UBC Publications

UBC Publications

UBC Publications

The University of British Columbia [The University of British Columbia] 1936

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1915-1936 7 he Campus from the Ait
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HISTORY '"T",HE  idea  that   British  Columbia  should  have   a
1 university of its own was first officially recognized
in 1877. In that year John Jessop, Provincial Superintendent of Education, declared in his annual report that a university
would speedily become a necessity if the young men and women of British
Columbia were to be "fully prepared for the various avocations of youth
without going to other provinces and countries for the purpose of graduating in arts, law, and science." Since the Province at that date had a white
population of less than 25,000, it is not surprising that Mr. Jessop's
declaration met with no response for a very long time. At last, in 1890, the
Legislature passed a University Act; but this, too, brought no direct
In order, however, that the young people of the Province might be
able to obtain some at least of the benefits of a college education, the
High Schools of Vancouver and Victoria were in 1898 affiliated with
McGill University. This arrangement provided that the first year work of
the latter institution in Arts might be taken in British Columbia. In 1906
a further step was taken. The Province granted letters of incorporation to
the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, a local board
whose task was the supervision of the McGill University College of British
Columbia. This College, during the years from 1907 to 1915, enabled
several hundred young men and women to enjoy some of the advantages
of a higher education, which might otherwise have been denied them. At
first they were permitted to take two years of the Arts course or one year
in Applied Science for credit at McGill; but before the end of the period
named an additional year's work in each course was made available. In
1907 Victoria College, which had been affiliated with McGill since 1902,
also came under the Royal Institution and then extended its one year of
work in Arts to two.
Page Five THE        UNIVERSITY       OF        BRITISH        COLUMBIA
In the meantime interest in the idea of a Provincial University was
growing. In 1907 an Act was passed endowing the University with two
million acres of Crown lands; and in the following year a new University
Act was passed, repealing the old Act of 1890 and establishing and incorporating the University of British Columbia. Early in 1910 the Government appointed a group of distinguished educationalists from outside the
Province to consider the vexed question of a site for the new University.
This commission spent the summer in touring the Province and weighing
the merits and claims of various proposed locations. In the autumn they
presented a report recommending the present site at Point Grey as the
most suitable. In 1912 the Government called for competitive plans for
the buildings, and a Committee of Assessors selected those submitted by
the present University architects. In the same year the first Convocation
of the University elected as Chancellor the late Mr. F. L. Carter-Cotton,
who had been acting as Chancellor of the Royal Institution for the
Advancement of Learning. Convocation also elected fifteen members to
the first Senate. In 1913 a President was appointed by the Government,
in the person of the late Dr. F. F. Wesbrook, a distinguished Canadian,
whose brilliant work in Public Health and Bacteriology had earned for
him the Deanship of the College of Medicine and Surgery in the University of Minnesota. The Government also appointed the first Board of
Governors and three members of the new Senate. In the same year a
Consulting Commission, consisting of a landscape architect, a consulting
architect, and an engineer, was appointed to act in co-operation with the
University architects for the purpose of examining and reporting "upon
the general design for the University." The plans drawn up by them have
been followed in the main in all subsequent work on the site. Steps were
also taken to create the nucleus of a faculty and staff. Clearing operations were undertaken at the site, and in 1914 work was begun on the
Science Building. But the outbreak of the World War put a stop to
the ambitious plans for building and development at Point Grey. It was
not considered wise to proceed with these at the moment, and the monies
which had been appropriated for the purpose reverted to the Provincial
So imperative, however, was the need for a Provincial University that,
in spite of scanty funds, the University of British Columbia at last opened
its doors as an independent institution on September 30, 1915. It was housed
on the Fairview property of the Vancouver General Hospital in buildings
which had been used by McGill University College since 1912 and which
the University was to occupy longer than it anticipated. The College now
automatically went out of existence; but its students and staff formed a
sound nucleus for the new institution. Of the "originals" of 1915 two now
hold the rank of Emeritus Professor and almost a dozen are still in service.
Before the University began instruction there had been five years of
careful planning and preparation by the Government. And Dr. Wesbrook
had spared no effort to see that the foundations for a seat of higher learning
were well and truly laid. The World War checked most of his projects.
From 1915 to 1918 the University carried on with a small budget, a bare
nucleus of staff, and a student body almost entirely depleted of men
because of the war. Then, just before the Armistice, Dr. Wesbrook died,
like Moses, permitted only to gaze into the promised land. He was succeeded by Dr. L. S. Klinck, the first Dean of Agriculture, who had been
his right-hand man during his last illness, and who has ever since directed
the institution. In the same year the University lost its first Chancellor,
Mr. F. L. Carter-Cotton. He was succeeded by Dr. R. E. McKechnie, who
is still in office.
In spite of cramped quarters and inadequate equipment, the standard
of work was high from the very beginning. The desire that the standard
set should match those of other universities did not, however, lead to
slavish imitation. An example of this independence was the requirement
that students intending to enter Applied Science should take First Year
Arts or its equivalent—a requirement setting a precedent in Canada. And
the University was the first in Canada to accept Matriculation without
The temporary buildings in Fairview soon proved utterly inadequate
for the University's rapidly growing needs. The enrolment increased from
379 in 1915 to 1451 in 1924; but it had become evident even before
this last date that the institution could not long continue to carry on its
work in Fairview. In 1920 hope was aroused that the Government might
be contemplating a removal to the site in Point Grey. In that year the two
million acres which had been granted as an endowment in 1907 were surrendered by the University in exchange for a tract of some three thousand
acres immediately adjoining the site and lying between it and the City of
Vancouver. But apparently there was no intention of moving the University to its site. Then in 1922 the students of the institution, exasperated
by what seemed to them intolerable conditions, organized a publicity
Page Seven THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
campaign on a vast scale, for the purpose of impressing the need for action,
not only upon the Government, but also upon the people of the Province.
To what extent, if at all, this demonstration may have influenced the
Government it is impossible to say. It was in any event very gratifying to
the whole University when in the following year, 1923, the Minister of
Education laid the corner stone of the Science Building, a structure that
had remained a gaunt skeleton during the war years, and building was
resumed. At last, as the student paper jubilantly announced, the state of
the Provincial finances had enabled the Government "to see the Point."
The buildings were ready in 1925. The last Congregation at the old
Fairview site was held in May. But the last actual classes to be conducted
were those of the Summer Session of 1925. In October the University
celebrated its installation in its new quarters by conferring its first honorary
degrees. Among the recipients was Dr. H. E. Young, during whose term as
Minister of Education the University had come into being and the first
vitally important decisions with regard to the organization and the character of the institution had been made.
The enrolment continued to mount at an alarming rate, until in the
session 1930-31 it had reached a total of 2044. This number seriously
overtaxed not only the equipment, but actually also the capacity of classrooms, reading rooms and laboratories, since these had been designed for
not more than 1500 students. It looked as if the Fairview experience
would be repeated; and accordingly in 1931 a limitation was imposed upon
the enrolment. Fortunately this limitation has never had to be enforced,
except in certain departments, because in that year the Vancouver High
Schools took over the work of Senior Matriculation and thus reduced
enrolment in the Freshman Class. The period of financial depression followed and this reduced enrolment still further. In 1933-34 it had dropped
to 1606. It is rising again, and the 1880 students now in attendance (1935-
1936) are again subjecting the fabric of the institution to serious strain.
Perhaps it may once more be necessary to limit registration.
A most important change in the constitution of the University was
made in 1935 when an amendment to the University Act gave the Senate,
and thus indirectly Convocation, the power to elect three members of the
Board of Governors. The change is important because it establishes a
new principle of University government.
This narrative would be incomplete without a reference at least to
the many friends of the University throughout the Province—organiza-
Page Eight Courtesy Bridgman Studio
The Late Mr. F. L. Carter-Cotton
Chancellor, 1912-1918
Courtesy George T. Wadds
Dr. R. E. McKechnie
Chancellor Since 1918 The Late Dr.F.F. IVcsbrook
President, 1913-1918
Dr. L. S. Klinck
President Since I91S Tbe I mvrrsii\ ai ' a?, ffcrS /PW
JJ#.j   J*, njrj  f unu *C.'trtl f  ™i
9Cll>tCE CJ
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tions and societies of various kinds, as well as individual persons. These
have generously donated not only medals, prizes, bursaries, scholarships,
fellowships, and endowments, but also books, periodicals, records, and other
collections of great scientific interest and value. These friends are so
numerous that even a list of their names would be too long for insertion
in such a book as this.
Like all similar institutions the University of British Columbia has
suffered severely from the world-wide financial depression. In 1932 the
Government decided that it had no alternative but to make a cut of over
fifty per cent in the University appropriation. This was a staggering blow
to a young institution that had not had time to establish itself firmly.
Every department felt the impact. Supplies and equipment were everywhere reduced; all undertakings had to be curtailed, and some, discontinued; a great many courses had to be dropped from the curriculum;
and several members of the staff had to be dismissed. But there is no
reason to doubt that when financial conditions improve in the world at
large, the University will continue its progress. It has in fact already
entered upon a period not only of recovery, but also actually of expansion.
The institutions affiliated with the University are three
Affiliated —Victoria  College, which is undenominational, and
Colleges two theological colleges of the Anglican and United
Churches of Canada.   Both of these last are now situated on the Campus.
In 1902 Victoria High School was affiliated with McGill University for
the First Year in Arts under the name of Victoria College. Five years later
it came under the control of the newly created Royal Institution for the
Advancement of Learning as part of the McGill University College of
British Columbia. It then had power to give courses in the first two years
in Arts. When the University began work in 1915, Victoria College ceased
to exist. In its last year in affiliation with McGill it had an enrolment of
seventy students.
In 1920 this College was re-established in affiliation with the University
of British Columbia. Although it occupied part of the Victoria High School
building, it had no administrative connection with that institution. One
year later the present building, Craigdarroch Castle, which is situated at
one of the highest points in the beautiful residential district of Victoria,
was rented by the Board of School Trustees for the use of the College. In
1927 it was bought by the city.
Page Nine THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
The Anglican Theological College of British Columbia was incorporated
in 1912, bringing into affiliation with itself Latimer Hall, which had been
established in 1910, and St. Mark's Hall, which had been established in
1912. The two halls were merged by agreement in 1920. In the following
year the College was affiliated with the University of British Columbia,
which allows certain theological subjects to be taken as options for courses
in Arts. The College moved to the Campus in 1927, where the present
building, half stone and half roughcast, had been erected in a modern
adaptation of the Tudor style of Collegiate Gothic.
The Union College of British Columbia represents a merging of three
streams of theological education coming down through a period of forty-
three years. In 1893 Columbian College was opened by the Methodist
Church in New Westminster. In 1908 Westminster Hall was established in
Vancouver by the Presbyterian Church. In 1923 Ryerson College was set
up, also in Vancouver; and took over the theological work formerly carried
on by Columbian College. In that year also the Anglican Theological
College, Westminster Hall, and Ryerson College joined in a scheme of
co-operation which still continues successfully. In 1914 the Congregational
College of British Columbia was incorporated. Then, finally, in 1927, two
years after Church Union, this College, Westminster Hall, and Ryerson
were amalgamated under the name of the Union College of British Columbia. The first unit of the College building was opened in 1927, and in 1934
the Library was erected. The completion of this second unit is expected
in the near future, as well as the erection of a College Chapel.
SlTE ' I ""HE University stands upon a headland which rises about
JL three hundred feet above the sea. The site is separated
from the water by a steep bluff, crowned in places with heavy
forest growth. In selecting this site, the Commission of 1910 appears to
have been guided in the main by three considerations: the great beauty of
the setting; the proximity of the area to the largest centre of population
in the Province; and the fact that, since there is open water on three sides,
this area can never be surrounded by the city, no matter how large Vancouver may become.
The setting is indeed magnificent. To the north, across English Bay
and Burrard Inlet, rise the rugged Coast mountains, which are covered with
snow during a great part of the year. On the west and south are the waters
of the Gulf of Georgia. The view across the sea on a dear day is superb,
taking in as it does not only the promontories and wooded islands of the
nearer Gulf, but also the sharply-edged peaks of the Vancouver Island range
nearly one hundred miles away. To stand at the edge of the cliff and
watch a great white liner slowly entering Vancouver Harbour or a freighter
outward bound, her deck cargo of British Columbia lumber gleaming in
the sun, is an experience that should arouse the most apathetic from
a self-complacent insularity. The students of the University may be pardoned, surely, when they say that the world's highway runs just below
their classroom windows.
The second point is also of the greatest importance. The University
has at its very doors what is in effect a huge laboratory, and in this laboratory every class in the institution is free to work. Surroundings which
include mountain and sea, river and forest, as well as a great city, furnish
exceptional facilities for field work in both the pure and the applied
sciences. Within a few hours journey from the University are smelters,
coal mines, logging camps, sawmills, pulp and paper mills, hydro-electric
installations, grain elevators, as well as some of the largest metal mines
and one of the largest ore-reducing plants in the British Empire. The
location is likewise well adapted for investigations in agriculture. The soil
in the immediate vicinity is typical of heavily timbered upland coast soils,
and close at hand are the rich alluvial lands of the Delta. Students in
Agriculture enjoy the further advantage of being within easy reach of
meat packing houses, milk depots and condensers, and fruit and vegetable
canneries. The close proximity of Vancouver is also a great asset for
technical and industrial study. Vancouver is the commercial centre of
the Province, the terminus of several trans-continental railways, and
a rapidly growing world port, the largest British port in fact on the west
coast of the Americas. Many industrial plants, which are thus close
at hand, are generously opened to students in Engineering for study and
demonstration. Here, too, are the largest hospitals in the Province. These
at the moment are giving excellent opportunities for training to students
in Nursing and Public Health. In the future, when a Faculty of Medicine
is established, these hospitals will be invaluable. Similarly, the students in
some future Faculty of Law will have within easy reach the largest Law
Courts in the Province. Students in Economics, Sociology, and Social Welfare have at their disposal not only the materials for study that are ordinarily available in a large city, but also those found only in a Pacific port
where Orient and Occident meet.  The large and varied elementary and
Pane Eleven THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BR    TISH        COLUMBIA
high schools in the city provide the students in Education with abundant
facilities for observation and practice teaching. Finally, Vancouver is
rapidly becoming a cultural centre of some importance; and the students
of the University are thus being given greater and greater opportunities
for cultivating drama, art, and music.
The plans of grounds and buildings drawn up by the Consulting Commission of 1913 are grandiose in conception and design. The Commissioners
declared in their report that it had been the central purpose of their study
to determine upon right fundamentals. "The University of British Columbia is here conceived as an institution of the first order whose scope shall
be co-extensive with the educational needs of the Province. This involves
provision for a State University comparable in the range and magnitude
of its activities to the seats of learning of any country in the world." The
plans accordingly look not only to the present but also to the remote future
needs of the Province. If the plans are followed, the normal growth of the
institution need never be obstructed by the overcrowded conditions and
the haphazard development that have hampered progress in most other
universities. The plans are so comprehensive that they ensure for the future
a well proportioned and harmonious development.
THE University site comprises in all an area of 548 acres. Of this area
about one half constitutes the Campus proper, the remainder being
divided among gardens, farm lands, and a forest reserve.
The Campus is being developed from the unpromising
Campus stump-land left by the logger's axe, to give a pleasing
and effective setting to the buildings, that shall be in
keeping also with the natural beauty and grandeur of the surrounding
sea and rugged mountains. In the planning and planting of the Campus
every effort has been made to achieve a harmony in design and materials
which will blend with the formal lines of architecture, walks and roads.
Rolling lawns, rockeries, and water gardens have been used to beautify
the less formal areas.
The Botanical Gardens of the University were the first to be established in Canada. They were inaugurated by the Provincial Government
in 1912 to bring together the native plants of British Columbia, and to
serve as a nucleus for the University Botanical Gardens later on. They
cover an area of approximately five acres and comprise the following:
the Systematic Garden, which contains nearly one thousand varieties of
native plants, including dry belt, alpine, and coast species, arranged
according to families in phylogenetic order, in a series of fifty large beds
separated from each other by four feet of lawn; the Native Aboretum,
containing specimens of nearly all the trees and shrubs of British Columbia; the Medicinal Garden of native and imported plants that are used for
medicinal purposes; the Exotic Garden, containing plants introduced from
botanical gardens in many parts of the world; the Rock Garden, which
simulates the rock-slide habitat very common in the mountains of British
Columbia; the Aquatic Garden for the accommodation of pondweeds,
water lilies, and other aquatic plants which abound in the lakes of the
Province; the North American Arboretum, now in process of development,
for the trees and shrubs of Eastern Canada and the United States; and
the Japanese Garden, presented to the University in 1935 by the friends
of the Japanese statesman, Dr. Inazo Nitobe. This last was planned and
planted by Japanese gardeners and labourers. It contains shrubs, flowers,
and grasses, chosen with discriminating care from the floras of Canada
and Japan. Growing side by side as they do, these symbolize the positive,
courageous, and constructive internationalism to which Dr. Nitobe devoted
his life. In the centre stands a Japanese Lantern erected in recognition of
his eminence as idealist and thinker. The whole is a perpetual reminder
also of the peculiar position in which the University stands in relation
to the East.
The lands now being cultivated for agricultural purposes were in the
original plans subdivided into sites for various Campus buildings. The
Farm Lands proper, of which thus far only a small portion has been cleared,
adjoin the forest reserve on the western slope of the site. Here will be found
the partly developed fields which constitute the experimental plots of the
Faculty of Agriculture and where in recent years work of far-reaching
practical and scientific value has been carried out.
The Forest Reserve of about one hundred acres, which has been preserved as a natural park, forms an invaluable outdoor laboratory for
students in Forestry. It is typical of stands found on the West Coast and
all the principal species of tree in this region are represented.
BUILDINGS T^HE buildings on the Campus are of two kinds,
permanent and semi-permanent.   The permament
buildings are three. One is the first unit of the Library
Building.   Another is the first unit of the Science Building.   This last
Page Thirteen THE        UNIVERSITY        OF        BR    TISH        COLUMBIA
now accommodates the various Departments in pure science, but will ultimately be given up to Chemistry alone. Both are handsome structures and
both have been skilfully planned. Classed as a permanent building also is
the Power House, which in addition to its primary function performs that
of a laboratory for engineering study and research.
Of the semi-permanent buildings, which have an estimated life of forty
years, the most conspicuous is the Auditorium, whose large hall, seating
1140 persons, is used for University mass meetings, for dramatic and
musical productions, and for such functions as Congregation. Attached
are an orchestra pit, a large stage, and adequate off-stage dressing rooms.
The stage, complete with cyclorama and all necessary electrical illumination devices, is one of the best equipped in Western Canada. Provision
has also been made for the showing of motion pictures. The other semipermanent buildings house the offices, class rooms, and laboratories appropriate to the various Faculties and Departments to which they have been
assigned—Arts, Applied Science, Agriculture, Forestry, and Engineering
in its various branches. Several hundred yards to the east of the semipermanent group are the Dairy Barn, the Poultry Plant, the Agronomy and
Horticultural Buildings, and several others which are used in its experimental work by the Faculty of Agriculture.
LIBRARY T^ t'ie orSanizati°n °f the institution to which he had
JL been appointed President, Dr. F. F. Wesbrook
conceived his plans on a comprehensive scale. They
included a Library adequate for the requirements of study in all the courses
contemplated, together with the material necessary for the prosecution of
research. The Provincial Government had given approval to these plans
as part of its initial programme of construction and organization, and had
undertaken to supply the funds necessary.
So far as the purchase of books was concerned, a Five Year Plan was
adopted. The sum of $100,000. was to be spent on the basic collection in
the first year, and for each of the four years succeeding, it was proposed to
spend a further $50,000. The physical accommodation for the care of these
volumes was to be included in the Administration Building, one of those to
be immediately erected.
Mr. J. T. Gerould, at that time Librarian of the University of Minnesota, and now Librarian of Princeton, was commissioned to select and
purchase the basic collection.   He journeyed to Europe, and bought
Page Fourteen  t — -;
f' DANGER The Applied Science Building
The Bus Station
The Students' Cairn
The Campus As It Is
The Arts Building
The Agricultural Building
Courtesy Leonard Frank
The Auditorium
The Administration Building "M\
wn tit
T.V:. T   ■.     '■   ,.■
} moo
gf'YYY f ^
Y*Y YYY  Y<?vY; rill
Courtesy Leonard Frank
Tbe Science Building THE TWENTY-F     RST ANN     VERSARY
extensively in England, acquiring the fundamental sets in the Sciences,
Philosophy, History, and Literature. In co-operation with Dr. Ashton,
corresponding material was purchased in France. Mr. Gerould then went
to Germany for similar purchases, but on stepping from the train at
Leipzig, he was arrested as a British spy, for he arrived on August 4, 1914,
the day that Britain entered the World War. He was thrown into prison,
his money confiscated, and after humiliating anxieties was deported to the
Swiss border. With difficulty, after many delays and some hardship, he
made his way through Italy to Palermo in Sicily, thence to Barcelona in
Spain, and finally to Liverpool, whence he set sail for America.
Thus not only were no German books purchased, but the carrying out
of the comprehensive programme for the purchase of the basic collection
had to be abandoned. It shared the same fate as the programme for
building construction.
In view of the fact that several important appointments to the University staff had been made, there was no alternative but to proceed with
organization; but every branch of the project had to be redesigned, and on
a very much smaller scale. The only building available was the two and
one-half storey wooden building used by McGill University College of
Vancouver. A new and substantial structure erected by the Provincial
Government for the Vancouver General Hospital for tuberculosis patients,
recently finished, and as yet unoccupied, was turned over to the University;
and to this were brought the books purchased by Mr. Gerould when in
Europe. The packing cases containing these filled one large room from
floor to ceiling. Funds were not available for the engagement of a professionally trained Library staff, but in the early summer of 1915, the present
Librarian was engaged to organize the collection, and to make it available
for service. Temporary wooden stacks were erected, and the work of classification begun, so that a few of the books were ready for use when the
University opened its doors to the student body in September, 1915.
Despite financial difficulties, the Library grew rapidly, and the problem
of physical accommodation became one of ever-increasing difficulty.
Additional stacks had to be superimposed on those already erected until
they reached the ceiling. Part of the main lobby was taken into the stack
room. A lean-to addition was erected that gave shelf space for a further
10,000 or 12,000 volumes. The large room above the stack room was fitted
up as a reading room, but the eighty chairs crowded into it provided only
one-half, or one-third, of the equipment necessary for the students desiring
Page Fifteen THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
to use it.   Each year, with the growth of the student body, the problem
became increasingly acute, until conditions were well-nigh intolerable.
The situation was not relieved until the removal of the University to its
permanent site at Point Grey, where the present Library became available.
Like the Science Building, it is a massive structure in a free rendering of
the late Gothic style. It is built of British Columbia granite, the general
gray tone of which has been relieved by random blocks of field stone in
darker shades. It has been planned for expansion in three directions, and
can ultimately be developed to house a library of considerably more than
a million volumes. Its main reading room is a noble and dignified hall one
hundred feet in length, and sixty feet in height. Connected with this are
two smaller rooms, each sixty feet in length. The stacks are of steel, and
of the most modern design.
The growth of the collection has been remarkable, for, despite financial
difficulties, the University has steadfastly adhered to the original policy of
building up a representative collection of books for study and research.
It contains a larger percentage of the files of scholarly periodicals, and of
the transactions and proceedings of learned societies, than does any other
Canadian university library of equal volume-total. The University's
determination to keep abreast of the newer developments in important
fields of knowledge is indicated by the fact that its Periodical Room regularly receives more than 600 general, scientific, and technical publications.
Between 4,000 and 5,000 new volumes are added to the collection each
year, and the coming of age of the University this year will see the total
number of books exceed 100,000 volumes. It contains also nearly 15,000
pamphlets. The circulation, which is Province-wide, exceeds 80,000
volumes a year.
The Library is greatly indebted to many friends for accessions by way
of gift. Notable among these should be mentioned part of the Gerrans
Library (from Oxford, England), the De Pencier Library of mining and
geology, and several smaller collections. Four years ago, the Carnegie Corporation of New York made a grant of $15,000 for the purchase of books
for undergraduate reading. This year the Corporation presented a set of
its Art Teaching Equipment, consisting of about 200 representative volumes
on Painting, Architecture, and Sculpture and including over 2,000 reproductions of paintings, a large number of them in color. It represents a
value of $6,000.
The present year was notable, too, for the constitution of the Library as
a Depository for the Library of Congress Catalogue, a collection of more
than 1,500,000 printed cards. It is valued at $65,000. As a bibliographical
aid in research this Catalogue is invaluable. Outside the United States,
there are but eighteen such depositories throughout the world.
MUSEUMS /^*\^ the museums which the University possesses, the
V_-J best known is the ethnographical collection presented in 1927 by the late Mr. Frank Burnett, ll.d.,
f.r.g.s. It is the result of thirty-five years of exploration in the Pacific.
Weapons, tools, garments, idols, human skulls and bones, and many curios
of other kinds make up the collection, which numbers nearly one thousand
pieces in all. They come from all around the Pacific—from the Eskimos of
the Arctic region, from the Indian tribes of British Columbia, Mexico,
Peru, and Ecuador, and from the savages of New Zealand, Australia, the
Pacific Islands and the East Indies. It is one of the most extensive collections of its kind in the world. It is housed at present on the first floor of
the Library Building.
In the Applied Science Building there are three other museums. One
has been designed to illustrate the lectures given in Geology and Geography.
It has proved useful also to students of history, sociology, and decorative
art. It contains collections of human artifacts from France, Eskimo
utensils and garments, Indian baskets and New Guinea weapons; a strati-
graphical collection of animal and plant remains, including skulls, horns,
teeth and tusks of extinct animals, and casts of dinosaur eggs from Mongolia; miscellaneous collections of ores, minerals, game heads, and mounted
mammals and birds; and a fine set of relief models of the continents and
the adjoining oceans. Of special interest to the students of the University
is a proof copy of the map of Hong Kong made by the University Department of Geology and printed by the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain.
Another museum consists of extensive collections of local flora and
fauna. The herbarium contains over 17,000 sheets of specimens representing the flora of British Columbia. In the zoological collection the marine
flora is well represented, and the hydroid collection is one of the largest
and most representative in existence. The entomological collection is, for
most of the orders, the most nearly complete in Canada and is especially
representative of this Province.
Lastly, there is a collection containing samples of all the woods of commercial importance in the world, which have been brought together for the
Page Seventeen THE        UNIVERSITY        OF        BR    TISH        COLUMBIA
purposes of exhibition and study. The collection is composed of sample
boards which have been planed and lacquered to preserve the specimens
and to show the grain, colour and other characteristics of the wood.
Ninety kinds of North American woods are represented, including all the
more important timber producing trees and many others of less importance.
A very fine collection of approximately fifty Japanese woods was received
several years ago from the Imperial University in Tokyo. Other regions
represented in the museum are India, Africa, the Philippine Islands, Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Cuba, and Southern Russia. The entire
collection consists of some two hundred boards representing in all over one
hundred and eighty different woods. There are also smaller hand samples
of woods from New Zealand, the Federated Malay States, Australia,
Norway and other countries, which add another one hundred and fifty
INSTRUCTION HT^HE University was made up from the first of
JL three colleges or "Faculties"—Arts and Science,
Applied Science, and Agriculture. The plans provide
for other Faculties, in Law and Medicine, for instance; but it will probably
be many years before these are established. In the meantime, the University has been granting both the Bachelor's and the Master's degree in the
the three Faculties named. It has not thus far attempted postgraduate work
for the Doctor's degree. But almost from the very beginning it has been
continually enlarging and enriching its curriculum. In 1919, for instance,
was instituted a five-year course in Nursing, leading to the degree of
Bachelor of Applied Science in Nursing—the first of its kind in Canada.
In 1920 was added a six-year combined course in Arts and Science and
Engineering. During this same session also Honour Courses were introduced
into the third and fourth years of the Arts curriculum. These courses are
open only to selected students, and they involve more intensive specialization than does the ordinary General Course. In 1923 the University broadened its work still further by instituting a one-year Teacher Training
Course, the aim of which is to prepare University graduates for the
teaching profession. In 1925 a Department of Education was established
to take over the educational work which up to that time had been carried
on by the Department of Philosophy. In 1929 were added a two-year course
leading to a Diploma in Social Service and a four-year course in Commerce
leading to the Bachelor's degree.  Lastly, in 1930, there was instituted a
six-year combined course in Arts and Science and Nursing. It should be
added that the two affiliated theological colleges confer a Diploma of
Licentiate in Theology as well as the Bachelor's and Doctor's degrees in
In addition to its normal activities in conducting research and in providing cultural and vocational training for its registered students, the
University has extended its services to the people at large by means of
short courses of various kinds, summer sessions, and extension lectures.
The University began immediately after the Armistice by
Short taking an active part in providing vocational training for
Courses returned  soldiers  by  giving  short courses  in  Mining,
Engineering, Forestry, and Agriculture. In the academic
year 1919-20 over five hundred men attended these special classes and in
the whole period of reconstruction at least thirteen hundred. The Department of Botany has, for several years, been presenting a weekly evening
session, lasting from one and a half to two hours, on the elements of Botany.
A few people follow this with a laboratory course and so receive University
credit; but the great majority of those enrolled are not looking toward a
degree. Two instructors in Mining and Geology usually give, during the
winter, a series of evening lectures under the auspices of the Chamber of
Mines. Agricultural Short Courses for the benefit of people actually
engaged in farming were given regularly each winter as long as the University was able to provide instruction, the last session being held in 1931-32.
From the earliest days it had been felt that the situation
Summer of the University and the climate of Vancouver combined
Session to make summer work inevitable.  It was therefore not
strange that Dr. Wesbrook should have asked a group of
his colleagues to explore the possibility of a four term year. This scheme
was not put into effect; but the impulse that actuated the request and the
needs of the teaching profession led to the opening of the first Summer
School for Teachers in July, 1920. The name indicates clearly enough that
the school did not propose, at that time, to offer courses leading to a degree.
It aimed merely, as the prospectus states, to assist High School teachers in
some of the Arts and Sciences, to help them to obtain higher teaching
certificates than they already possessed, and to provide certain courses in
The experience of the first two years, however, showed that a real need
Page Nineteen THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
was being met and that further steps might safely be taken. Accordingly,
in July, 1922, the first Summer Session of the University of British
Columbia opened. Matriculation was required as a condition of enrolment.
Regular University courses were offered, with examinations and credit
towards a degree. The undertaking expanded rapidly. The enrolment,
which had begun in 1920 at 127, mounted steadily until in 1927 it reached
a peak at 487. In the years of depression that followed, there was a falling
off in attendance; but in 1935 it had almost regained its highest level.
Large numbers of teachers have availed themselves of this opportunity
to continue their studies. They have continually asked for a greater variety
in the courses offered, as well as for advanced work. These demands have
been so urgent that year after year the curriculum has been enlarged, until
now courses are offered which lead in certain fields not only to the BA.
degree, but to the M.A. as well. In addition, late afternoon and Saturday
morning classes are held throughout the academic session for the benefit
particularly of working teachers in Vancouver who cannot attend the regular session, but who wish to do work leading to a University degree. For
teachers living outside Vancouver, directed Reading Courses have, under
certain conditions, been made available.
The Summer Session has been of great benefit not only to the teaching
profession, but also to the people of the Province as a whole. Hundreds of
adult students have attended one or more of the sessions; a large number
have already completed the full four-year course for the Bachelor's degree
in Arts, and a few have proceeded to the Master's. This academic work,
together with the courses given in Education, has enabled teachers to obtain
First Class and Academic Teaching Certificates. The direct result of the
Summer Session has thus been to raise the professional qualifications of
teachers throughout the Province. The indirect results, though less tangible,
have also been very great. An impetus to study has been given to teachers
in the Provincial schools, bringing in its train revised and enriched
curricula and improved methods of teaching. Work and recreation together
during the summer have served to unite the teachers of this widespread
Province, to unify their aims, and therefore to bring more uniformity into
their teaching methods. And through the direct association of the teacher
with the child and the home, the Summer Session is helping to share with
the whole community that cultural heritage which the University has in
its keeping.
Page Twenty Wi
:w»        \be Lttt 'A Funk
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:/v Library M 7', nricat R
l.iibor   ory he lilcttTict.it Laboratory
The University Extension Committee, which was or-
Extension ganized in the autumn of 1918, has concentrated almost
from the first on providing public lectures outside the
University. The number of these has increased from twenty-four in the
first year until during the session of 1933-34 over three hundred lectures
were arranged, partly through the Committee and partly independently,
with an estimated total attendance of nearly 35,000. In several years
radio addresses have been added. Of public lectures, nearby places have
naturally received the greater number; but many have been given also in
the Fraser Valley, in the Kootenays, in the Okanagan, along the main line
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and even sometimes in the Nechaco and
Cariboo areas. It has been a tradition that members of the staff giving
their services in this way should receive no remuneration for them. At one
time the University paid the travelling expenses of any lecturer speaking
within a moderate distance of Vancouver, but more recently such contributions to the cost have had to be discontinued.
During the present session (1935-36) the work in extension has been
very much enlarged. A portion of a grant which had been made to the
University by the Carnegie Corporation of New York was set aside for
the purpose of adult education. This money has been used to defray the
costs of administering the work, to pay the lecturers for their services, and
to provide substitutes to take over their classes during their absence. Thus
it has been possible during the winter to give over five hundred lectures
throughout the Province, the lecturers having been enabled to penetrate as
far as Prince Rupert and the Cariboo some five hundred miles to the north
and as far as Fernie and Golden some four hundred miles to the east.
Under this same scheme it is proposed to give agricultural field demonstrations in the north country during the summer. The Extension Committee has encouraged the formation of study groups, which have, begun
work in a small way; and has expended $1000 on books in order to provide
a certain amount of reading matter in support of some of the lectures. The
scheme this year was entirely of an experimental character; but the response
has been so encouraging that in all probability the work will very soon
be placed on a sound financial basis and a permanent director appointed.
In any event something has already been done towards making the campus
of the Provincial University coterminus with the boundaries of the
Page Twenty-one THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
RESEARCH T^ESEARCH is one of the most important func-
Jtv tions of a university teacher; and the vigor and
standing of any educational institution may be judged
in some measure by the devotion of its staff to this end. Not only does a
university owe it to the public to add, by original investigation, to the
sum of human knowledge, but research itself keeps the individual teacher
fresh and in touch with his subject. Furthermore, it enables him to inspire
his students, for there is no part of education so valuable as the contact
with a mind engaged in solving problems and in extending the limits of
knowledge. The following record of achievement, though necessarily very
incomplete, will show at least that research, widely diverse in its nature
and by no means inconsiderable in quantity, has been carried on and is
now being carried on with vigor at the University of British Columbia.
It should be added that the value of this research has been recognized by
learned societies throughout the English-speaking countries. Many of
these, including, for instance, the Royal Society of Canada, have honoured
members of the University by electing them to fellowships. One member
of the staff was last year elected to the Presidency of the society just named,
this being the first time that the honour has come to British Columbia.
Others have served either on the executives or on the standing committees
of such bodies as the Pacific Science Congress, the Social Science Research
Conference of the Pacific Coast, the Biological Board of Canada, and the
National Research Council of Canada.
A mere list of articles contributed by members of the staff to learned
periodicals throughout the world would more than fill this book. A list of
textbooks compiled for use in the colleges and schools of this continent
would fill many pages. Mention may be made, however, of such notable
contributions to scholarship as the following: Company Colonisation in
the Prairie Provinces, The International Trade Balance in Theory and
Practice, Sir fames Douglas and British Columbia, Boileau and the French
Classical Critics in England, Madame de la Fayette, Moliere, Induction
Motors, Analytic Algebra, Index Aristophaneus, Xenophon's Symposium
and Apology, The Flora of British Columbia, Of Irony, especially in
Drama, and Le roman social sous la Monarchic de juillet. Studies
in hand at the moment include investigations of Latin verse inscriptions,
the relation of early Nineteenth Century French Literature to the social
ideas of the time, the temper of Augustan literature, the life and works of
George Peele, British colonial administration in Africa, the history and
present status of Teacher Training in Western Canada, the geology of
British Columbia and the Yukon, Canadian-American relations on the
Pacific coast since 1866, and a comprehensive sociological survey of
Canadian-American relations for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Some of these studies are nearing completion and some are
in press. One member of the staff, who is recognized as an authority on the
relation of Canada to the League of Nations, is engaged in a study of
the international situation in the contemporary world.
Investigations and surveys directed to the immediate problems of the
Province and the Dominion are constantly being carried out at the request
of the Governments concerned and of other public bodies, as well as of
commercial and industrial organizations. Such, for instance, have been
studies of the fungus flora and the poisonous plants of British Columbia;
of the effect of radiant energy upon growth; of the oceanography of the
Straits of Georgia, with particular reference to the effect of the Fraser River
upon the distribution of fish-food and upon the migrations of salmon; of
the genetics of economic and decorative plants, such as vegetables, alfalfa,
and roses; of the growth cycles in British Columbia trees and the modification of growth rates by climatic and soil conditions; of various phases
of disease in important economic plants, such as storage rot in apples, and
the pathology of the balsam and the Douglas fir; of economic entomology
and insect control; and of the effect of smelter smoke on forest and farm
plants. One members of the staff has made several expeditions to the
North and the South Pacific oceans, gathering marine zoological material,
for the purpose especially of determining the distribution of the hydroids.
Exhaustive investigations have also been made in plant nutrition, such
as, for instance, studies of tree growth with special reference to root activities, of mineral absorption by trees, of the influence of water on tree growth,
and of the nutrition of economic plants, both of the field and the garden.
Allied to these investigations are studies of fruit storage problems, of
electric soil heating, of mushroom culture, and of the rest period in plants.
Breeding work has been carried put with cereals, roots, forage crops, vegetables, and flowers. Extensive field-crop experiments have been made which
have supplied valuable data for teaching purposes as well as for dissemination throughout the Province by means of press and public lecture. From
these field investigations certain fundamental problems have developed
affecting root studies, studies of soil acidity and of clover failure, and
experiments with wheat, roots, and alfalfa.  Closely associated with this
Page Twenty-three THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BR    TISH       COLUMBIA
work are forestry investigations of seed germination, nursery practice,
seed testing, and the effect of soil types on seedling survival. Studies have
also been made of selective logging methods, of the regeneration and rate
of growth in the Douglas fir, and of the microscopic identification of wood.
And reports have been made of the forest resources of the Northern Interior
of British Columbia jointly for the Provincial Government and the two
great Canadian railways.
One department has investigated practically all the mineral areas of
the Province, reporting to the Dominion Geological Survey more particularly on the Eutsuk Lake area, the Sullivan Mine, the Britannia Mine, the
Premier Mine, Copper Mountain, Hedley, the Cariboo region and Southern
British Columbia. The mineral resources of the Pacific Great Eastern
subsidy lands have been investigated for the Provincial Government and
the Canadian railways. Other projects include a geological survey of the
Crown Colony of Hong Kong, a survey for the Dominion Government of
the oil possibilities of the Mackenzie River valley, Southern Saskatchewan
and Alberta, and Manitoulin Island; a survey of the copper nickel deposits
of the Sudbury region; and geological studies in Mexico, Fiji, Australia,
Japan, China, Korea, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the Hawaiian Islands.
Closely connected with this work is that of an allied department which has
conducted extensive ore testing experiments for the purpose of guiding and
improving milling operations. One important result has been the development of a superconcentration method of treating local nickel ores. This
field of study is being actively investigated at the present time. In connection particularly with the recovery of gold, three departments of the
University working in co-operation have recently, after four years of work
and investigation, perfected a "superpolisher," which will help to eliminate
the uncertainty in milling tests that has prevailed up to the present time
as well as to indicate the mode of occurrence of valuable minerals in the
ore. No longer therefore need the mining industry of the Pacific North-
West be dependent on the East for its ore examinations and mineragraphy.
The activities of another department will be found recorded in upwards
of a hundred papers published in the scientific journals of Canada, Great
Britain, and the United States. These papers deal with a variety of topics,
such as, the atomic weights of elements, the design of distillation apparatus,
adsorption phenomena, gasoline and lubricating oils, the drug content of
many drug plants grown in British Columbia, the tannin content of British
Columbia trees, the use of catalysts in organic preparations, the applica-
tion of various electron theories to organic reactions, the effect of electrical
discharge on gases, the separation of rare earth elements, the mechanism of
gaseous organic reactions, the testing of newsprint with respect to printing
quality, the conversion of fatty and waxy substances into petroleum hydrocarbons, the phase relations of sodium and magnesium sulphate, the effect
of various chemicals including vitamins and hormones on the rates of
enzymatic reactions, and the effect of certain drugs on tuberculosis in
The research activities of another department range from large scale
investigations into the electrical precipitation of valuable deposits from
smoke stack gases to spectroscopic investigations leading to a knowledge
of the structure of the atom. Other projects include precision measurements of the velocity of sound; studies of the electric arc and of the
nature and origin of X-rays; and experiments with glasses for the transmission of ultra-violet light and an instrument for testing radio-active
ores. During 1935 this department, in co-operation with the Fisheries
Experimental Station at Prince Rupert, carried on an investigation into
the spectroscopic determination of the vitamin A content of pilchard oil,
for the purpose of widening the market for this British Columbia product.
A unique example of inter-university co-operation was instituted when
the University of Toronto in 1935 placed in charge of a provisionally
established Western Division of the Connaught Laboratories one of its
ablest scientists, who, while retaining his connection with his own University, has been appointed Director of the Provincial Board of Health
Laboratories as well as Acting Head of two allied departments in the
University of British Columbia. One problem already investigated in this
department is tuberculosis as it affects the Indians of the Province. Another
is the furunculosis disease among the fresh water fish of British Columbia.
The Western Division of the Connaught Laboratories will serve as a centre
of bacteriological research, where problems relating to diseases of men and
animals and to the part played by bacteria in certain industrial processes
will be investigated. Results of great practical and theoretical value are
confidently anticipated.
More than a score of papers have been published dealing with the
mathematics involved in the problem of three or more bodies, with applications to celestial mechanics and to molecular motion. Other researches
have been conducted in the fields of algebras and their arithmetics and of
elliptic functions.
Page Twenty-five THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BR    TISH       COLUMBIA
In the application of electricity to practical problems, investigations
have been undertaken in connection with the elimination of magneto
noises from air-craft receiving sets, the induction motor under unbalanced
conditions, the torque in a bipolar induction type instrument, a new piezoelectric indicator and its application to internal combustion engines, the
influence of asymmetry of air-gap in circulating current machines and
commutation in direct current machines, the engineering economics of
public utility systems, rectification at dry contacts, transient phenomena
in synchronous machines, static balances, lubrication, vacuum tubes,
shading coils for relays, dielectric breakdown, and commutation in the
A.C. commutator motors.
Another department has investigated the production of clean milk, the
grading and bacterial content of cream and butter, the ripening of hard-
pressed cheese, the nutritive requirements of lactic acid bacteria, the bacteria responsible for the alleged feed flavour and stable odour in milk, and
the fermentation problems of the paper industry. Some of this work has
been carried on by means of special grants made for the purpose by the
National Research Council of Canada, the Empire Marketing Board, and
the Powell River Pulp and Paper Company.
Research has also been conducted in the field of dairy production, the
record of which work, covering a period of ten years, and published in
bulletin form, is a standard reference. Investigations have been made of
the nature and distribution of haematuria vesicalis, a common disease
of cattle in this area; of nutritional deficiencies in live-stock production;
of the feeding values of locally produced high-protein concentrates; and
of the economics of beef-production on the Lower Mainland. Breeder
producers have been organized throughout the Province on a comprehensive scale. For a time an export trade in British Columbia live-stock
received attention and resulted in shipments to Hawaii, South America,
and the Orient. The herds and flocks of live-stock maintained by the
University, in addition to serving as material for demonstration and
investigation, have been exhibited at provincial and international shows
with marked success. Since 1917 twelve Canadian records in milk and
butterfat production have been made by the Jersey and Ayrshire herds
of the University. The live-stock judging teams trained each year since
1919 have an excellent record of achievement in international competitions.
Attention has also been paid to the breeding of poultry for high egg
production, to assisting the poultry industry of the Province by means of
Page Twenty-six <5/ftt*n Ajtbenttory
Courtesy Leonard Frank Gladiolus Blooms in the Horticultural Garden
Courtesy Leonard Frank V.d Universit THE TWENTY-FIRST ANNIVERSARY
specially conducted surveys, the establishment of a poultry disease laboratory, and the spreading of information in poultry husbandry. In this connection should be mentioned the famous hen No. 6, which in 1925 laid 351
eggs in 365 days, at that time a new world record. Work of considerable
economic importance has also been accomplished through increased average
annual egg production in certain breeds and through fixing certain desirable characteristics, such as rapid maturity and general improvement in
meat qualities. Investigations have been conducted in connection with such
problems as pullorum, the hematology of the fowl, feeding for egg production, the pathology of fowl paralysis, chick sexing, the protein requirements of growing chicks, the formation of the hen's egg, the malposition
of embryo chicks, and the inheritance of side sprigs, growth rate in the
domestic fowl, resistance to certain diseases, plumage and skin colour, and
of egg size.
Studies have been made or are now being made of the Oriental problem
on the Pacific Coast, of the distribution of package freight and its origination within Canada, of the fishing industry of the Dominion and the world
market for fish, of the Island coal industry and its problems, of the First
Narrows Bridge project, of the milk distribution in Greater Vancouver
and Alberta, of the marketing in Vancouver of heavy and light textiles,
wallpapers and wall decoration, leather and rubber goods. At the request
of the Provincial Government surveys have been made of the Industrial
School for Boys, of the Prison Farm at Oakalla, and of the problem of
delinquency. Approximately one hundred projects have been carried out
or are now being carried out in connection with the problems of the urban
community. And in the- field of British Columbia history some thirty
studies have been begun, of which fifteen have been completed.
In conclusion a reference should be made to public services performed
by members of the staff. Many have been or are being consulted, more or
less informally, either by the Provincial or by the Dominion Government,
in connection with problems of taxation and finance. Several have served
on Government Commissions. The Milk Inquiry Commission of 1928, for
instance, included two members of the staff, of whom one acted as Chairman. Another member of the staff is at the moment Chairman of the
Economic Council of the Province. Another was a member of the Canadian group of the Institute of Pacific Relations at the conference at Kyoto
(1929) and Banff (1933). Still another in 1924, collaborating with Mr.
J. H. Putnam of Ottawa, conducted a comprehensive survey of the school
Page Twenty-seven THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
system of the Province; in 1929 he directed a survey of nursing problems
in Canada; and since 1933 he has been Provincial Secretary and Minister
of Education for British Columbia. Leave of absence has been granted,
when necessary, to permit such activities to be undertaken.
ALUMNI r"F^HE graduates of the University have not yet had
1 time to reach the places of highest eminence. But
already many of them are filling key-positions in the
professional, industrial, commercial, and cultural life of the Dominion as
well as of the Province. And already they have carried the names of both
to the four corners of the earth.
It is interesting to note that of the 3364 graduates whose addresses are
known, no fewer than eighty-eight per cent are resident within the Province.
Five per cent are living in other parts of the Dominion, making a total
of ninety-three per cent for Canada as a whole. Of the remainder, five per
cent are now in the United States, many of them engaged in postgraduate
study; slightly under one per cent are in the British Isles; and slightly over
one per cent, thirty-eight in all, are scattered throughout the rest of the
Leaving out of account the scholarships granted by the University to
its own alumni, one finds that the value of the bursaries, scholarships, and
fellowships won by the graduates of the University of British Columbia
from the time the first awards were made in 1917 to December 31, 1935,
amounts to over half a million dollars. The total value must exceed this
amount, first, because some graduates have not reported awards they have
received, and secondly, because scholarships in many cases carry with
them medals and free tuition. The records show that in all nearly five
hundred awards have been won, most of them in open competition with
graduates from other universities. Among the more important are the
Rhodes Scholarship, the French Government Scholarship (fr. 10,000), the
Ramsay Memorial Scholarship (Cambridge), the Exhibition of 1851
Scholarship (Great Britain), the Beit Fellowship (Great Britain), the
Commonwealth Fund Fellowship (Great Britain), the I.O.D.E. Fellowship, the Connaught Research Fellowship (Toronto), the Royal Society
(Canada) Fellowship, the International Research Travelling Fellowship,
the Senior Sterling Research Fellowship (Yale), the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, the Rockefeller Travelling Scholarship, the National
Research Fellowship (U.S.A.), the Pack Fellowship in Forestry, which is
the highest award of its kind in North America, the Guggenheim Memorial
Travelling Fellowship, and the bursaries, scholarships, and fellowships of
the National Research Council of Canada. Of this last group of awards
the graduates of the University of British Columbia have won a larger
number than have the graduates of any other university in Canada. It is
also worthy of record that annually since 1920 Clark University has offered
and in each year but one has awarded a scholarship to a graduate of the
In carrying on their researches the alumni, with or without the aid of
scholarships, have travelled as far west as Tokyo and as far east as Athens.
In Canada they have won degrees and awards at Toronto and McGill in
particular. In the United States their names appear in the honours lists of
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Clark, Stanford, Brown, Pittsburgh, Haverford Columbia, Smith, Bryn Mawr, Purdue,
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of
Technology, and of the state universities of California, Illinois, Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Maryland, and Washington. They have also
won distinctions at Oxford, Cambridge, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Munich,
the London School of Economics, and the National Institute for Medical
Research at Hampstead in England.
Many of the alumni have continued in academic work. These have
held or are now holding important staff positions at the universities of
Oxford, Cambridge, McGill, Toronto, New Brunswick, Western Ontario,
Dalhousie, Bishop's College, Manitoba, Alberta, Harvard, Princeton,
Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Purdue, New York, Syracuse, Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Rochester, Rutgers,
Calcutta, and at the Michigan School of Mines, the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Northwestern University, and Washington University, St.
Louis. Others are engaged in educational institutions situated as far apart as
Kowloon near Hong Kong in China and Ibanda in Southern Nigeria. Eight,
including one head of department, hold the rank of Associate or Assistant
Professor on the staff of their Alma Mater and forty-two others hold
junior positions.
Even to list the titles of articles and papers published by the alumni
in scientific and literary periodicals would take more space than can be
given here. But among the books published by them should be mentioned
Charles Darwin Among tbe Poets, Tbe United States and Canada, Central
Banking in Canada, The Railway Problem of Canada, Sir Henry Thornton,
Page Twenty^nine THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
The Transition in English Historical Writing, 1760-1830, The Enlightened
Despots, Saint-Just, A History of the Worshipful Company of Bakers,
British Malaya, 1824-1867, A History of British Rule in Ceylon, 1795-1932,
Das Bild Laurence Sternes in der deutscben Litteratur, Segrais, I'homme et
son oeuvre, and Le roman francaise de 1660 a 1680. Several of these books
are recognized as authorities in their special fields. The two works last
named were awarded the Prix de la langue (1930 and 1934) by the French
Academy. Among books now nearing completion may be mentioned
studies of literary criticism in the late Seventeenth Century, irony
in medieval literature, the baroque movement in English poetry, the
Renaissance lady, the English Christmas carol, the British fur-traders west
of the Rockies, the relations of the Dominion of Canada and the Province
of British Columbia, and an account of the publications of the Minerva
Press (1790-1820) which will be published during this year by the Bibliographical Society of London. A book on Lady Morgan, the Irish novelist,
is already in press.
Of the graduates in Arts, a large number have proceeded to the higher
degrees and many now hold academic posts. Others are playing an important part, as might be expected, in the building up of that better social
order for which all mankind is yearning. To this group belong the executive head of the Vancouver Welfare Federation, the Provincial Director
of Social Services, the Superintendent of the Industrial School for Boys,
and the Adviser to the Government on Health Insurance. Five are
employed on the staff of the Provincial Economic Council; and many are
engaged in law, journalism, and social service work. The remainder show
a wide diversity of interest and occupation as the following representative
enumeration will illustrate: the City Solicitor of Vancouver, the Legal
Adviser to the Income Tax Office in Vancouver, the Provincial Librarian
and Archivist, Assistant Canadian Trade Commissioners at Hong Kong,
Shanghai, Kobe, and London, one of the most distinguished or the younger
architects of Great Britain, a member of the Board of Governors of the
University, several members of the University Senate, and three members
of the Department of External Affairs at Ottawa. One of these is now
attached to the staff of Dr. Riddell at Geneva. Another was formerly
Research Secretary of the American National Council for the Preservation
of World Peace with headquarters at Washington and later Secretary of
the Canadian Legation at Tokyo. Three graduates are employed on the
staff of the International Fisheries Commission and four on the staff of
the Biological Board of Canada. Others are employed by the Dominion
Entomological Branch and by the Plant Pathology section of the Dominion
Experimental Farms.
A large number of the alumni, more than five hundred in all, are
engaged in the teaching profession. This is as it should be, seeing that one
of the primary functions of a university is to furnish educational leadership. Since courses in Education were established in 1923 the University
has trained the Director of the Elementary Correspondence School under
the Department of Education at Victoria, three Normal School Instructors,
one Elementary School Inspector, ten Principals of Elementary Schools,
two Principals of Junior High Schools, five Principals of Superior Schools,
and twenty-one Principals of High Schools.
As the Theological Colleges now affiliated with the University are both
older than the University itself, it is not surprising that a large number
of their graduates in Divinity are to be found in the ministry of British
Columbia and the Yukon. Many of them have held important scholarships and some have taken postgraduate work at Oxford, Edinburgh, and
Glasgow. Some are now engaged in educational work in college and university; others are filling positions in the parish and mission fields not only
of British Columbia, but of Alberta, Ontario, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, China, Japan, and South Africa as well.
A gratifying number of the graduates are employed in hospital and
public health work, many of them holding responsible positions in the
Health Units which have been established throughout the Province. In
carrying to the more remote parts of the country the knowledge and the
technical skill which they have acquired at the University, these graduates
are performing a most valuable service for the community. Others who
have specialized in this field are now occupying positions as trained
laboratory technicians, and several have received important research and
teaching appointments in other universities. Although the University itself
does not confer degrees in Medicine, it does provide essential pre-medical
training for those students who propose to enter medicine as a profession.
Of the graduates who have received this preliminary training, more than
sixty are now practising physicians, most of them resident within the
Province. A very brilliant and tragically fated member of this general
group, Dr. Archibald Fee, proceeded by means of fellowships to McGill
and thence to London. In London he was appointed research assistant in
physiology to Dr. Starling, at that time one of the most distinguished of
Page Thirty-one THE       UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH       COLUMBIA
the English investigators in this field; and was given a laboratory of his
own with trained assistants to help him. When Dr. Starling died, young
Dr. Fee was placed in charge of the project. At the time of his death, which
occurred in the following year, he was only twenty-four.
Of the graduates in Agriculture all but three are engaged in some
form of agricultural activity. Several have taken up farming as a profession. Others are employed in the Provincial and Dominion Departments
of Agriculture, occupied in experimental and executive work which directly
or indirectly benefits the agricultural industry. While farming is often
considered to be a practical art, it is true, nevertheless, as was said of the
perfect farmer by Columella nearly two thousand years ago, that "all
the arts and all the sciences minister to his improvement." In the spirit
of this saying, many of the graduates in Agriculture have tried to prepare themselves for their future tasks by extensive travels and studies
on this and other continents. Out of a total of 173, thirty-five per cent
have taken the Master's degree and eight per cent the Doctor's. The following representative record shows a wide variation in achievement:
several successful poultrymen; two manager-owners of a flourishing small-
cheese factory; a working manager and part owner of the largest Elite
onion seed producing plant in Canada; an owner-manager of one of the
best known Holstein-Friesian herds in Canada; the Superintendent of the
Dominion Experimental Farm at Summerland; a biochemist at Rotham-
sted Experimental Station, Harpenden, England; the Western Sales Superintendent of Canadian Industries Limited at New Westminster; and the
Assistant Agricultural Attache of the American Embassy in Paris, who
is also European Crop Correspondent of the Department of Agriculture
and the Bureau of Economics at Washington.
Of the thirty-nine graduates in Forestry, twenty-four are employed
either in the lumbering industry or in the Provincial and Dominion Forestry Services. One is District Forester at Prince Rupert, and one at Prince
George. Another is in charge of the Timber Products Division of the Vancouver Forest Products Laboratory. Several are teaching.
Many of the graduates in Mathematics and Physics are engaged in
research for industrial firms or government departments. Two hold
important positions in the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory at Victoria. One is director of Research for the Carbo-Ice Company of Canada,
and has in some respects revolutionized the practice in regard to the storage
and preservation of food-stuffs. Two are working in the laboratories of
Page Thirty two layers     lub     oducti
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the National Research Council of Canada at Ottawa. One of these is
specializing in problems connected with the preservation of Canadian foodstuffs during transatlantic shipment. The other is engaged on the industrial
application of very high frequency sound waves, an investigation which
promises to produce results of vital importance to navigation.
Since the opening of the University some two hundred and twenty
students have graduated in Chemical Engineering or have taken the
Honour Course in Chemistry in Arts. Of these one hundred have proceeded to the Master's degree and sixty to the Doctor's. Eighty per cent
of these graduates have found employment in Canada and sixty-one per
cent, in British Columbia. There are very few types of industry in which
these graduates are not now playing a part. The refining of petroleum
products employs twenty-three, nineteen of whom are in British Columbia;
the cellulose industries, including pulp and paper, rayon, plastics, leathers,
varnishes, enamels, and explosives employ twenty-five; ten are employed
by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company at Trail; fourteen
others are with the cyaniding plants of various mining companies throughout Canada; and ten are connected with Canadian Industries Limited,
du Pont de Nemours & Company, at Wilmington, Delaware, and Imperial
Chemicals Limited at Widnes in England. Three are with the National
Research Council of Canada at Ottawa; ten are in the Provincial and
Dominion Government research laboratories; and eighteen hold teaching
and research positions in various Canadian and American universities.
Many of these graduates have reached positions of the highest responsibility, as, for instance, the Plant Superintendent of the Shell Oil Company,
the Plant Superintendent of the Home Oil Company, the Chief Chemist of
the British Columbia Sugar Refinery, the Assistant Superintendent of the
Provincial Public Health Laboratories, the President of the Western
Chemical Company, the Head Chemist of the Home Oil Company, the
Superintendent of the Canned Salmon Laboratories, all of whom are in
Vancouver; the Control Superintendent of the Powell River Pulp and
Paper Company, the Head Chemist of the Britannia Mines, the Director of
the Dominion Fisheries Experimental Station at Prince Rupert, the Chief
Superintendent of the Shell Oil Company at Montreal, the Manager of
the Hartford Rayon Company at Hartford, the Director of Research at
Searles Lake, California, and the Director of Chemical Research for the
General Electric Company at Schenectady.
Eighty-seven of the alumni have graduated in Geology and of these
Page Thirty-three THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BR    TISH        COLUMBIA
forty-one have taken the Doctor's degree. Eleven are now employed by
the Geological Survey of Canada, that is, nearly half of all the geologists
employed in that department; thirty-nine occupy the position of geologist
with different mining companies, most of them active within this Province,
such as, for instance, Bralorne, Britannia, Premier, Pioneer, and the
Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company; four, including the Provincial Mineralogist, are in the Department of Mines at Victoria; four
are consulting geologists; and one is with the Geophysical Laboratory at
Washington, D. C. The remainder will be found as administrators, executives, and professors, in their special field, in Canada, the United States,
England, Rhodesia, South America, Java, and New Guinea.
Of the ninety-two graduates in Mining and Metallurgy the great
majority are actively engaged in the development of the mining industry
of this Province. They include the General Manager of Pioneer, the
largest gold-producing mine in British Columbia; the Mine Superintendent
of the Victoria Mine; and a former Mine Superintendent of the B.C. Silver
Company at Stewart. One graduate is Smelter Superintendent of the
Inspiration Copper Company in Arizona; another is Mill Manager of the
Noranda Mines in Quebec; and another, who is now in academic work, was
formerly General Mine Superintendent of the Britannia Mines.
By far the greater number of the graduates in Civil Engineering hold
positions on the engineering staffs of the municipalities, the industrial
plants, and the construction companies of the Province. One is Assistant
Engineer for the City of Vancouver; one is City Surveyor; and another
Underground Engineer of the British Columbia Electric Railway Company.
The following selection from the list of the graduates in Mechanical and
Electrical Engineering completes this summary record of achievement.
Among these are engineers holding positions with the British Columbia
Telephone Company in Vancouver, Canadian Explosives in Victoria, the
Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company in Trail, the Marconi Company and the Bell Telephone Company in Montreal, and the Brazilian
Traction Company in Rio de Janeiro. One is Chief Engineer of Letson and
Burpee in Vancouver, another is Chief Assistant Designer at the Canadian
Westinghouse Company in Hamilton, another is head of five departments
of the Canadian General Electric Company in Peterborough, and another
was for a time Public Utilities Adviser to the City Council of Vancouver.
Still another, a research engineer with the Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company in Pittsburgh, was recently selected by his firm to act
as their research representative with the Siemens Schuckert Company of
The review here presented of the activities of the University alumni
obviously cannot pretend to be in any way complete or exhaustive, having
as its object merely to indicate some of the more distinctive features of
graduate achievement. It is surely evident, nevertheless, that twenty-one
years of energy and enterprise, not least on the part of her alumni, have
given the University of British Columbia a place, however humble, among
her elder sisters of Europe and America.
STUDENT OTUDENT self-government at the University dates
ACTIVITY w from the very beginning. Early in the opening term
Dr. Wesbrook had declared that it was "the desire of
the Faculty and the President to see the students assume the responsibility
of their own self-government." A constitution for an Alma Mater Society
was accordingly adopted and an elective Students' Council set up. This body
has ever since controlled the activities of the student body, administered its
affairs, and enforced discipline.
In December, 1916, the first publication appeared, a monthly magazine
called Anon. In January, 1917, it became Anonymous, and in February,
Ubicee. In the autumn of 1918 the magazine developed into a weekly newspaper under the name The Ubyssey, and since 1925 it has been published
twice weekly. The U. B. C. Annual made its first appearance in 1916. In
1926 it was re-christened Totem to conform with the two college yells,
Kla-how-ya and Kitsilano, the names of which are associated with the
Squamish Indians of the Pacific Coast. A Players' Club was formed in
1915, and a Musical Society in 1916. It is commonly agreed that both
organizations have attained a very high standard of performance in their
annual productions. The Campus swarms with other clubs, societies, and
organizations, literary, scientific, social, religious, political, and athletic,
which are far too numerous even to name. "Kla-hovv-ya Week," later called
"Varsity Week" and still later "Homecoming," was inaugurated in 1921.
Intended primarily to welcome the Alumni back to the Campus, it is given
up to games, debates, a theatre night, and various social functions. It has
become the climax of each college year.
The part played by the students in the war was in the highest degree
creditable. Nearly seven hundred of them, including those of McGill
University  College,  enlisted.   Of  these,  seventy-eight  lost  their lives,
Page Thirty-five THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BRITISH        COLUMBIA
and 131 were decorated for gallantry by British and foreign governments.
Mention should also be made of the excellent work performed by the
students who stayed at home. This took the form of the despatch of parcels
to the men overseas, special farm work to aid production, substantial contributions to the Victory Loan, and Red Cross activity. At the time of the
terrible influenza epidemic, early in 1919, the University, which had had to
discontinue its classes, gave up its buildings to the Hospital; and many of
the students volunteered to act as nurses and orderlies in the emergency.
The memory of these war years is perpetuated by one small symbol.
The yoke of the College gown is edged with khaki cord. Only the undergraduate wears this cord. It was intended as a perpetual reminder to the
students of a later day, to symbolize for them the birth of the University
during the war and to commemorate the war service of their predecessors.
The first years of the University of British Columbia were scarcely a
time in which to expect much manifestation of college spirit. The majority
of its older male students had abandoned their studies in order to enlist, and
among the students who remained there was a not unnatural feeling that
the momentous struggle then raging made insignificant the ordinary incidents of Campus life. Moreover, the absence of adequate buildings for
study and recreation was a great hindrance to the development of University esprit de corps. What is really surprising is that college spirit did exist,
none the less real for being serious and constructive.
For several years after the war, the classes of the University were largely
filled with men who had returned from the front or the high seas. Keenly
aware of the disadvantages under which they had been placed by the sacrifice of several valuable years in the service of the country, these students
set an example of earnestness and steadiness, not only in studies, but also in
extra-curricular activity. This tradition has continued, mainly no doubt
because a very large proportion of the student body have been working
their way through college. Their earnestness and their steadiness, too, are
plainly manifest in the record of Campus activity. Mention has already
been made, for instance, of the part played by the undergraduates four
years after the war in arousing the public to a realization of the overcrowded conditions in Fairview and of the need for a transfer to Point
Grey. During the summer and winter of 1922, they secured 77,000 signatures to a petition, which they subsequently presented to the Legislature,
requesting that the Point Grey site might be speedily made ready for occupation. This petition was supplemented by parades and other demonstrations.
The climax of months of enthusiastic campaigning was a pilgrimage to
the site on October 23, 1922. Every student who walked in the parade
contributed one stone to a pile that was built in the Mall. This pile of
stones was later constructed into the famous Cairn, where each year the
incoming Freshmen are initiated into the tradition of service established
by their predecessors.
All this activity on the part of the students was not, of course, actuated
by self-interest, since obviously they could not themselves hope to enjoy
the fruits of their efforts, but by the hope that their successors might be
able to work unhampered by such disadvantages as they themselves had
had to cope with. Another expression of this spirit was the construction
of the Gymnasium. The funds for this building were raised by a bond
issue, which the students themselves retired in 1935. The building was
equipped by the Alumni; and, upon its completion, was presented to the
University in 1929. During the next two years, 1930 and 1931, the students
campaigned for funds with which to build a stadium. The playing field
was constructed in 1931. And now, on the twenty-first anniversary of the
University, the students are engaged in still another major campaign. The
proposal is to erect a Students' Union Building, where they may have
increased scope for activities of an extra-curricular kind. At present there
is no focus for Campus life, and such a focus is greatly needed. The building will contain dining rooms, reading rooms, committee rooms, and club
rooms, as well as a large hall. It will be dedicated to the memory of two
kindly and generous friends of the student body, the late Dean and Mrs.
R. W. Brock. The estimated cost is $150,000. Of this amount, the students
have undertaken to raise one-fifth.
Among other important undergraduate traditions should be mentioned
the Arts '20 Road Race. This race is still run, as it has always been, between
the old Fairview site and the present Campus. Usually every class in the
University takes part. It symbolizes the spirit that pervaded college life
during the first ten years, when the removal to Point Grey often seemed an
unattainable objective. It represents not only the progress of the students
toward a definite goal, but also, since it is a relay race, the handing on of
responsibility from class to class. It has become a tradition also that each
graduating class should make a gift to the University. These gifts have
been presented annually since 1919. They have been of various kinds, but
all have been valuable. They include an undergraduate scholarship, an
art collection, a fund of money, a trophy case, medical equipment for the
Page Thirty-seven THE        UNIVERSITY       OF       BR    TISH        COLUMBIA
Health Department Office, the relay cup, the portrait of Dr. Wesbrook, the
Chancellor's chair, the stone seats on the Campus, collections of books,
records, and historical documents for the Library, the clock in the Auditorium, and the public address system that was installed on the stage last
All this Campus activity might suggest that the students are permitting
non-academic pursuits to interfere unduly with their studies. But it is the
conviction of the friends of the young University of British Columbia that
there is no likelihood that such pursuits will ever assume, for the great
majority at least, a dangerous preponderance over college work. The surest
safeguard is the sane attitude of the students themselves on this point.
They have passed a regulation that any undergraduate who undertakes to
represent his fellows in an elective position, or in such activities as
dramatics or debating or athletics, must maintain a prescribed standard
in his classroom and laboratory. The number of graduates who, after an
active Campus career in extra-curricular activities, have achieved distinction
in scholarship, science, teaching, law, business, and the public service, is a
sufficient witness to the commonsense and moderation of the student body.
THE youngest university in Canada has come of age. In the brief
twenty-one years of its existence it has passed through two major
cataclysms. It opened its doors during the second year of the World War;
and before its could establish itself securely it was shaken to its foundations
by the great financial depression. It may well be a matter for satisfaction
to think that it has survived both calamities, and that now it is definitely
entering upon a period of renewed activity and achievement.
The future is big with promise. The facilities for research of every
sort which, because of its unique situation, the University offers, will in time
become enviable. The climate is one of the finest on earth. The institution itself stands in a strategic position on the trade routes of the world,
both by sea and air; and it is a meeting place of two great cultures—that
of the European West and that of the Oriental East. There seems, indeed,
to be no good reason why the University should not become a very
important educational and cultural centre. Such, at any rate, is its dream
and its assured hope. "It can bide its time," writes the official historian,
"serene in the affection of its Alumni and secure in the quiet conviction
that the early years of its history have set a standard of achievement which
may be viewed by the students of the future with pride and respect."
Page Thirty-eight rbo\
! ;."..r.-;   I *s-.t Evening on tbe Campus
Courtesy Bruce Robinson


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