Dalhousie’s Hundred Years
The romance of a little college whose spirit has fertilized a nation from ocean to ocean
ALVIN F. MACDONALD
IT IS a far, far cry from the days when the proud lilies of France floated from the ramparts of the ancient fortress at Port Royal—the scene of the first permanent European settlement in the territory which is now the Dominion of Canada—to the Convocation in 1928 of a Nova Scotia University which has played a signal part in directing the thought and fashioning the different institutions of what has now become the Canadian nation.
And yet the prelude to the epic of this “Little College by the Sea,” which bears the illustrious Scottish name of Dalhousie, may be said to have been written in those romantic days in the early part of the seventeenth century when the Bourbon kings were striving to plant the fleur-de-lis in the New World. It was written, it is true, not in Marc Lescarbot’s inspiriting narrative of the long winter nights when L’Ordre de Bon Temps flourished in the “Little France” on the Basin of Annapolis— the cradle of the Dominion—• but in the association of personalities which linked the foundation with a sequence of events touching the life of three nations.
Castine, and the Struggle for Empire
AMONG the company of cavaliers and soldiers of fortune who followed in the train of the adventure which Henry of Navarre initiated to found in “La Cadie” a New France, v/as one Saint Castin. He was not the manner of man to be associated with a great emprise in learning, yet his name is a link in the chain that leads to the romantic background. We find him across the Bay of Fundy on the Penobscot Coast. He established a mercantile post at Pentegoet at the mouth of the Penobscot River. He lived among the Indians. He married the daughter of the Penobscot chief. He was wealthy but dissolute. But to his credit, he reformed after his marriage, and, earning the royal favor, was made the Baron de Saint Castin.
The trading-post at Pentegoet at the mouth of the Penobscot took the name Castine, and the conspiracy of events in which two great nations of the Old World and the young nation of the New were involved, in the course of years gave Castine a place in the founding of the first free college of liberal learning in all the Canadian Dominion.
We pass by the fascinating pageant of dramatic history as it unfolded itself in “La Cadie”; the exploits of de Monts, Champlain, Poutrincourt and the Biencourts of Picardy, the la Tours, father and son, Charnissay, and all the company of picturesque figures who flashed across the stage of the theatre in “New France”; the foundation as “a part of the Kingdom of Scotland” by King James VI, through the Charter granting to Sir William Alexander in 1621 all of the lands lying between New England and Newfoundland, of “New Scotland” whence the name Nova Scotia and the flag of Nova Scotia—the only Province in Canada to boast a flag of its own—emerged.
There were kaleidoscopic changes, the ebb and flow of conflict, in the century and a half battle for a continental empire.
In the changing fortunes of war the French settlements on the Penobscot were possessed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in due course became part of the State of Maine. In the war of 1812, the harbor of Castine was the base for American privateers which preyed upon British merchantmen. In August, 1814, a British Expedition of military and naval forces was despatched from Halifax to the Penobscot Bay on the Southern Coast of Maine under command of Sir John Cope Sherbrooke, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. The objective was briskly achieved, and the little outpost of Castine was made a customs port of entry by its new holders and did a thriving trade in the closing period of the war.
When the Treaty of Ghent ushered in the peace between the English-speaking nations, the British force withdrew from Castine, taking back with them to Halifax the accumulated customs collection, less the cost of administration, amounting to the sum of 11,750 pounds sterling. This, which became known as the “Castine Fund,” was the first endowment of Dalhousie University at Halifax. And so we may trace the origin of this Little College to sources in the history of three great nations, France, Britain and the United States of America.
But it was to Scotland, mother of great ideas and exemplar of liberal learning, that she owes her birth. It seemed to have been foreordained that shortly after the evacuation of the Castine ports there should have appeared on the scene another picturesque and distinguished figure who bore a proud Scottish name and the prestige of a brilliant military leader.
In succession to Sir John Sherbrooke, George Ramsay, the ninth Earl of Dalhousie, of Dalhousie Castle, Scotland, was appointed LieutenantGovernor of Nova Scotia. He arrived at Halifax in 1816, with the honors of Waterloo fresh upon him.
He had had a distinguished career as a gallant soldier. He had seen service in various parts of the world. He had commanded the Seventh Division of the British Army in France and Spain from 1812 to 1814, and had been accorded the thanks of Parliament for his services at Waterloo under Wellington. He was a friend of Sir Walter Scott. He was familiar with the traditions of Edinburgh, then rising to the zenith of its literary and scholastic fame.
The disposition of the “Castine Fund,” amounting then approximately to £9,750, was left in his hands. Various suggestions for its dispersal had been canvassed. Who conceived the idea is not known, but Lord Dalhousie with the true-born Scotsman’s love of learning finally decided that the Castine Fund could be put to the best use by founding therewith a college. The London authorities agreed.
There was more than the Scotsman’s native instinct of putting the money at hand to good use that impelled, or inspired, Lord Dalhousie to found a seminary of learning. King’s College at Windsor, the oldest university in the overseas Dominions, had been in existence since 1789. It had received a Royal Charter in 1802, but it was directly under control of the Church of England. That was not all. The Charter of the College, drafted by Judge Croke, of the Court of ViceAdmiralty at Halifax, was modeled rigidly on the plan of the unreformed Oxford of which Judge Croke was a graduate. It excluded from its classes and its degrees all but adherents of the Church of England. That is to say, four-fifths of the population of the Province were included in the bar set up in Judge Croke’s statute, namely, those who did not subscribe to the ThirtyNine Articles of the Church of England and who did not refrain from “frequenting the Romish Mass or the Meeting Houses of Presbyterians, Baptists or Methodists, or the Conventicles or places of worship of any other dissenters from the Church of England, or where divine worship shall not be performed according to the liturgy of the Church of England.”
It was primarily because of this narrow exclusiveness, which happily is a thing of the long past, that Lord Dalhousie resolved to found “a college on the plan and principle of Edinburgh ... in which the advantages of a collegiate education will be found within the reach of all classes of society and which will be open to all sects of religious persuasion.”
And so in 1818, two years after Lord Dalhousie’s arrival, the college was founded, and in 1819 work was begun upon the building on the site selected on the Grand Parade—where the Halifax City Hall now stands —then a famous military and social rendezvous. It faced at the other end of the Grand Parade, Saint Paul’s Church, opened for divine worship in 1750, the year after Cornwallis founded Halifax, the oldest Protestant Church in Canada.
MAY 22, 1820, saw the laying of the corner stone— the last public act of Lord Dalhousie in Nova Scotia. The ceremony rarely has been matched in brilliancy and color in the long history of the old garrison town of Halifax. Lord Dalhousie was accompanied on this occasion by Rear Admiral Griffith, the chief justice, the members of His Majesty’s Council, the magistrates, the commandant, £he captains of His Majesty’s ships in port and the officers of the garrison. The official party were received at the building by the Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge, John George Pyke, who handed to Lord Dalhousie the traditional “corn, wine and oil.”
It is an interesting fact that on the occasion in 1924 of the Dalhousie Reunion, the ceremony of a hundred years before was reproduced in part, when a replica of the brass tablet which was on the original corner-stone, was erected on the City Hall, to mark the site of the first Dalhousie building, and that in this ceremony an Admiral of the Fleet, Admiral Fergusson of the North American Squadron, a great grandson of Lord Dalhousie, and John George Pyke, of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, a great grandson of the Masonic Grand Master of 1820, should be central figures in the pageant that recalled the beginning of a great enterprise.
Lord Dalhousie’s address at the laying of the cornerstone may well be accounted as one of the important documents in Canadian history; it expressed an idea and set forth a policy which profoundly influenced the course of higher education in Canada. I quote the following which has been taken from his closing words:
“This ‘College of Halifax’ is founded for the instruction of youths in the higher classics and in all philosophical studies . . .
Its doors will be open to all who profess the Christian religion; to the youth of His Majesty’s North American Colonies, to strangers residing here, to gentlemen of the military as well as the learned professions, to all, in short, who may be disposed to devote a small part of their time to study.
“It does not oppose the King’s College at Windsor because it is well known that College does not admit any students unless they subscribe to the tests required by the Established Church of England; and these tests exclude the great portion of the youth of the Province. It is, therefore, particularly intended for those who are excluded from Windsor. It is founded upon the principles of Religious Toleration secured to you by the laws, and upon that paternal protection which the King of England extends to all his subjects.”
Despite the benediction and its promise, many years were to pass before the dream was fulfilled. Lord Dalhousie was appointed Governor-General of Canada. That necessitated his removal from Halifax.
History records the fact that he was unhappy in his translation to Quebec; he was singularly unhappy in the choice of the men to whose care the future of the institution at Halifax was entrusted. The Board of Governors as then constituted, was composed mainly of officials who were also governors of King’s College at Windsor. These were, if not positively hostile, at least indifferent to the new institution. They were chiefly interested, it appeared, in letting it die of neglect in order that King’s might be enabled to hold the field.
Before Lord Dalhousie left, he had initiated negotiations to secure a president or principal from Scotland. No real effort was made by the governors to continue the negotiations, or to secure a staff of instructors. In point of fact the college did not begin to function as such for twenty years. It eked out a fitful existence until the rising tide of public opinion against privilege in education and irresponsibility in government impelled action.
The Early Years
THOMAS MCCULLOCH, a Scottish divine, who had founded the famous Picton Academy in 1816, as a protest against the exclusive policy at Windsor, was called to Halifax in 1838 and then became the first president of Dalhousie. He established what the irreverent sometimes call the “Pietou Dynasty” at Dalhousie, for all of the four presidents of the university have been Pictonians. Dr. McCulloch was a great teacher of the old school, a ripe scholar who possessed the passion of the reformer. Through the battles which he waged in the press and around Pietou Academy he paved the way for responsible government. Even Joseph Howe, who rose to fame as the Tribune of the People and consummated the triumph of responsible government in 1847, admitted that he owed his conversion from Toryism to “the Pietou Scribblers,” of whom Dr. McCulloch and Jotham Blanchard were chief. Dr. McCulloch was distinguished also as a naturalist, and was a friend and a correspondent of the great Audubon.
Dr. McCulloch had associated with him as the first staff of Dalhousie, two professors. Between them they taught Mental and Moral Philosophy, Classics, Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Here a tragic blunder was committed. All the professors were Presbyterian clergymen, and in making the appointments the Governors rejected a highly qualified candidate of the Baptist faith. The upshot of this stroke of evil genius was that the Baptist denomination that year founded Acadia College at Wolfville, and in 1839 it opened its doors with three professors, of whom the gentleman rejected for the Dalhousie chair was one.
Parenthetically, it was the irony of fate that this episode in the selecting of the first staff led directly to the establishment of a second college of a denominational type and so shattered the object which Lord Dalhousie had envisaged, namely one central institution open and free to all without tests or distinctions of race or creed. Had Lord Dalhousie’s vision been realized, a far different story of higher education in Eastern Canada might have been written. Whether for good or ill it ensued otherwise. Acadia was followed by the Methodist institution of Mount Allison at Sackville, N.B., and the Roman Catholic College of St. Francis Xavier’s at Antigonish.
But even the prestige and tradition of the great name of McCulloch was not proof against the coldness, if not hostility, of officialdom. For five years the little college dragged out a precarious existence. Financial support was meagre. Most of the Castine Fund had been expended in the construction of the building and the slender resources were nearly exhausted.
Then in 1843, Dr. McCulloch, whose dominating personality had withstood overwhelming odds, died. A crisis was reached. The number of students dwindled to five and the stafl to two. Less than £200 remained in the treasury. And so, in June, 1845, the doors of the college were closed “to allow the funds to accumulate,” an example in thrift worthy of its Scots foundation.
One must pass swiftly over these heroic struggles that followed. New ideas began to permeate the public mind, things began to move again. Dr. Charles Tupper was fostering the Free School Act, and the need of higher education became clamant. Through the initiation of Presbyterian leaders of the Church of Scotland and of the Free Church, once again the doors of Dalhousie were opened. In 1863, an Act was passed reorganizing the college on a broad and liberal basis which removed every trace of sectarian control, and abjured all “religious tests or subscriptions for professors, scholars, graduates, students or officers of the college.”
Thus began the renaissance of the Little College. With this movement which envisaged the union of all the church colleges in one non-denominational constitution, eminent names were associated. On the lay side there were Joseph Howe and Sir William Young, the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, whose public and private benefactions in Halifax have never been matched; on the clerical side were Rev. Dr. George M. Grant—the same George M. Grant who in later years was to be the saviour of Queen’s University at Kingston —one of the really great Canadians. Associated with him were Rev. Allan Pollok, D.D., also of the Church of Scotland, subsequently principal of Pine Hill College at Halifax, and Rev. James Ross, D.D., who had turned his manse at West River, Pictou, into a Presbyterian seminary. These are names of men who galvanized Dalhousie into new life.
Dr. Ross became the second president, and the college reopened its doors with a staff of six professors. Through the genius and the enterprise of the Fathers of Reorganization, teachers of rare gifts were chosen. The new staff consisted of Dr. William Lyall, of the University of Glasgow, in Logic and Metaphysics; Dr. George Lawson, of Toronto, in Chemistry; John Johnson, M.A., of Trinity College, Dublin, in Classics; Charles Macdonald, M.A., of the University of Aberdeen, in Mathematics; Thomas McCulloch, a son of the first president, in Natural Philosophy; and President Ross, in Ethics.
These men laid the foundations of the fame which Dalhousie has since enjoyed as a college of the liberal arts. Three of this remarkable group, “the great Triumvirate,” Johnson, Lawson and Macdonald, served Dalhousie for thirty-one, thirty-two and thirty-eight years respectively. To the original staff were added in subsequent years such teachers and scholars of distinction as James DeMille, J. Gordon Macgregor, J. G. Schurman, W. J. Alexander, and James Seth, names to conjure with in academic halls. The traditions set by these eminent professors are worthily followed by the present staff of the university.
THE Little College went on its way quietly and efficiently, and all seemed well. But once again misfortune crossed its path Once more the treasury became depleted. Years of anxiety and heroism followed. The Little College was threatened with extinction. There were no Carnegie Corporations or Rockefeller Foundations in those days.
Then came the Day of Deliverance. Dr. Ross resigned the presidency and Rev. Dr. John Forrest was called to the succession in 1885. It is extraordinary how often the name of Pictou is associated with the epic story of Dalhousie. Again it was of good augury. Dr. Forrest’s brother-in-law, George Munro, also a native of Pictou County, had made a fortune as a publisher in New York. Dr. Forrest had enlisted Munro’s interest in Dalhousie as early as 1879, and beginning in that year he endowed a Chair of Physics, and within the next five years the Chairs of History, English, Law and Philosophy. In addition, he established instructorships in Classics and in Mathematics, and, most beneficent of all, contributed during ten years the sum of $87,000 for scholarships ranging from $150 to $200 a year—a princely sum in those days for an undergraduate—which literally opened the doors of the university to youths from the farm and the countryside, too poor to reach it otherwise, many of whom in after years adorned the professional and the public life of the Dominion.
The sum of George Munro’s gifts to Dalhousie was $320,000, a princely benefaction in itself, and at the time unparalleled in Canada. Munro, as President Mackenzie has gratefully testified, was the Great Deliverer. He literally saved Dalhousie and sent her on her way rejoicing.
Under Dr. Forrest’s vigorous leadership the rejuvenated college marched steadily forward. When he laid down the responsibilities of office after twenty-six years, the faculties had increased from one to four, the teaching staff from twenty to fifty, the number of students from 160 to nearly 400, while the revenue had increased tenfold and the equipment fourfold.
The early years of his regime were marked by the hegira to a new home. The old building on the historic Grand Parade had become too small. The opportunity came to transfer it to the city as the site for the present City Hall, and largely through the generosity of Sir William Young, Chairman of the Board of Governors for forty-five years, a new brick building was erected on what was then the western outskirts of the city. At the time it was thought that it would furnish adequate accommodation for at least half a century, but before Dr. Forrest finished his task, the need of room for the expanding activities of the college became imperative. The opportunity offered to secure “Studley,” a spacious property of more than forty acres, and through the far-seeing and enterprising spirit of the Board of Governors which during Dr. Forrest’s regime had been strengthened by the addition of a number of the foremost business leaders of Halifax, the purchase was completed for $50,000. So in 1912, Dalhousie once again moved westward and began the erection of the stately group of buildings and quadrangles which are adorning the magnificent estate that fronts the waters of the famous North-West Arm.
The move to “Studley” followed upon the advent of the new president, Dr. A. Stanley Mackenzie, the fourth and present incumbent of the office, who has been the moving spirit in the rise of the New Dalhousie. He is an alumnus of the university and a Doctor from Johns Hopkins University, with professorial experience in Bryn Mawr, Dalhousie and the Stevens Institute of Technology.
When Dr. Mackenzie came to the academic kingdom, the succession of the “Pictou Dynasty” was maintained. Yet, at length, one tradition was broken. He was the first of the line of presidents who was not of the Presbyterian faith. He is a Scot, born and bred among the Presbyterians, but is of the Anglican Communion.
Dr. Mackenzie brought to the president’s chair the energy and the enthusiasm of a youthful mind. He joins to the learning and culture of a scholar administrative and executive gifts and some of the qualities and the vision of the statesman which are rarely combined, so that he has given to his office a quality of leadership which, adhering to the best traditions of the past, yet is receptive to new ideas and responsive to the demands of a new day.
A National Outlook
AND if* under the presidency of 4L Forrest, Dalhousie entered upon a new epoch and became in truth as in age the premier university of the Maritime Provinces, so under Mackenzie, the university has witnessed a new orientation as an institution with a national outlook and a national mission. No longer does it look to the Presbyterian communities of Pictou, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island as the chief recruiting grounds for its student body. Its constituency has widened. Students come from all sections, from the West Indies, Newfoundland, the United States, and from every province of the Dominion. Even its native city which, yet infected with the old official spirit, long denied it support or gave it only condescending and grudging recognition, has awakened to its value as a great asset. Once the despised of the elite, it has become a social as well as the cultural centre of the city.
The Board of Governors, too, has undergone a rejuvenation. Through the infusion of younger blood drawn from the alumni of the business world and with G. Fred Pearson as its present chairman, it is finely representative of the spirit of the new Dalhousie.
The Dean of the university is Dr. Howard Murray, Professor of Classics, who has rounded out more than thirty years of service. He exemplifies the best traditions of classical scholarship and is a tower of strength in the intra-mural conduct of the university.
Excepting for a few years in the early stages of its history, Dalhousie has not received a dollar of aid from the state. It has had to rely wholly upon the generosity of its friends and patrons— but the benefactions have mounted with the years. The high standard of the training in Arts, in the Sciences and in the professional schools, has enlisted the interest of the great educational foundations, and Dalhousie has been the beneficiary to a generous degree of the Carnegie and the Rockefeller Funds. The “Castine Fund” has grown to an endowment of nearly a million and one half dollars, while over two and one half million dollars have been expended in buildings and equipment.
The little band of less than twenty who . dipped into the ancient well of the Classics within the dingy classrooms and cloistered halls of the old college on the parade have grown to more than 800. The teaching staff of the university number about 150. Where there was only a Faculty of Arts, there are now Faculties of Arts and Science, Law, Medicine, Engineering, Dentistry Pharmacy, Commerce and Music.
The Medical School is now established on a basis of a seven years’ course and under the leadership of Dean John Stewart it draws its students from as far away as the United States Middle-West. The fame of the Law School is nationwide. Established in 1883 under the leadership of the late Dr. Richard C. Weldon, it has achieved a prestige and a reputation for sound teaching in the law comparable to that of the famous school at Harvard. Included among the men who raised it to this high estate were two Prime Ministers of Canada, Sir John S. D. Thompson and Sir Robert Borden; two others, Mr. Justice Robert Sedgewick and Mr. Justice E. L. Newcombe, wore the ermine of the Supreme Court of Canada and served long terms as Deputy Minister of Justice. Last year, the college broke new ground by establishing a School of Fisheries, the first of its kind in the Dominion.
A Remarkable Record
AND what interest, you may ask, has all this for the reader in Toronto, or Winnipeg or Vancouver? What is its significance to Canadians in general? Let me cite, in answer, the testimony of Hon. R. B. Bennett, leader of the Conservative Party. In his address at the Founders’ Day Convocation in the gymnasium at “Studley” a few weeks ago, Mr. Bennett summed it up in a few words:
“The more often I come back to my Alma Mater,” he said, “the more deeply I am impressed with the greatness of the service it has rendered to the country, not alone in the contributions which it has made to educational and professional advancement, to the learned professions and to business, but even more with the remarkable influence it has exercised through its teachers and its graduates upon the national life of the Dominion. Traveling in Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, throughout the Dominion, you will find the sons and daughters of the Maritime Provinces, men and women, leaders in law and medicine, church and state, practically in every path of human effort. I return to Dalhousie as an affectionate and grateful son coming to a
home to which I owe much and which I left with a knowledge of the obligation I owed to life.”
This, then, is the significance of Dalhousie. True to the Scottish ideals in education, which it transplanted into the soil of the new Scotland, it knows no sectional boundaries. It is national in its spirit. It has been national in its service, as the long list of great Canadians who have been associated with its history as governors, professors, graduates and patrons testifies—names such as Grant, Howe, Tupper, Fielding, Thompson, Borden, and a host of others. It has manned the pulpits of the church from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It has sent missionaries to China, India, Korea, and the islands of the sea. It has given presidents to Cornell, Queens, Saskatchewan and Missouri; has filled distinguished chairs in Edinburgh, McGill, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, British Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, and in scores of the smaller colleges of Canada and the United States.
At the moment, in McGill University the Dean of Arts is a Dalhousian, the Dean of Engineering is a Dalhousian, two Professors of Mathematics are Dalhousians. So also are the heads of the Departments of Psychology and Electrical Engineering.
Toronto has been more impervious to the Dalhousie penetration, but even it should be proud to own that it drafted from the little college in Halifax that great scholar and great teacher of English, Dr. W. J. Alexander. I fancy Sir Robert Falconer himself values not the least his associations with Dalhousie in the days before the Governors of Toronto discovered him in Halifax.
Queen’s, too, as her sons gratefully recall, owes its revival to the consummate energy and the genius of George Munro Grant. And when he died, Dr. Daniel M. Gordon was called from Halifax to fill the master’s chair. Yet once again, two years ago, the Ontario scouts came down and picked Dr. Harry Kent, another Dalhousian, to head Queen’s Theological College.
And so it is across the Dominion. In every college and university, you will find Dalhousie men sitting in the academic chairs. From Dalhousie went Dr. Jacob G. Schurman, some time President of Cornell and presently United States Ambassador at Berlin. A Dalhousian too, Dr. James E. Creighton, organized and headed for many years the Department of Philosophy at Cornell, and even Scotland herself paid tribute to the quality of Dalhousie’s standards. Two Dalhousians, Gordon Macgregor and James Seth, won places of distinction as members of the staff of Edinburgh LTniversity at a time when they were the only representatives on the Edinburgh staff of overseas colleges.
Nor has the breed of Dalhousie men declined. At the spring convocation last year two conspicuous successes in scholarship were noted. One of the graduating class was Hugh Maclennan, a youth of twenty years, who had but recently before won the unique honor of a Rhodes Scholarship in a Dominion-wide competition against the pick of ten universities from Halifax to Vancouver. Another graduate of twenty years standing, Allan Chester Johnson, was summoned home from Princeton, where he holds the famous Chair of Classics, to receive the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa—the only honorary degree Dalhousie awards and that but rarely.
Where our Judges Come From
THE personnel of the law courts of most of the provinces of Canada is as a roster roll of the graduates of the Dalhousie Law School. In Nova Scotia five of the Judges of the Supreme Court are graduates of Dalhousie, and the sixth, the Chief Justice, was one of the teachers in the Law School. All of the County Court Judges in Nova Scotia are Dalhousians. Chief Justice Mathieson, of Prince Edward Island, is a graduate of Dalhousie, as was another eminent lawyer and former Lieutenant-Governor, the late Hon. D. A. Mackinnon
New Brunswick is indebted equally as much to Dalhousie. Three of her present Judges as well as leaders of the Bar are graduates of the Law School.
Quebec, of course, by reason of its own code, does not offer the same opportunities to men trained in an English law school, but half a dozen among the leaders of the English Bar in Montreal are Dalhousie men. At Ottawa there are Mr. Justice A. K. Maclean, President of the Exchequer Court, and Mr. Justice E. L. Newcombe, of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Even Toronto has a representative barrister or two, and three or four Dalhousians are at the present time on the staff of Osgoode Hall and the university. With a Nova Scotian in Government House who knows what may happen in the years to come?
But it is west of the Great Lakes that the Dalhousie colors are most conspicuous. The Bar and the Bench have been recruited to an amazing degree from the Law School of Dalhousie. In Manitoba two, in Saskatchewan four, in Alberta three and in British Columbia five, of the Judges of the high courts are graduates of Dalhousie and in most cases natives of the Maritime Provinces, while the Deputy Attorneys-General of Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia— and until recently of Manitoba—are Dalhousians.
TN THE political field the record is no less distinguished. The present premier of Nova Scotia and his predecessor are graduates of the Dalhousie Law School. So were two premiers of Prince Edward Island, and so also two premiers of British Columbia, Sir Richard McBride and Hon. W. J. Bowser, K.C. The House of Commons during the last thirty years at least has never been without Dalhousians among the leaders on the Treasury or the Opposition benches. In the present House there are Hon. J. L. Ralston, Minister of National Defense, and on the Opposition side, Hon. R. B. Bennett and Mr. C. H. Cahan, to mention none of the minor prophets. Two Dalhousians have been premiers of Newfoundland, and away off in Honolulu, the Attorney-General is a product of the university at Halifax.
I-TOWEVER Lord Dalhousie may have failed as an administrator in Upper Canada—and his experience there was far from a happy one—his name should always be held in grateful remembrance, not merely in Nova Scotia but throughout the Dominion. The college he founded here 110 years ago was the pioneer of our institutions of free and liberal learning. It preceded McGill, the next in succession by a few years. It marked the beginning, too, of that infusion of Scottish ideals and Scottish ideas in higher education, and the adop-. tion of the Edinburgh rather than the Oxford model, which has exercised so large and so important an influence upon the academic system of the country. It has linked the Scottish and Canadian universities together for more than a century.
It was Lord Dalhousie’s original aim to unite Dalhousie and King’s, to form the nucleus of one strong central institution. That also was the hope of the men who achieved the reorganization of Dalhousie in 1863. King’s, after half a dozen failures to bring about a union, finally took the decisive step four years ago which linked her interests with Dalhousie. She has abandoned her ancestral home at Windsor, and the two colleges which in those far-off days were as opposite as the poles, now dwell together in a happy community. The successful completion of a campaign to raise $400,000 under the spirited leadership of President Moore, supplemented by a conditional gift of $600,000 from the Carnegie Corporation, makes possible in the near future thé erection of a group of King’s buildings on the Studley Campus which in association with Dalhousie will give the ancient university facilities such as she never before enjoyed. It is of ironic interest that the estate on which the two universities are now conjoined was once the homestead of the Judge Croke who drafted the charter of King’s on the old Oxford model which kept them so long apart.
The dream of a federation embracing the other denominational colleges remains unfulfilled. Into this question I have no thought of entering here. It is not germane to this story. Suffice it to say that the other colleges have gone their separate ways, pursued their peculiar genius in education, and serving their particular constituencies, have achieved successes which Nova Scotians are proud to recognize.
For a period contemporary with the Confederation, Dalhousie has poured out its fertilizing stream literally from ocean to ocean and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Lord Rosebery has said that Edinburgh University, through the agency of her graduates, has moulded the British Empire; so may it be said that the daughter university overseas has had a part in fashioning the institutions and shaping the destiny of the Canadian nation, such as no other university, large or small, I venture to say, can match.