Historical Sketch

Saint John Campus History

The University of New Brunswick Saint John was established in September 1964 following the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Higher Education, chaired by the late Dr. John J. Deutsch of Queen’s University. The Deutsch Commission emphasized the need for facilities for higher education in this metropolitan community of over 100,000 persons. 

During the first five years of operation, classes were offered in the first two years of degree programs in Arts and Science, Business, Engineering, Physical Education, Forestry and Nursing. Classes took place at various locations in the city of Saint John, including Beaverbrook House, formerly the home of the UNB Faculty of Law. In the fall of 1969, the new campus at Tucker Park was opened consisting of three buildings – Sir Douglas Hazen Hall, William Ganong Hall and the Ward Chipman Library Building. This site, proposed by the City Council as early as 1963, was originally bequeathed to the City of Saint John for park purposes. At the request of the City, the New Brunswick Legislature authorized the conveyance of a portion of this land for the new campus. 

In 1975 the G. Forbes Elliot Athletics Centre was added to the physical plant. Since its opening, the versatile, well-equipped building has served the recreational needs of both the campus and greater Saint John communities. In 1985 the Jeux Canada Games Stadium was constructed on campus, and in 1986 the Thomas J. Condon Student Centre was opened. 

UNB Saint John’s physical facilities expanded again in the 1990s with the opening of the new academic building, Phillip W. Oland Hall, in late 1992, and the addition of the campus’s first on-site student housing facility, the Sir James Dunn Residence, in the fall of 1993. K.C. Irving Hall opened in January 1999, followed by the Colin B. MacKay residence and Saint John College in 2003. 

A special feature of UNB Saint John is the fact that many of the permanent buildings on the campus are connected by a series of tunnels and walkways, allowing comfortable access to all facilities during inclement weather and the months of winter. 

UNB Saint John now offers full four-year degree programs in Applied Management, Arts, Business Administration, Computer Science, Data Analysis, Economics, Education, Health Sciences, Information Sciences, Nursing and Science. Students now enroll in the first two years of Engineering programs on the Saint John campus, after which they would transfer to the Fredericton campus to complete the degree. Students who wish to enroll in the BScE in Environmental Engineering can complete all four years of the program on the Saint John Campus.  The campus is also home to a number of Masters students whose research is contributing to regional, national, and international endeavours. In addition to the full-time enrolment, many part-time students are now pursuing their studies at the Saint John campus.