History

1915-1945

Charting a course

1908 – The University of Alberta opens its doors with five faculty members and 45 students.

1911 – The Ag Club is founded as the “Colleguim Agricolarum.” Inactive from 1912-1914, it’s reactivated in 1915 by student R.D. Sinclair, who went on to become Dean. The Ag Club is one of the oldest student clubs still in existence at the U of A.

1915 – The Faculty of Agriculture is created, “with a staff of two members, a small piece of ground close to the University and practically no livestock.” (E.A. Howes) Sixteen students enroll.

1915 – The Department of Animal Husbandry begins by offering one course: Breeds of livestock, market classes of livestock, and stock farm management.

1915 – The Department of Horticulture is founded.

1915 – The Department of Field Husbandry is established, founding Dean E.A. Howes serves as its first instructor.

1917 – A flock of sheep are introduced to campus, pastured in front of three residence buildings. “It may be recorded that the venture did nothing to enhance the popularity of the Faculty in its initial stages.”(Dean R.D. Sinclair)

1918 – The Department of Household Economics is established within the Faculty of Arts and Science.

1918 – The first class of 10 students graduates with a B.Sc. in Agriculture

1918 – One hundred and ten WWI veterans enroll in the Faculty. The federal government pays their tuition fees, the University supplies the equipment.

1919 – The University Stock farm is purchased.

1919 – Department of Soils is establishes with F.A. Wyatt as its first Head.

1920 – University purchases 380 acres for $53,000 in location now known as “South Campus.”

1921 – John McGregor Smith is appointed the first (and only) member of the Department of Agricultural Engineering. Reportedly, President Tory offered him the job after a five-minute conversation during a chance encounter on a train.

1921 – The Department of Dairying is created in May. Dr. C.P. Marker is appointed Professor of Dairying and Head of the Department – without a salary from the University. Marker was Alberta’s Dairy Commissioner at the time, and being a professor at the fledgling university was considered a part-time side venture.

1922 – The Department of Entomology is created.

1922 – E.H. Strickland, the first Professor of Entomology, leads an effort to control grasshoppers, which are threatening to destroy all crops in southern Alberta.

1922 – The Agricultural Reading Room opens.

1927 – The Department of Field Husbandry is renamed the Department of Field Crops

1928 – The Department of Household Economics becomes the School of Household Economics. Mabel Patrick is named Director. She will serve in that capacity until 1956.

1928 – The Department of Poultry Husbandry is created. Miss Helen Milne is its first instructor and only staff member.

1930 – The University purchases an additional 240 acres west of 122 St. in an area now known as the West 240.

1930 - Farm buildings are moved from the main campus (where the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium is today) to South Campus. Five farm buildings are put on wheels and rolled out to the farm on South Campus.

1940 – Robert Newton is appointed dean.

1942 – Dean Newton is appointed President of the University. He serves in that capacity until 1950.

1942 – Robert Sinclair is named the third Dean of Agriculture, the first U of A graduate to obtain the position.

1942 – The Department of Animal Science is formed in May by the amalgamation of the Departments of Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Science and Poultry Husbandry.

1944 – The Department of Plant Science is formed by combining the departments of Field Crops and Agriculture. J.R. Fryer is its first Head.