Concordia University: Wikis


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For other similarly named institutions, see Concordia University (disambiguation)
Concordia University
Université Concordia
Coat of arms of Concordia University
Motto Concordia salus (well being through harmony)[1]
Established 1974 merger of
Loyola College (1896) and
Sir George Williams University (1926)
Type Public University
Endowment C$ 90 million[2]
Chancellor David P. O’Brien[3]
President Judith Woodsworth[4]
Provost David Graham[5]
Faculty 1,966 [6]
Students 43,944[7] (as of 2008-09)
Undergraduates 32,872[8]
Postgraduates 6,358[8]
Location Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Campus Sir George Williams Campus: Urban
Loyola College: Suburban, 40 acres (160,000 m²) Loyola Campus
Colours Maroon, Gold, Black and White
Nickname Stingers
Mascot Buzz
Logo of Concordia University

Concordia University is a comprehensive public university[9] located in Montreal, Canada, one of the city's two universities whose primary language of instruction is English. For 2008–2009, Concordia's student enrollment was 43,942,[8] making it the 6th largest university in Canada, behind only the University of Quebec, the University of Toronto, the University of Montreal, York University, and the University of British Columbia.[citation needed]

Concordia's Faculty of Engineering & Computer Science is one of the "G15" major engineering schools in Canada,[10] and is recognised as a leading research institution in Canada and internationally.[11] According to a worldwide ranking by the École des Mines de Paris, Concordia ranks first among Canadian and 33rd among world universities in terms of graduates occupying the rank of Chief Executive Officer at Fortune 500 companies.[12] The university is also home to the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, one of the most renowned film schools in the world.[13]

In the 2008 edition of the annual Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings, Concordia ranked 20th in Canada and 357th internationally.[14] The university's John Molson School of Business is consistently ranked within the top ten Canadian business schools, ranking within the top 100 worldwide.[15][16][17][18]




Sir George Williams University

Sir George Williams University's Henry F. Hall Building in 1970.

In 1851, the first YMCA in North America was established[19] on De Maisonneuve Boulevard in Downtown Montreal, in a district now known as Quartier Concordia. From its early years, the YMCA offered evening classes to allow working people in the English-speaking community to pursue their education while working during the day. Concordia has continued this tradition by offering many night classes during the traditional fall and winter semesters, as well as the summer sessions. In 1926, the education program was re-organized as Sir George Williams College, named after George Williams, founder of the YMCA. In 1934, Sir George Williams College offered the first undergraduate credit course in adult education in Canada.

It received a university charter from the provincial government in 1948, but it remained the education arm of the Montreal YMCA. The first SGWU building, the Norris Building, was opened in 1956. It established a Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies in 1963. The university continued to hold classes in the YMCA building until the construction of the Hall Building in 1966. The university gained international attention in 1969, when a group of students occupied the Hall Building's 9th floor computer lab (see Sir George Williams Computer Riot).[20]

Loyola College

Loyola College in 1937.

Loyola College was founded on Sherbrooke Street West in 1896 as an English-language program of the Jesuit Collège Sainte-Marie de Montréal (since merged into Université du Québec à Montréal). It was originally located at the Sacred Heart Convent in downtown Montreal. The college moved into the present west-end campus in 1916. Although founded as a collège classique (the forerunners of Quebec's CEGEPs), Loyola began granting university degrees through Université Laval as early as 1906. By 1940, collège classique programs were gone and Loyola became a four-year university, although it never obtained its own charter, granting its degrees through Laval or, after 1920, the Université de Montréal.

Concordia University

The merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University was recommended in 1969 by the Parent Commission, as part of the secularization of Quebec's educational system (see Quiet Revolution). In August 1974, the two schools would follow the commission's recommendations and merge, thus creating Concordia University.[21] The name was taken from the motto of the city of Montreal, Concordia salus (meaning 'well-being through harmony').[22]

Today, the school is one of three English-language universities in the province of Quebec. The other two institutions are Bishop's University in the Lennoxville borough of Sherbrooke, and McGill University, also in Montreal.


Concordia University has changed its logo four times in its history.[23]


The Henry F. Hall Building (left) and the John Wilson McConnell Library Building (right) on the Sir George Williams campus.

The university has two campuses, set approximately 7 km apart: Sir George Williams Campus in the downtown core of Montreal, in an area known as Quartier Concordia (at Guy-Concordia Metro station), and Loyola Campus in the residential west-end district of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. They are connected by free shuttle-bus service for students, faculty and staff.

Sir George Williams Campus
Bldg. Address Functions
EV 1515 Saint Catherine Street West Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Complex
GM 1550 De Maisonneuve Boulevard West Guy Metro Building (University administration)
GN 1185 Saint Mathieu Street Grey Nuns Motherhouse (student residence)
H 1455 De Maisonneuve Boulevard West Henry F. Hall Building (social sciences and humanities)
LB 1400 De Maisonneuve Boulevard West John Wilson McConnell Library Building (professor offices and library)
MB 1450 Guy Street John Molson School of Business (commerce and administration)
Complete list of buildingsSGW Campus Map


Concordia University has two library locations, Webster Library located in the McConnell Building of the Sir George Williams Campus and Vanier Library on the Loyola Campus. Concordia Libraries house several special and unique collections including the Azrieli Holocaust Collection and the Irving Layton Collection.[2] Most Special Collections are located in the Vanier Library. The Libraries also maintains the University's institutional repository, Spectrum.[3] The Concordia Libraries are members of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries. [4]

New buildings

Completed in 2009, the MB Building houses the John Molson School of Business.

In 2001, Concordia embarked on a mission to develop and expand the quality of the downtown campus, and to revive the west end in Montreal. The development is set to conclude by 2010 (though construction is currently behind schedule). [5]

The university has also acquired the historic Grey Nuns property near its Sir George Williams Campus,[24] for $18 million. Built in 1879, it would alone double the size of the current downtown campus. From 2007 to 2022, the university will begin occupying the building in 4 separate phases. The large property will house the faculty of Fine Arts and possibly the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, and other departments. Currently the Grey Nuns building is only partially owned by Concordia (about 1/3 of the building on Saint-Mathieu Road), however full control of the building will be given to Concordia University in 2011. Concordia Residence Life currently houses nearly 250 students each year in the Grey Nuns building. The dorm-rooms are among the largest in the country, as many of the rooms have been transformed from when the section of the Grey Nuns building was occupied by the Grey Nuns.

The Integrated Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Complex on the corner of Saint Catherine Street and Guy Street.

The Integrated Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Complex at Saint Catherine Street and Guy Street was opened in September 2005. The building is directly connected to the Guy-Concordia metro station and also houses Le Gym, a facility of Athletics and Recreation.

Across the street, the 100-year-old TD Canada Trust building was donated to Concordia in 2005 by the Toronto-Dominion Bank. The university had planned to begin using this space in 2006.

Construction of the new John Molson School of Business Building that is located on the corner of Guy and de Maisonneuve streets began in February 2007. The Quebec Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, Jean-Marc Fournier, on October 30, 2006 announced an investment of $60 million towards the construction of the new building. The minister made the announcement during a ceremony at Concordia. The government’s $60 million represents about half of the total construction costs. Construction started on January 22, 2006 and the building was completed and opened in September, 2009. The fifteen story building now houses the JMSB’s 6,000 full and part-time students under the same roof for the very first time. The dance and theatre departments at Concordia have also moved into the new JMSB building. It is connected to the EV building by a tunnel under Guy Street.

By late December, 2009, a new 120-metre tunnel will complete the underground connections of the Guy-Concordia metro station with the Hall Building and the McConnell Library building.[25]

Academic programs

The location of Concordia's two campuses in Montreal.

Concordia has more than 180 undergraduate programs, divided into four faculties:

Students are normally enrolled in one of these Faculties, but they may take courses from any of the others as part of their studies. Many programs also offer a 'co-operative' component, whereby students get work experience while they study.

In addition, the School of Graduate Studies offers about 70 programs leading to Master's and doctoral degrees, as well as graduate diplomas and certificates for professionals seeking to upgrade their knowledge and skills[6].

The School of Extended Learning offers programs and services designed to make it easier for students to attend the university and be successful at their studies[7].

Students enter the university in September, or, in some cases, in January or May. An undergraduate degree normally takes three or four years studying full-time to complete, a Master's takes from a year and a half to three years, and a Ph.D. is at least four years long. Certificates and diplomas usually take no longer than a year and a half to complete.

In addition to regular academic programs, Concordia University has five outstanding units (three colleges, one school and one institute), which aim at introducing students to special topics in a more intensive and intimate setting:

Student life

Concordia's Loyola Campus in the summer.

Campus media

Concordia University has student-run media outlets, including newspapers (The Link, The Concordian and L'Organe), radio (CJLO) and TV (CUTV) stations.

The university presses, The Concordian, The Link, and L'Organe are members of CUP.


Concordia University's athletic teams are called the Concordia Stingers. They compete with other schools in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, and more specifically, in the Quebec Student Sports Federation and the Quebec University Football League. The university has ten varsity teams. In the fall, teams compete in Canadian football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's rugby union and sport wrestling. There are female and male wrestlers on the team from year to year, however they compete as one team. In the winter, teams compete in men's and women's ice hockey and men's and women's basketball.

Concordia won a national championship in 1999, when the women's hockey team beat the University of Alberta in the final game of the season. Recently, the Stingers beat Cape Breton University Capers 12-2 and won the 2009 National Baseball Crown.[27]

Bridge Building Competition

The Troitsky Bridge Building Competition brings together engineering students from across Canada and parts of the United States. Teams of students representing their universities must build a 1-metre-long bridge using only regular popsicle sticks, toothpicks, dental floss, and white glue. A panel of judges grades the bridges based on originality and presentation while a hydraulic loading device is used to determine the maximum load and performance.

Fraternities and sororities

Concordia University is home to local and international fraternities and sororities. These organizations exist under, and intercommunicate through the Interfraternal Council, known as the "IFC". In Greek alphabetical order, they are:

The Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority Beta Pi chapter was founded in 1994 at Concordia University, it is the only sorority at Concordia that is International, i.e., with chapters in both the United States and Canada. The continuously growing group of ladies, commonly referred to as Deephers, pride themselves for incorporating the Five S's into their daily lives that make the sisterhood very unique and well-rounded: Sisterhood, Scholarship, Service, Social and Self.[28]

Mu Omicron Zeta fraternity, commonly referred to as MOZ (pronounced like "moes"), was founded in 1992. In addition to Concordia, MOZ fraternity has members from McGill and the Université de Montréal.[29]

The Zeta Tau Omega sorority (ZTΩ) is one of two sororities at Concordia. Based mainly in Concordia, the sorority was founded in 1968 by six women of Loyola College.[30] It now has a large network of sisters, commonly referred to as ZETs (pronounced as zaytes). As a local sorority, they govern themselves, with a Board of Control outside of their active chapter.[31] In 2008 Zeta tau Omega will be celebrating its 40th anniversary as an active sorority at Concordia.

The Brotherhood of Omicron is another locally based fraternity at Concordia.[32] Their name is based on the Greek letter Omicron (Ο). They accept members from Montreal Universities.

Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity has its Kappa Chi (KX) Chapter[33] at Concordia. TKE has the most active chapters of any fraternity and the only international fraternity at Concordia. Founded in 1965 at Loyola College[34], KX is the oldest fraternity at Concordia. KX is famous for its annual "Teke-in-a-Box"[35] and "Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction" charity fundraisers. TKE also has its own scholarship, for which all active Undergraduate members are eligible.[36]

Student Union


The J.W. McConnell Library Building on De Maisonneuve Boulevard.

Student activism

Concordia has made media headlines for issues involving politically active students. The first major incident was SGW Computer Riots in 1969, before the merger that created today's university. Concordia supports a vibrant student and community level civil society including well over 60 academic, environmentalist, socialist, international development, anarchist, feminist, religious, and gay rights organizations, as well as cultural clubs and federal political parties. The level of politicization and activity of student groups is dependent on the group and its purpose, and varies according to changing membership from year to year.

In 1989, Concordia students voted in a referendum to directly fund their PIRG with a fee-levy. With the support of this social-justice organization, which now had stable funding and a staff of paid workers, student activism flourished in the 1990s. A number of organizations that are now based at the university have their origins as QPIRG Concordia Working Groups. These include The People's Potato, a vegan soup-kitchen; Le Frigo Vert, a non-profit natural food co-op; and Right To Move/La Voie Libre, a fully-equipped, volunteer-run bicycle repair workshop. All of these organizations are open to the general public and have strong representations of non-student community members.[37]

Concordia students took an active role in the province-wide student strikes of 1996, which resulted in the renewal of a tuition freeze which was later revoked in 2007.

As the 1990s progressed, student activism became more militant, coming to a head in 1999 with the election of the first in a series of radical slates to the Concordia Student Union. Under the presidency of Rob Green, a referendum regarding of another strike garnered 2,284 votes of support. This was an unusually strong show of support, as student governments at Concordia are often elected on the basis of less than 1000 votes in their favor. The strike lasted from November 3 to 5th and targeted a range of issues, including student representation in the university senate, corporate presence and advertising on campus, and government cuts to education. There were several demonstrations in which both protesters and police were reported to be injured.[38][39]

Concordia students voted in favor of accreditation of their student union in a referendum in December 2000. As a result, the CSU is now legally accountable only to its student constituents.[40]

Many incidents over the last several years have had their roots in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The conflict has been largely represented as a one between two student groups: the pro-Palestinian Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights and pro-Israeli Hillel. In general most student activism is conducted at a lower profile level.

Netanyahu protest

Anti-Netanyahu protesters break windows of Hall Building, September 9, 2002.

On September 9, 2002, a scheduled visit from the then former (and now current) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was cancelled after protesters clashed with police inside the building.[41]

Before the speech was to take place, protesters inside the building stormed barricades which had been set up to block access to the building's lobby from the inside and were stopped at the escalator leading to the lobby by police in riot gear. Protesters outside the building began banging on the windows. For the duration of the standoff, ticket-holders pushed their way through a thick crowd of protesters outside the building and entered through a secured access point complete with metal detectors, and were then escorted to the auditorium where the lecture was to take place.

Around one hour later, a large exterior window separating the protesters from the police inside shattered, prompting a police officer to immediately discharge pepper spray through the window. The spray entered the building's ventilation system forcing an evacuation. At approximately the same time, a second window on the building's first floor, on the western side and away from police was broken when protesters threw a metal barricade into it.

The immediate result of the protest and subsequent evacuation was the cancellation of the lecture. The university instituted additional measures to avert future incidents, including the banning of any events related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as enabling the use of new student disciplinary rules in case of emergency.

Five demonstrators were arrested,[42] and an additional 12 faced internal disciplinary hearings under the University's Code of Rights and Responsibilities[43]

Concordia University massacre

On August 24, 1992, Valery Fabrikant, a Mechanical Engineering professor, shot five colleagues on the ninth floor of the Hall Building.

Civil Engineering professor Matthew McCartney Douglass, Chemistry professor Michael Gorden Hogben, and Mechanical Engineering Professor Aaron Jaan Saber died that day, while Electrical and Computer Engineering Chair Phoivos Ziogas passed on a month later from his wounds. Elizabeth Horwood, secretary in the Mechanical Engineering department, recovered from her injuries.

Fabrikant was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life imprisonment. The university erected a memorial to the slain professors (four granite tables) in the Hall Building lobby.

Notable alumni and faculty

Concordia's alumni and faculty have achieved fame for their accomplishments in many fields. Distinguished alumni include, a former governor general (Georges Vanier), a former prime minister of Dominica (Rosie Douglas), presidents and CEOs of major businesses (Dominic D'Alessandro, Gerald T. McCaughey), internationally renowned authors (E. Annie Proulx, Mordecai Richler, Nino Ricci), political leaders and ministers, academics, scientists, actors and producers (Will Arnett, Rene Balcer, Peter Lenkov, Donald Tarlton, James Tupper, Steven Woloshen), and musicians (Emily Haines).


See also


  1. ^ Concordia official motto (mentioned in strategic directions). Motto was formerly "Real education for the real world."
  2. ^ Lowrie, Tyson (2009-03-03). "Concordia endowment drops over $20 million in under nine months". The Concordian. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  3. ^ "David P. O'Brien Named Chancellor of Concordia University". Press Releases. Concordia University. December 19, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  4. ^ "Judith Woodsworth named new Concordia President and Vice-Chancellor". Press Releases. Concordia University. February 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  5. ^ [ "Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs"]. Administration and Governance. Concordia University. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  6. ^ "Concordia University: College Overview". Peterson's. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  7. ^ "Viewbook". Concordia University. 2009. pp. 2. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  8. ^ a b c Concordia University. "Fast Facts". Retrieved 05-14 2008. 
  9. ^ Dwyer, Mary (November 8, 2007). "Comprehensive University Rankings" (PDF). 17th Annual University Rankings: Macleans OnCampus. Maclean's Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  10. ^ Faculty of Engineering & Computer Science
  11. ^ Research - Concordia University
  12. ^ "The 350 leading higher education institutions in 2008" (PDF). Professional Ranking of World Universities. École des Mines de Paris. 2008. pp. 33. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ THES. "2008 THES QS World University Rankings". Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  15. ^ "Beyond Grey Pinstripes — The Global 100". Aspen Institute. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  16. ^ "Concordia University". Beyond Grey Pinstripes. 2006-2007. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  17. ^ "Knight Schools 2008". Corporate Knights. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  18. ^ "Knight Schools 2009". Corporate Knights. Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  19. ^ YMCA History YMCA International.
  20. ^ History of Sir George Williams University, Concordia University.
  21. ^ Concordia University History
  22. ^ [ Concordia Timeline], Concordia University Archives.
  23. ^ A new visual identity for the university, Concordia University.
  24. ^ Peretz, Ingrid (24 December 2008). "Montreal nuns moving — with saint's remains". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 December 2008. 
  25. ^ As of November, 2009 this is not yet complete. Quartier Goes Underground, Concordia Journal
  26. ^ Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation - University List
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Official Delta Phi Epsilon: Beta Pi Chapter Site". Delta Phi Epsilon, Beta Pi Chapter. Retrieved on: September 7, 2009.
  29. ^ Mu Omicron Zeta. Retrieved on: September 27, 2007.
  30. ^ "History". Zeta Tau Omega Sorority. Retrieved on: August 29, 2009.
  31. ^ [1]. Zeta Tau Omega Sorority. Retrieved on: August 29, 2009.
  32. ^ The Brotherhood of Omicron. Retrieved on: September 27, 2007.
  33. ^ TKE-KX Chapter
  34. ^ TKE-KX Chapter History
  35. ^ Kappa-Chi Chapter Goes Homeless to Help Physically Disabled Gain Life Skills
  36. ^ Concordia Undergraduate In-Course Scholarships
  37. ^ QPIRG Concordia: About Us
  38. ^ Concordia's Thursday Report: Students Hold Protest
  39. ^ Montreal Mirror: Wild in the Streets
  40. ^ Concordia University Magazine
  41. ^ "Concordia U. regrets anti-Netanyahu riot". January 15, 2003. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  42. ^ Canada protests stop Netanyahu speech. 10 September 2002. BBC World News.
  43. ^ Concordia University Press Release. 31 October 2002.

Further reading

  • Bissonette, L. A. "Loyola of Montreal: A Sociological Analysis of an Educational Institution in Transition between 1969 and 1974." M.A. thesis, Concordia University, 1977.

External links

Coordinates: 45°29′51″N 73°34′38″W / 45.497406°N 73.577102°W / 45.497406; -73.577102 (Concordia University)


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