diving board is also available in the facility. The pool has an accessibility lift, barrier free locker room entrance, exit for the women’s and men's locker rooms, and a gallery that includes seating space for wheelchair users. There is over 19,000 square feet of weight, cardio, and stretching space within the WSRC. Closest to the main entrance of the WSRC (which is actually the third floor) is the two-level weight and cardio space. There are also over 200 pieces of weight and cardio fitness equipment available for usage by members. Another amazing feature of the WSRC are the five gymnasia. There are three gyms on the first floor, and two more on the upper level. The three lower level gyms are an engineered sprung hardwood floor, 30×57 metres or 18,400 sq ft, while the two upper gyms are a poured athletic resilient floor for a greater multi-purpose use. Outside the lower gyms is the 1st floor games and activity lounge for table tennis, while outside of the upper gym spaces is additional cardio space as well as the destination for spin bike programming. Also located on the 4th are two large studio spaces where the drop in fitness, clubs and dance courses take place.[83]

TD Waterhouse Stadium has been the main stadium of the university since it opened in 2000, with a seating capacity for over 8,000 spectators. The stadium is home to the university's varsity football team, and has hosted a number of events including the World Lacrosse Championships and the Canada Games.[84] The Thompson Recreation & Athletic Centre which houses a number of athletic venues, including an ice rink, tennis facilities and a track, is home to the varsity ice hockey teams and the varsity track and field teams.[85] Another athletic facility at the university is Alumni Hall, which is a multipurpose venue for sports such as basketball, volleyball and other indoor events.[86]

Intramural sport leagues and tournaments have a high level of participation at Western.[87] Opportunities are offered at multiple skill levels and across a variety of sports. Sports offered include traditional sports like volleyball, basketball and soccer, as well as less traditional events like dodgeball and inner tube water polo. Western also hosts secondary school football games at TD Waterhouse Stadium.[88]

Notable people[edit]

John Robarts, former premier of Ontario, and former alumnus and chancellor of Western.

As of November 2007, the University of Western Ontario has over 220,000 alumni residing in over 100 countries.[89] Throughout Western's history, faculty, alumni, and former students have played prominent roles in many different fields and have won the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize and other awards such as the Rhodes Scholarship.[90][91] Former faculty member Frederick Banting received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of insulin.[92] Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013, studied in the university's English department for two years under a scholarship and was later awarded an honorary degree.[93] Two graduates from Western have also traveled in space, namely Bjarni Tryggvason and Roberta Bondar.[94][95]

Many former students have gained local and national prominence for serving in government, such as James Bartleman, who served as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2002 to 2007, and Sheila Copps who served as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada.[96] Western's alumni also include a number of provincial premiers, including former premiers of Ontario John Robarts and David Peterson,[97] and the former premier of Alberta, Don Getty.[98] A number of graduates have also served prominent positions on the international level. Examples include Glenn Stevens,[99] the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia and Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization.[100]

A significant number of prominent leaders in business and economics have also studied at Western. Examples include: François Bourguignon, Chief Economist, World Bank,[101] Chris O'Neil, Country Head, Google Canada Inc,[101] Jordan Banks, Global Head of Vertical Strategy, Facebook Inc.,[102] Stephen Poloz, Governor, Bank of Canada,[103] Thomas H. Bailey, founder and former chairman of Janus Capital Group,[104] Geoff Beattie, president of The Woodbridge Company and chairman of CTVglobemedia,[105] George Cope, president and CEO of Bell Canada Enterprise,[106] Edward Rogers III, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications, and former president of Rogers Cable,[107] Arkadi Kuhlmann, chairman of ING Direct,[108] Rob McEwen, chairman and CEO of US Gold Corporation, Minera Andes and the founder, chairman and former CEO of Goldcorp Inc.,[109] John Thompson, former chairman of Toronto-Dominion Bank and chancellor of Western,[110] Prem Watsa, chairman, CEO of Fairfax Financial,[111] Lee Seng Wee, former chairman of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation,[112] Galen Weston, chairman and president of George Weston Limited,[113] Howard Lindzon, author and founder of StockTwits,[114] and businesswoman Margaret Heng, CEO of Shatec, a Singapore-based hospitality training institution.,[115]Kevin O'Leary, venture capitalist on the TV show Dragons' Den, co-host of CBC News Network's business news program The Lang and O'Leary Exchange and former president of The Learning Company. He also serves on the Dean's advisory board of the Ivey Business School.[116]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Barr, Murray Llewellyn (1977). A Century of Medicine at Western: A Centennial History of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Ontario. University of Western Ontario. 
  • Gwynne-Timothy, John RW (1978). Western's First Century. University of Western Ontario. 
  • Talman, Ruth Davis (1925). The Beginnings and Development of the University of Western Ontario, 1878–1924 (MA thesis). University of Western Ontario. 

External links[edit]