Saint Paul University
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Saint Paul University History

The origin of Saint Paul University dates back to September 26, 1848, when “The College of Bytown” was founded by Bishop Joseph-Eugène Guigues, O.M.I., who in 1856 officially entrusted the College to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

In 1861 the College of Bytown was renamed “College of Ottawa” and on August 1866, was granted university status by the Government of the Union of Canada. By letters of Leo XIII, dated February 5, 1889, the College of Ottawa was granted the pontifical charter.

To meet the requirements of Pius XI’s Apostolic Constitution, Deus Scientiarum Dominus, on the reorganization of Catholic universities, the administration revised its pontifical charter which was subsequently approved by Rome on November 15, 1934. The civil charter, which had been rewritten, was approved on April 18, 1933 by the Ontario Provincial Legislature and the University was henceforth officially known as “University of Ottawa”.

In the years following World War II, the University progressed rapidly and by 1965, had established nine faculties and four schools. The year 1965 marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. On July 1st, through an Act of the Ontario Provincial Legislature and after laborious negociations between the University and the Provincial Government, the institution heretofore designated as the University of Ottawa became Saint Paul University, nonetheless keeping its civil and canonical charters. At the same time the Provincial Government formed a new institution to be known as the University of Ottawa to which Saint Paul University conceded the majority of its holdings. The two Universities became a federated complex and according to mutual agreement were to share faculties.

In addition to conferring its own degrees, Saint Paul University reserves the right to present its candidates to the Senate of the University of Ottawa for the joint conferment (Saint Paul University - University of Ottawa) of its certificates, diplomas and civil degrees.

Both Universities consider themselves complementary institutions. Saint Paul University appoints eight members to the Board of Governors of the University of Ottawa.The Rector of Saint Paul University is a member of the Senate of the University of Ottawa, and the Faculties of Saint Paul University are also represented in the academic Senate of the University of Ottawa by their Dean, Secretary and a professor elected by his or her colleagues. Moreover, the two Universities benefit from a mutual exchange of professors and they mutually recognize their courses.

Saint Paul University with strong traditions is fully aware of its special mission and possibilities. Its geographical location, its bilingual character, its federation with the University of Ottawa, its competent and diversified teaching staff, contribute to the quality of the academic training and the Christian culture which it endeavours to guarantee.