Sir George Williams University

Coordinates: 45°29′49″N 73°34′44″W / 45.497°N 73.579°W / 45.497; -73.579
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Sir George Williams University
Former names
Sir George Williams College
Location, ,

45°29′49″N 73°34′44″W / 45.497°N 73.579°W / 45.497; -73.579

Sir George Williams University was a university in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It merged with Loyola College to create Concordia University on August 24, 1974.[1]


Sir George Williams University's Henry F. Hall Building in 1970.

In 1851, the first YMCA in North America was established on Sainte-Hélène Street in Old Montreal.[2] Beginning in 1873, the YMCA offered evening classes to allow working people in the English-speaking community to pursue their education while working during the day. Sixty years later, the Montreal YMCA relocated to its current location on Stanley Street in Downtown Montreal.

In 1926, the education program at the YMCA was re-organized as Sir George Williams College, named after George Williams, founder of the original YMCA in London, upon which the Montreal YMCA was based. In 1934, Sir George Williams College offered the first undergraduate credit course in adult education in Canada.

Sir George Williams College received its university charter from the provincial government in 1948, though it remained the education arm of the Montreal YMCA. Sir George Williams expanded into its first standalone building, the Norris Building, in 1956. In 1959, the college requested that the Quebec legislature amend its university charter, changing its name to Sir George Williams University.[3] It established a Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies in 1963. Sir George Williams continued to hold classes in the YMCA building until the construction of the Henry F. Hall Building in 1966.

Following several years of discussions and planning, Sir George Williams University merged with Loyola College to create Concordia University in 1974. Concordia provided students with representative student organizations and greater power over administrative decisions at the university.

Sir George Williams Computer Centre Incident[edit]

The university gained international attention in 1969, when a group of Black students occupied the Henry F. Hall Building's 9th floor computer lab to protest alleged racism by the university.[4] This protest was documented in the 2015 film The Ninth Floor by director Mina Shum.

Sir George Williams Georgians[edit]

The Sir George Williams Georgians were the Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union teams that represented Sir George Williams University.

Shortly after Sir George Williams merged with Loyola College to create Concordia University in 1974, the Georgians and the Loyola Warriors were replaced by the Concordia Stingers.


Principals of Sir George Williams College and University[5]
Name Term start Term end
Anson W. Young 1925 1928
Frederick O. Stredder 1928 1935
Kenneth E. Norris 1936 1956
Henry F. Hall 1956 1962
Robert C. Rae 1962 1968
Douglass B. Clarke, Acting Principal 1968 1969
John W. O'Brien 1969 August 23, 1974



  1. ^ "Merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University". Concordia University. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "YMCA Quebec - Our History".
  3. ^ "Sir George Williams University History". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  4. ^ "Computer Centre Incident". Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  5. ^ "Principals of Sir George Williams College and University". Records Management and Archives. Concordia University. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Robert Dean (1927–2021): From Concordia grad to Parti Québécois minister".
  7. ^ "Mordecai Richler Reading Room". Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  8. ^ "Mordecai Richler biography on Britannica". Retrieved 2021-03-13.