History of UNB Saint John

UNB Saint John plays an increasingly important role in our community and in the education and research of our nation.  When UNB Saint John first opened its doors in 1964 labour force development was the priority.

Today we are providing leadership in areas of research, culture, and economic development.  We have become an influential partner in the evolution of our city and our province.

This is a brief overview of our history and some of our past achievements.  We are proud to celebrate over 40 years of progress.

The University of New Brunswick Saint John campus in the 1970's.


  • UNB Saint John Welcome Centre opens.
  • UNB, Province of New Brunswick and Dalhousie University Dean of Medicine sign agreement to bring medical education program to Saint John. 
  • Dr. Robert MacKinnon, appointed vice-president (Saint John).


  • A co-operation agreement is signed by UNB and the New Brunswick Community Colleges. Under the agreement they will share land, facilities, programs, services and students. They will seek opportunities to develop shared programs.
  • UNB Saint John launches Energy Speakers Series.
  • University Bookstore, Inprint, opens a location uptown at CenterBeam Place.


  • Humanitarian Stephen Lewis presents "The role of the university and community in international development" on campus.
  • Forging Our Futures Capital campaign raises $100,398,938.


  • New campus plan announced.
  • Construction begins on Canadian Rivers Institute.
  • University Bookstore named Campus Bookstore of the Year by Canadian Booksellers Association.
  • UNB Saint John receives Canadian Colleges Athletics Association Community Service Award.
  • Forging our Futures Capital Campaign launched with $80-million goal.
  • New Seawolves logo unveiled.
  • Campus buildings designated smoke-free.
  • Student Health Centre opens.


  • Scotiabank donates heritage building to UNB Saint John.


  • New student residence, Dr. Colin B. Mackay Residence, opens in September.
  • Dr. Kathryn Hamer becomes the University’s fifth Vice-President (Saint John).


  • Dr. Shelley Rinehart named first woman dean at UNB Saint John when she assumes role in Faculty of Business.
  • National Campus and Community Radio Association awards CFMH-FM, UNB Saint John’s campus-community radio station, Best Small Station award.
  • Construction starts on new 170-bed residence.
  • New building housing Modern Languages Centre officially opened on Oct. 15.
  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada awards UNB Saint John award for Excellence in Internationalization.
  • University of New Brunswick holds the installation ceremony for its 17th president, Dr. John McLaughlin, in Saint John.  This is the first time the ceremony is held outside of Fredericton.


  • Student organization Falstaff Society launches new literary journal, Vox.
  • UNB opens first Canadian recruiting office in Dubai, operated by International Recruitment Centre.
  • Canadian E-Business Opportunities Roundtable recommends that Electronic Commerce Centre’s small business portal be “rolled out nationally.” Report also recognizes UNB Saint John’s leadership role in e-commerce research.
  • UNB Saint John becomes first Atlantic Canadian university to join Golden Key International Honour Society.  Some 54 students join as inaugural members.
  • Vice-President Emeritus Dr. Thomas J. Condon steps in as Acting Vice-President.
  • UNB Saint John MBA ranked first in E-Business education in Canadian Business Magazine’s ranking of MBA programs.


  • CRSJ, Campus Radio Saint John, receives license from the Canadian Radio and Television Commission to broadcast on an FM band.
  • Saint John Board of Trade awards President’s Award to UNB Saint John and its community college counterpart, NBCC-Saint John.


  • K.C. Irving Hall opens for classes at beginning of winter term.
  • UNB Saint John hosts world’s first Electronic Commerce International Case Competition for graduate students. Host team takes third place.
  • UNB Saint John’s 4,000th alumnus receives a degree;
  • UNB Saint John begins to offer its BBA program full-time in China, at Beijing Concord College of Sino-Canada.


  • Total value of UNB Saint John CIDA projects reaches $10.3 million.
  • The Quiet Campus, a history of the early years of UNB Saint John (1959-1969) is published.
  • President of the Republic of Ireland, Mary McAleese, visits the campus.


  • Electronic Commerce Centre opens.
  • First business Electronic Commerce program in Canada established.
  • Cost-recovery MBA enrols first class of 20 students.
  • International student enrolment reaches 100.
  • Full-time enrolment reaches 2,000.
  • Ground broken for new biology, engineering and nursing building, K.C. Irving Hall.


  • First Research Chair, in Management of Technological Change, established through university’s major fundraiser, the Venture Campaign.


  • Faculty of Business awarded UNB Saint John’s first major CIDA grant for $1.2 million project in Vietnam.


  • Dr. Rick Miner named fourth Vice-President.
  • Alumni organize first all-alumni reunion


  • James Dunn Residence opens.


  • Residence fundraising campaign reaches goal.  Sod turned at 18th Spring Convocation in May.
  • Academic reorganization sees creation of three faculties – Arts, Business and Science, Applied Science and Engineering.
  • First full-fledged Masters program, in psychology, is announced.
  • New academic building, Philip W. Oland Hall, is opened.


  • Construction of new academic building begins.
  • Co-op Bachelor of Business Administration Program begins.
  • $2 million fundraising campaign for first on-campus residence launched.


  • First year of B.Ed. introduced.
  • Athletics Centre named for G. Forbes Elliot, the campus’s first principal and vice-president.


  • Dr. Doris Ryan named third Vice-President.
  • Over 1,200 full-time and 1,300 part-time students are enrolled.
  • Faculty complement reaches 90.
  • B.A. in French, B.N. for RNs and B.Sc. in Biology/Psychology added; number of degree programs offered reaches 19.


  • Separate Senate created at UNB Saint John.
  • Thomas J. Condon Student Centre opens.
  • UNB Saint John starts to offer graduate degree programs.


  • Canada Games Stadium opens.


  • Total enrolment, including part-time students, is well over 2,000.


  • B.A. honours English, B.Sc. in General Science and in Psychology introduced.


  • Over 900 students are enrolled.
  • First Fall Convocation held at UNB Saint John.


  • B.Sc. in Zoology and in Data Analysis introduced.


  • Enrolment reaches over 600.
  • B.Sc. in General Biology introduced.


  • Dr. Thomas J. Condon named Vice-President (Saint John).
  • First full B.Sc. degree program is offered in marine biology.


  • G. Forbes Elliot appointed Acting Vice-President of Saint John campus.  Dr. Elliot had formerly held the title of Principal.


  • Athletics Centre opens.
  • Deutsch Committee recommends changes to academic direction of campus from inter-disciplinary to disciplinary program offerings.
  • Saint John campus holds its first convocation.


  • First and second years of Computer Science program introduced.
  • The first 34 students to complete all degree requirements on the Saint John campus graduate.


  • First full degree programs in Arts offered.


  • Senate approves recommendation that full degree programs in Arts, Science and Business Administration be progressively introduced beginning September 1972.


  • First PhD student to complete graduate work at UNB Saint John graduates.
  • Second year of Engineering program added to curriculum.


  • UNB Saint John students demonstrate at Legislature Building in Fredericton, protesting government’s plan to maintain the campus as a junior college for the “foreseeable future.”
  • Tucker Park campus officially opened. 
  • New campus opens for first classes.
  • Enrolment exceeds 500.


  • Senate approves names of buildings on new campus: William Ganong Hall (science building) and Sir Douglas Hazen Hall (arts building); and Ward Chipman Library.
  • Cornerstone laid in Ward Chipman Library building foundation to mark construction of the campus
  • First students to attend UNB Saint John, in 1964, graduate from UNB.
  • Enrolment reaches 462.


  • Site excavation starts on Tucker Park campus.
  • NB government commits $4.5 million to new campus building project.


  • Business Administration, Engineering, Forestry, Physical Education and Nursing are added to program offerings.
  • Enrolment increases to 340.
  • Governor General Georges Vanier and his wife turn sod on new Tucker Park location.
  • Men’s basketball team admitted into NB and PEI Collegiate Conference.


  • City hands over deed for 87 acres of land for the development of a new campus at Tucker Park.
  • Saint John County Municipal Council pledges $250,000 to UNB Saint John.  An additional $250,000 is raised by the end of the month from business and alumni.
  • Second year of operations commences.  Enrolment more than doubles to 271.


  • G. Forbes Elliot becomes first Principal of UNB Saint John.
  • Registration and orientation for first class of students, including general assembly and a reception for new students.
  • First UNB Saint John students write College Ability Tests, receive timetables. Bookstore opens.
  • The university’s facilities are contained in several buildings in the City’s uptown. The first two years of the Arts and Science programs are offered by 12 faculty to 97 students.
  • UNB $10 million fundraising campaign includes $1,350,000 for new campus of UNB Saint John.