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Celebrating our past

May 31, 2019

The story of Acadia University’s founding is inspirational and relevant. Our roots date back to 1838 when our leaders defied convention by committing the University to a policy of inclusiveness – students were to be accepted regardless of religious denomination, race, or gender.

Unconventional but effective. When facilities were needed, and the University had no funds, Professor Isaac Chipman travelled throughout the Maritimes to request donations of money, building materials, and hard work. The community volunteered time and donated building materials to construct the first version of University Hall, which opened in 1843. That same year, Acadia granted its first Bachelor of Arts degrees, making it one of the oldest post-secondary institutions in Canada.

Revolutionary and relevant. There was a time when education was for the select few. Acadia’s leaders changed that by introducing practical courses in agricultural chemistry and navigation to encourage farmers and fishers to attend.

Today, we offer more than 200-degree combinations in the faculties of Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology. Hands-on learning and co-operative education options are part of the curriculum. Our students are immersed in their education and collaborate with their professors and the community.

Innovative and inclusive. Acadia was among the first in the British Empire to open its doors to women and people of African descent. Today, our campus community includes students from more than 70 countries, and the Mi’kmaw flag flies permanently from the rooftop of University Hall. We are proud to provide nearly $5 million in scholarships and financial aid each year to help ensure that deserving students can experience an Acadia education no matter their circumstances.

Our Campaign for Acadia will sustain the Acadia of today and build the Acadia of the future.