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STFX UNIVERSITY

About STFX UNIVERSITY

StFX was founded at a time when the word "globalization" was not in vogue as it is today, but when the realities of globalization were perhaps felt just as personally. Between 1800 and 1850, nearly one million men, women and children emigrated from the British Isles to North America. Most of these emigrants were farmers, labourers, or tradesmen; – more... they joined Acadians and Aboriginal peoples in eastern Nova Scotia in an effort to build a better life. And it was to serve these people, thirsting for their new freedom but struggling as poor and somewhat marginalized groups in society, that StFX was born. During its first 50 years, StFX not only provided the only university level education in the region, but also served the Roman Catholic diocese in the recruitment and initial training of priest candidates. Priest-professors offered young men - and later women - rigorous academic instruction. Starting in 1894, through an affiliation with the Sisters of Notre Dame, StFX became the first Catholic university in North America to offer degree programs to women. The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Martha was founded at StFX in 1900 to support the growing university through the competent provision of domestic services. The Sisters eventually expanded beyond their initial mandate and developed a broader mission of service across Canada and abroad. After 1900, the university began to grow and expand its curricular offering. While depending heavily on the human and financial support of the diocese, the university began to build its own personality, and to take new steps in science and applied disciplines. In the 1930s, a new movement, initiated by StFX's innovative Extension Department, emphasized adult education, cooperatives and credit unions as the path to social improvement and economic organization for disadvantaged groups in eastern Canada. The Antigonish Movement gave a powerful new momentum to StFX's tradition of community outreach and service to society. In 1959, the Coady International Institute was established as an international extension of this early community development work. In the meantime, WWII and postwar changes in society had begun to transform StFX into a larger, more diverse university. The sciences and professional programs grew in importance, and the student body increased from 500 in 1945 to 2,000 in 1970. The university laboured to meet the challenges of the time by expanding its programs, faculty and physical plant. Students gained a greater voice in the affairs of the institution and lay instructors gradually replaced the priest-professors. Government became the principal source of funding. Between 1970 and 2000, the university again doubled in size. Numerous changes occurred in faculty composition, origins of students and the structure of academic programs. Yet there was a striking continuity in the core culture and institutional values of StFX. While the vast majority of Canada's smaller universities either abandoned their denominational roots or consolidated into larger institutions, StFX vigorously maintained its autonomy and transformed its operations while guarding carefully its Catholic character and the traditions of freedom, devotion and service. – lessMore from ZoomInfo »

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